You’re already up against many competitors in the marketplace. But is your marketing also competing against itself? Let me explain …
Your customers have a tough job choosing between all of the options available to them. Every day, thousands of marketing messages vie for their attention through an ever-growing variety of media. The businesses that communicate a cohesive and consistent message across these media channels have a better chance of breaking through the noise and getting noticed.
Yet businesses may have different departments or marketing campaigns – all with separate goals – working against each other. Fragmented messages simply won’t stick with customers and prospects who are already confronted with too many choices. This lessens the impact of your individual marketing efforts, which in turn increases their respective costs.
The trick is to connect those dots, giving your customers a clearer picture of the value your business offers.
The Benefits of Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing ties them all together under a single unified strategy. Your marketing efforts may have different objectives, but they should have a unified strategy that coordinates them so they work together to support your overall marketing goals.
Just as important, it creates a cohesive identity for your business (your brand image) and a positioning that customers will recognize and relate to in any context. Actually, this should extend beyond traditional marketing to everything you do: your sales, customer service and customer retention, for example.
Let’s not forget the value integrated marketing has in developing trust in your product or service. Consumers are generally skeptical of advertising claims. The more often they encounter a consistent message, the better they feel they know your business – and the more apt they are to make a purchase.
For example, if you’re marketing consists of running the same print ad in one magazine, you won’t have the opportunity to build much trust. Now imagine a prospect also reads about your business in another aviation magazine (because of a press release) and then is followed-up with a special offer in the mail. Both awareness and trust in your company increases greatly, and the likelihood they’ll do business with you.
Integrated marketing is more effective. Your marketing is more powerful when every advertisement, every email and every marketing piece consistently communicates the same sales message. Each time a customer or prospect sees your message, it’s reinforced in their minds, building greater awareness and trust over time. So when they’re ready to buy, your message is fully “top-of-mind.”
Integrated marketing is more efficient. An integrated plan also results in more efficient use of your marketing resources. Integrating different channels lets you exploit their individual strengths, maximizing their impact and the return on your marketing dollars. And because they’re working from the same strategy, they’ll share internal assets and resources, too.
Is Your Marketing Integrated?
Take a look at your current marketing efforts, and use the following criteria to evaluate them in a fresh light:
- Are they instantly recognizable as coming from the same business?
- Do they communicate your value, your positioning and your brand image consistently across different media?
- Are they focused on achieving the same goals, working together to support each other?
If the answer to any of these is no, you’re probably dealing with a fragmented strategy or execution. It may be time to get integrated.