Integrated marketing communication, also known as omni-channel or multi-channel marketing, by its nature brings together a variety of content and platforms. By definition, integrated marketing ensures all creative elements are consistent with brand identity. It strives for a connected customer journey across your communication platforms that deposits a qualified contact at the end. Now with the rise of the marketing cloud, we can actually put the integration in integrated marketing. This blog explains.
It’s worth noting that a large percentage of businesses are still unfamiliar with integrated marketing as a tactic and still operate their channels as silos. Even those aware of the practice may be unable to pull it off. In fact, according to Smart Insights, only 15 percent of marketers integrate their digital and traditional marketing approaches.
That’s gotten easier to do with the rise of the marketing cloud. Its accessibility and openness bring the ease of integration that digital marketers need.
What Is Integrated Marketing Communication?
Today, businesses face pressures on nearly every front: customers, channels and products. Consider this scenario; you’re responsible for all your firm’s marketing efforts and for ensuring messages, brand and the public image remain the same across touchpoints. Different employees and even departments may handle offline and online marketing, sales and other product strategies. With more people involved, your messages may fail to maintain consistency. Or you may have the opposite problem — not enough bandwidth and too much manual effort required to support and track multiple channels simultaneously. An integrated marketing approach is the only way to deal with this problem when it comes to B2B demand generation.
In such scenarios, you stay effective by bringing various approaches to work as a unit rather than as separate entities. A common ground and view available in a marketing cloud is a proven way to bring integrated marketing resources together. Your messages remain consistent throughout, and that builds brand trust. This is the value of integrated marketing communication.
Integrated marketing is an approach of creating unified, customer-centric experience by combining outreach tactics such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and social media.
Three Smart Reasons Businesses Need Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing melds aspects of marketing communication into one package with numerous benefits. A Gartner study found that campaigns integrating four or more channels outperform single or dual-channel tactics by 300 percent. Similarly, combined Heinz Marketing and PFL research reveals that companies using an integrated marketing platform experience 3x higher effectiveness rates than those who don’t.
Here are three top reasons why you too should embrace an integrated approach.
- Enrich Brand Image
Businesses can carve out a niche in the market by curating a consistent message for all the platforms. Besides, you can maximize market impact by ensuring various brand elements like style guides, logos, voice and headers work in tandem.
- Increase Business Results
An integrated marketing platform ensures that all your teams and channels benefit from working together. For instance, you can back up your press release information with blog posts, sales collateral and programmatic touches.
This way, your message is clearer to the target audience, leading to increased sales.
- Reduce Marketing Cost
Businesses need to reduce unnecessary costs as much as possible, which is what integrated marketing campaigns do. By utilizing the same images and copy for multiple media, you can reduce design, photography and copywriting costs. It also helps you go to market faster with communications.
Put the Integration in Integrated Marketing
As with other B2B strategies, integrated marketing communication has its own set of challenges. For instance, some marketers randomly push out multi-channel campaigns with no clear picture of how they fit together. Many of us don’t even know what messaging connects us with prospects, thereby failing to focus efforts on the right path.
Businesses cannot meet each customer’s demand just by integrating all their available marketing channels. The strategy of combining channels and messaging extends beyond the traditional definition of integrated marketing.
Today, there’s a continuous emergence of distinctive segmentation of customers and prospects. These buyers expect a compelling, relevant and personalized experience each time they interact with your brand.
Personalized Connection Is the Goal
Take this example. An audience segment highly active on a social media platform may or may not check their emails regularly. Therefore, targeting this group via email marketing does no good for your organization.
Instead, one has to analyze the impact of every tactic in an integrated campaign. This is where an integrated marketing cloud comes to play. It seeks to address these complications by determining what works best for each group. And that may change, yet a marketing cloud can give you a steady view.
It uses real-time data and customer engagement preferences to add value. With intent-driven B2B data, you gain the freedom to choose the right path for the time with your existing marketing technology stack.
An integrated marketing cloud analyzes and reports on each channel. As a result, you can reallocate resources in real-time. If an email promotion isn’t driving any sales, you know to shift from this underperforming channel to what works better.
By providing valuable information to prospects, particularly in the format and channel they prefer, you build a solid bond across their journey. Cloud-based integrated marketing empowers businesses to meet the expectations of today’s customers where they are and transform buyers into brand advocates.
Ultimately, real-time, integrated marketing optimizes the ROI of your marketing spend. Because, now we know, just sending random messages on arbitrary platforms isn’t helping us anymore.
Be a Savvy Adopter
As you integrate channels and analyze real-time data, you can expect to see significant changes in your pipeline. Educational customer experiences through social media, emails or blog posts move prospects to deal closure quickly and with fewer bumps.
Taking that step seems a bridge too far for some B2B marketers, but that’s changed with the rise of the marketing cloud. The payoff — enhancing business revenue. So why delay?