⌚ 6 min read
Imagine discovering a new t-shirt brand on Instagram. You saw an ad in your feed that drew your attention. You visit their profile and see that the shirts feature quirky phrases and images, and the brand expresses an extremely fun and laid-back image.
You like what you’re seeing and want to buy. So, you head over to their website with your credit card in hand… and are left confused. You double check the URL and can’t believe this is the same company whose Instagram profile you were just on.
The entire look and feel of the website is different from what you saw on Instagram. You find the t-shirts you were interested in amidst an assortment of products that don’t really fit in with the brand you thought you were purchasing from. Nothing matches and you feel like these are two different companies, not one in the same.
Instead of buying that t-shirt you were initially interested in, you navigate away not understanding the true nature of the brand.
Integrated marketing is the process through which multiple marketing channels work together to deliver the same brand image and message. When putting together an IMC, the overarching goal should be to put forward a united “front” for the brand.
While the t-shirt example may seem a little extreme, it isn’t uncommon for brands not to transfer promotions or content from one channel to the next, leaving visitors without a cohesive and consistent brand experience (aka confused!).
IMCs have a greater impact compared to running multiple different campaigns because:
Let’s go back to that t-shirt business we mentioned earlier. Their IMC consists of three channels: ads, social media, and website. Two of the mediums (ads and social) are very aligned - the consumer is left with the same idea about what the brand is all about.
The problem occurs when the website enters the campaign. Its visuals, voice, and identity don’t align with what is represented by the rest of the campaign. This contradiction then affects the entirety of the effort because conversion key performance indicators (KPIs) are negatively impacted. Simply put, if what drew in the consumer isn’t present at the last step, a sale is less likely to occur.
To create a cohesive campaign, the website should have been scrubbed of any off-brand content and products, as well as edited to reflect the brand voice and image used on other channels. The same content used in the ads and on social media could be repurposed to create copy and visual content for the website.
Read on for the step-to-step on how to put it all together.
Establish your campaign goal - Whether you’ve launched a new product or service, have a new brand message for customers, or have come up with a new tagline for your business, you must have KPIs associated with your goal in order to track your campaign success.
Below are the most common KPIs to track and how to measure them:
Choose your marketing channels - Depending on your campaign goals, select marketing channels that will help you achieve them. Include a variety of channels to reach a wider audience and cement the message you are sending. Add and delete channels as you see fit.
Main marketing channels to consider:
Define buyer personas by channel not by campaign - There will be some overlap as all of your personas are part of your overall target audience, but note the slight differences in personality. The audience will differ marginally by channel and that’s crucial to how you tweak the presentation of your campaign.
Create adaptable content - Any copywriting, images, videos, or other creative assets should be repurposed on each channel chosen for the campaign.
For example, if your marketing campaign is centered around a 2-minute video introducing a new product, you can use that one video to create the following pieces of complementary content:
Launch and measure - Before launching, view all of your channels with the eyes of the customer. Does everything seem consistent? Are there any gaps between what is being represented on each medium? After launching, keep track of the KPIs you selected and note which channels are performing best.
With a successful integrated marketing campaign, a consumer can visit one channel, two channels, or all of them and walk away with the exact same branding message.