The Role of Integrated Marketing Communication in Successful Branding
What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing, or integrated marketing communication, is the process of aligning all of the various promotional mix elements (advertising, direct marketing, digital marketing, sales promotion, public relations and personal selling) and marketing elements used to communicate with your target market and customers.
Put simply, the integrated marketing process helps your brand create a distinct and recognizable voice across a variety of different channels.
How has Integrated Marketing evolved?
Strategic integration of marketing materials is not only an extremely valuable practice but also a necessary component in maximizing ROI and profits earned by marketing materials.
The saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” rings true in terms of integrated marketing. Putting out lots of great standalone materials will not be as effective as maintaining a consistent brand identity throughout your entire marketing and promotional campaign.
Understanding the differences between platforms
Though your branding should be consistent across your marketing campaign, it is important to recognize that different platforms are better suited for different types of messaging due to their distinct advantages and disadvantages.
For example, Twitter is conducive to clear and concise messages as well as compelling graphics or videos. On the other hand, email marketing campaign usually includes more copy and a case study with a call to action. Because of this, it would not make sense to send a lengthy message on Twitter or an email for an email campaign that only contains 140 characters.
Despite these distinctions between platforms, the overall feel of the content should remain consistent both online and offline.
Consistent brand identity is key
Some of the greatest advantages that integrated marketing creates for your brand is a consistent identity and brand loyalty.
Think about a brand or company that promotes themselves particularly well. You may notice that one of the reasons they come to mind is because their marketing and promotional content is consistent across different platforms. Whether you see a billboard, tweet, or TV commercial, aspects such as the logo, messaging, tone and overall aesthetic are more or less consistent.
Break through the clutter
Creating a cohesive and consistent brand identity through implementing integrated marketing helps increase overall awareness for your brand.
Consumers see countless ads and promotional materials a day. If your messaging and overall brand is consistent across all platforms, then there is a better chance that your content will break through the clutter and get recognized and remembered by your target market.
There has been a greater emphasis on utilizing integrated marketing communication over recent years. This is partially due to the shift in the marketing dynamic from company-centered to consumer-centered.
As opposed to the customer’s former role as a passive consumer of marketing materials, the customer now needs to be integrated into the marketing process.
Since the rise of the Internet, consumers have much more say in how they consume marketing materials. As a result, it is now imperative that marketers incorporate the perspective of the consumer into every piece of promotional and marketing content that gets put out.
Marketers need to put out relevant, useful and aesthetically pleasing content that the customers and target market will want to consume in order to decrease the risk of going ignored.
More room for creativity
Using a consistent brand identity across marketing platforms should not mean that your content’s creativity should suffer.
Put that creative mindset towards optimizing your message for your entire integrated marketing campaign. You are now tasked with finding the many ways in which your unique messaging and brand image can translate across a variety of platforms that will compliment and enhance your brand’s voice.
Challenge yourself to analyze your brand and think, “If I were the target audience, would I find this material compelling and memorable?” If you feel that there’s room for improvement (which there almost always is), consider incorporating some integrated marketing best practices into your next marketing campaign.