Obviously, we know importanter isn’t a word. Between the two of us, we have two undergraduate English degrees and 50+ years of writing experience. However, we do like to have fun.
Everywhere you look you hear marketing agencies specializing in digital marketing. Digital is half the machine. If you only look at digital marketing, you’re ignoring an entire other set of systems and processes that can both garner results by themselves and improve the results of your digital. Nothing stands alone. Every piece of your marketing is a cog in the machine.
What is integrated marketing?
Integrated marketing is a system in which every activity across all channels buttresses every other activity. It starts with brand. Your brand creates the foundation for all of your marketing activities, which should be viewed through the lens of one question – is this activity and its associated iconography consistent with our brand? If the answer is “no,” or even “maybe,” it’s time to reconsider that activity, or remold it to fit your brand.
Your brand connects all of your efforts to communicate with prospects. A well-developed brand used properly creates consistency and engagement and communicates to your targets exactly who you are.
Elements of integrated digital marketing
How does digital fit into your overall marketing strategy? Here are the key elements that make up the digital portion of an integrated marketing strategy:
- Website – Your online home base; what users and potential clients see when they search for your company. Your website needs to have information about who you are and what you do and contact information so that your customers can reach you.
- Digital content – Blog posts, landing pages, white papers, videos, and more—all of these fit into your digital content bucket. Your goal with content is to engage with your audience and encourage them to reach out to you to inquire about the services or products you provide.
- Social – Your social platforms are where your online conversations should be happening. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter—these are four of the main social media platforms, but depending on what industry you’re in, they shouldn’t be the only channels you consider. Knowing your audience—and what their goals are—will help you connect better on social channels with the right messaging.
- SEO – Search engine optimization is using keywords to improve the visibility of your site when customers are searching for specific products and services. SEO affects how your site ranks because search engines like Google and Bing will prioritize your site over a competitor’s if you have more engaging content, a better user experience, and more. Many factors weigh into your company’s ability to rank well, and like many other pieces of the digital puzzle, they change rapidly.
- Email – Email is one of the best ways to communicate directly with your current customers. Through email, you can target your customers’ needs with specific calls-to-action and without the possibility of getting distracted, e.g., on a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook.
- SEM – Search engine marketing is another piece of the paid puzzle, wherein a business pays for ads that appear in search engine results. The process consists of bidding on top keywords that relate to your products or services and can be a great way to drive conversions at the bottom of your sales funnel.
- PPC – Pay-per-click ads are different from search engine marketing, as these types of ads can vary across multiple platforms depending on what your business’ goals are. Many social media platforms have pay-per-click advertising capabilities, and many times, a combination of PPC and SEM can add significant value to your overall marketing campaigns.
The offline portion of your digital strategy
People have lives offline.
That’s the basis of having an offline strategy. You can’t ignore your prospects’ offline lives. A well-developed offline strategy will buttress your online strategy. Elements of your offline strategy can include:
- Print ads – many small communities have their own publications. Don’t think of the term “community” as merely a geographic construct. Consider community as a group joined by common goals or interests. If that common goal or interest aligns with your product, service, or brand, there may be value in print advertising in those spaces.
- Outdoor – need to reach a large audience for brand awareness or foot traffic? Outdoor advertising like billboards, transit ads, and vehicle wraps can be effective tools. They can also drive traffic to your digital spaces as well.
- Point of sale – 84% of shoppers admit to having made impulse purchases. More than half of them admit to having spent more than $100 on an impulse purchase. Why not take advantage of that impulsivity with strategically placed point of sale displays, loyalty cards, instant coupons, cross-sell items, or upsell items?
- Snail mail – you’ll occasionally hear that postal mail is dead. If so, then why do we continue to get advertising pieces via mail? Easy – for some kinds of businesses, those pieces work. We’ve had significant successes with retail and home service businesses using EDDM and similar types of mail pieces. Higher-end products also can do well with personalized direct mail letters to existing customers with exclusive offers.
- Events – products or services with any level of complexity can benefit from educational events. These can be digital webinars, offline events, or hybrid events. Holding these events creates credibility and trust for the host and presenters.
- Trade shows – attending a well-targeted trade event can be a highly profitable endeavor, while the wrong event can be an expensive boondoggle. When choosing your events, determine why you’re attending and what results you’re trying to get before you decide how you’re going to show up. There are differing levels of value and targets to attending, having a booth, sponsoring, or speaking. Consider both pre-event preparation and post-event follow-up as well.
How do they work together?
Here’s an example of how all of these elements work together to create cross-functional marketing campaigns.
First, let’s start with an EDDM campaign. EDDM stands for “every door direct mail” and is a bulk mailing option used to get your business in people’s mailboxes and in front of their eyeballs. With an EDDM campaign, you can direct potential customers to a specific landing page on your site.
Landing pages are designed to encourage your potential customers to take a specific action, like booking an intro call or getting a free quote. All the while, you can track and measure data to create better experiences for your customer and increase better results for your organization.
Companies do this through call tracking, a process of using specific numbers to track your leads so that you can better measure which tactics perform better for your bottom line. This is useful information for your marketing and sales teams.
Next, you can add in paid ads that promote the same services and products as your EDDM campaign as a way to drive traffic to your specific landing pages. By using the call tracking or other tracking elements like a Facebook Pixel, you can determine the best use of all your marketing time and efforts.
All of these pieces make up your brand equity or your brand’s value to a customer. This value is determined by the overall perception of your brand and the experiences you provide.
An old world concept
We’re working with a private jeweler, an old-world concept where the jeweler comes to the customer’s home or office with a sampling of items they think the customer will like. Over time, the jeweler learns the customer’s taste, as well as the significant events in their lives where jewelry purchases might happen.
Our private jeweler client has decided to reduce their inventory. We’ve designed both an online and offline multi-touch campaign to accomplish that goal while helping to preserve the relationship between the jeweler and his clients.
The first communication is a highly personalized letter to the clients, printed on the jeweler’s stationery. This letter explains the inventory reduction effort and that it will be a very limited offer. There are two calls to action in this letter. The client can either call and schedule an appointment or go to a landing page online and do the same.
There will then be a follow-up postcard with similar calls to action.
A three-pulse email campaign then follows, driving clients to either call or make an appointment online.
The final communication is via text message. If they’ve made an appointment, they receive a reminder text. If not, the text message drives to a mobile-friendly version of the landing page for appointment scheduling.
Notably, each of these communications has a different phone number because we’re using call tracking. While the phone numbers all forward to the same place, this allows us to determine from which communication element an appointment is derived at a granular level. Also, each communication has a different landing page URL, allowing us to track the offline efforts as thoroughly as the online and mobile offerings.
Each of these offline, online, and mobile efforts buttress each other to optimize the overall campaign.
John’s the founder of Audacity Marketing. When he’s not racing motorcycles, he’s building marketing strategies for Audacity clients and anyone else who’ll listen.
John’s worn all the marketing hats, from consultant to agency owner to executive to university professor. He’s held leadership roles in industries from staffing to behavioral health to capital-C consulting. He’s branded or rebranded over 100 companies.
John buttresses 25+ years in marketing with an MBA from Georgia State University.
John lives with his girlfriend Suzanne, his dog Seamus, and his daughter Annie when she shows up from college.