Simply said, an integrated marketing strategy uses various ways to market a good or service. Using different advertising mediums, businesses can get out the same message to targeted audiences. For example, it can be an online advertisement that is run in conjunction with a radio advertisement. Being able to combine different tools allows the marketing company to reach as many people as possible. It gives the company more of a chance to reach people than they would otherwise. The great thing about using an integrated marketing strategy is that you have a unifying message so that you do not have to come up with a different campaign for each form of advertising.
The reason it is important is that if you have a message that is the same across all spectrums; it’s easier to create a brand identity. That is an important thing when you are running an advertising campaign or heck when you are running a business! You want your company, or brand, to be the name that people think of when they come upon an issue you can solve. I am not saying that they only way that this can be done is with an integrated marketing strategy, but it sure would be easier to do it this way. What would you rather do: spend money on just one kind of advertisement and get a few customers or spend a little more on various kinds of advertisements and get more customers?
Creating an integrated marketing strategy is a great idea, but it is not easy to create. There are many things to consider when you first start out. The first thing that you need to do is know what you are selling. That is not as easy as you think. Let say you are a housekeeping service and you are running an advertising campaign. What is it that you are selling; is it a service that cleans your house or is it peace of mind and more free time for the customer and their family? That is what is important – knowing what you are trying to sell to your customers.
After you know what it is you sell, then you have to know who your customers are; this is what the professionals call your target audience. Are they stay at home mothers? Are they stay at home dads? Maybe you are trying to reach a certain age group. There are many ways to discover who your customers are, but not all of them are effective. You can use the analytical technique to study the different shopping patterns for people that would buy your goods or services. Fortunately, you do not have to do this on your own! There are many companies that offer different analytical datasets that could be helpful in your pursuits. There is almost nothing more important than knowing your target audience is when you are advertising.
One of the most popular buzzwords in social media marketing today is ‘integration’. It is very unlikely that you can ever have an advertising campaign, or even a modern business, without the invaluable social tools at our disposal today. Social media connects you to the world in a unique way. It allows the customers to speak to you directly. You can use social media to also connect people to your current advertising campaign.
We are not telling you to spend millions of dollars trying to create a campaign. You can come up with a great idea and find a way to get the idea to other people. You can use social media in such a way that other people will start talking about you. Getting people talking about what you do or sell is the ultimate goal – and any tools you use along the way must all work in cohesion with each other. Putting money into advertising without having an integrated marketing campaign is like trying to pitch a tent in the dark – the parts are all mobile, unfamiliar and tricky – you run a real risk of stabbing yourself in the dark!
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