The Integrated Marketing Imperative

An Article On Successful Integrated Marketing Communication by Giselle Abramovich

by Giselle Abramovich for the Digiday blog
originally published on August 17, 2012

The Integrated Marketing ImperativeThere are more ways than ever for marketers to reach consumers. That’s put more pressure than ever on brands to come up with integrated approaches, a topic that’s been hot in the marketing industry for years.

The key for brands looking to take an integrated approach is to have a strong collaboration and communication between teams. But this can some times be hard since the majority of brands have a traditional agency, a media buying agency, a social media agency, adding to the challenge of implementing an integrated effort.

Within each agency partner there’s a number of creative ideas all jockeying for a position on the client’s priority list. Couple this with the fact that blurry lines can exist between who owns social and mobile responsibilities across these partners and you can easily see how brands appear to have disjointed marketing efforts. There’s ways of getting around this. Brands need to ensure that all of their agency partners are organized around a common goal and that they openly communicate with one another. Too often that’s not the case.

“It’s probably not done on purpose, rather it’s more of a symptom caused by how many companies are organized internally to tackle these various marketing channels,” said Brett Leary, vp and director of mobile marketing at Digitas. “A lot of companies are naturally organized similarly to how budgets are siloed. Each of these stakeholders may have different incentive structures driving their decisions and all probably have budgetary challenges causing them to act quickly to avoid losing funding.”

An integrated approach ensures that all the touchpoints work together to deliver a consistent branded experience to the consumer. This can lead to customer loyalty and advocacy and better campaign results. Take what LVMH-owned Hennessy did in November of last year for the promotion of its collaboration with the artist Kaws for a limited-edition bottle. The campaign, which centered on a video, resulted in 1.3 million scans of the QR code that was created for the effort. One50One created the campaign for Hennessy.

The landing page that consumers are directed to after they scanned a code found on press releases, in-store and on the physical bottles let people either watch the video, like it on Facebook and register for email communications from the brand. The video was distributed through Hennessy’s social media channels like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and on a dedicated microsite. The fact that there were several options for consumers to view the video, gave the content a fair shot at being seen.

“Today’s tech-savvy consumers move seamlessly through the [digtial] ecosystem,” said Troy Brown, CEO of One50One. “They don’t place digital, social or mobile media into silos and they expect seamless integration and want their information and content instantaneously. They also want it catered to fit whatever device they are currently engaged with; with full functionality across all devices. A brand’s presence and persona must be consistent yet customized across all devices and platforms.”

When implementing an integrated effort marketers need to ask themselves: How can we ensure our marketing is contextually relevant in the moments that consumers engage us—regardless of channel, time of day and place, suggests Leary. He also said it is important to figure out the consumer experience within each channel, tactic and technology, and how it contributes to the overarching brand experience. Lastly, Leary said, marketers need to be measuring the results of their campaigns holistically across all of the channels used. 

“The advantage [for brands to focus on integrated efforts is] that all decisions surrounding the use of various channels, tactics and technologies are grounded in common goals, objectives and a vision for delivering a consistent customer experience,” Leary said.

Written by Laura Zurowski


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