The Plain-English Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications

I fly Southwest Airways nearly solely. They provide cheap costs, make it straightforward to rack up factors, and all the time have enjoyable and type flight attendants.

One factor I’ve seen about Southwest is their branding is on level. Whether or not I’m reserving a flight on their cellular software, being served my go-to in-flight ginger ale, or strolling by means of the terminal at Halfway Airport, I’m surrounded by Southwest’s constant model colours, messaging, and imagery.

That is an instance of built-in advertising and marketing at work. For those who’re enthusiastic about presenting a cohesive, constant model expertise that leaves your services or products top-of-mind — like Southwest does — this information is for you. Learn on to study extra about built-in advertising and marketing and create a marketing campaign of your personal.

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Think about discovering a brand new model on Instagram and visiting the corporate’s web site to buy considered one of their merchandise. If their web site promoted a special message or marketing campaign than the one you discovered on their Instagram account, you’d have a tough time understanding the gist of the model, proper?

Built-in advertising and marketing exists to remove these disparities and variations no matter how or when a buyer interacts along with your model. It’s just like multi-channel advertising and marketing, besides built-in advertising and marketing is what aligns the message you’re sharing on all of these channels.

Talking of channels, built-in advertising and marketing doesn’t apply to only your inbound or digital advertising and marketing channels; conventional media channels are additionally included. Most of the built-in advertising and marketing examples we’ll overview beneath incorporate conventional advertising and marketing channels reminiscent of print, radio, and TV adverts.

Now, let’s speak about built-in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Why are built-in advertising and marketing campaigns efficient?

Whereas built-in advertising and marketing campaigns can differ of their objectives (e.g. changing views, constructing model consciousness, and so forth.), they need to all have one element in frequent: to align your advertising and marketing channels to current a united advertising and marketing “entrance”.

In case your advertising and marketing channels are gamers, take into account your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign the coach in command of operating performs and serving to your channels work as a unified system — not disparate ones.

It’s additionally more practical to run built-in advertising and marketing campaigns as in comparison with campaigns on particular person channels. Built-in advertising and marketing campaigns are impactful for just a few causes:

  • They attain a wider viewers than a single advertising and marketing channel.
  • They’ve a higher probability of being seen on a number of channels, thus conserving your model top-of-mind and pushing guests nearer to conversion.
  • They construct belief with guests as they see a constant message on a number of channels.
  • They prevent cash since property could be shared between and repurposed for various advertising and marketing channels and, relying in your marketing campaign, prospects may help you market your services or products for you.

So, how are you going to construct your personal built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign? Comply with these steps to get began.

1. Set up your overarching marketing campaign purpose.

Earlier than you take into account what channels will probably be a part of your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign, it’s essential to take into account the purpose of your complete marketing campaign.

Possibly you’ve launched a brand new product, service, or initiative and need to get it in entrance of shoppers — like Southwest’s Transfarency. Possibly you’ve fully rebranded and need to broadcast your new message — like Old Spice’s Smell Like a Man, Man. Maybe you’ve merely chosen a brand new positioning tagline and need your viewers to start out associating your model with it — like Snickers’ You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.

(Don’t fear, we’ll dig deeper into these examples later.)

No matter your marketing campaign purpose could also be, all the time bear in mind to make it SMART. This may enable you keep targeted, observe your marketing campaign success, and discover ways to enhance the subsequent time round.

These objectives also needs to relate to a minimum of one of many following key efficiency indicators (KPIs) and their subsequent metrics, which you can track when you launch your campaign.

KPI related Metrics
Traffic/reach Unique page views by channel and source
Engagement Bounce rate; average time on page
Top (and falling) content Top page views; top exits
Impact Click-throughs; conversions; backlinks
Sentiment Comments; social shares
Lead generation Total leads; total sessions; session to lead conversion rate
Sales Lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL); MQL to sales qualified lead (SQL); customer purchase/closed-won business

Also, while increased engagement and new leads are always exciting, a multi-channel campaign should also consider the bigger picture: how your campaign impacts sales opportunities and business revenue. Take a moment to map out how you want your campaign to impact your bottom line, too.

2. Choose your marketing channels and set goals for each one.

Now that you know your overarching integrated marketing campaign goal, you probably have a better idea of what channels (if not all of them) can help you reach that goal.

For example, if your goal is to roll out a new logo and branding suite, you don’t necessarily need to leverage radio ads. On the other hand, if you’re extending your audience to target a new geographic region or city, radio ads, billboard ads, TV ads, and other local channels may come in handy.

When choosing your channel(s), it all boils down to what you’re trying to achieve through your integrated marketing campaign. There are 10 major marketing “channels” that you can use to distribute your campaign content.

Your integrated marketing campaign should include a variety of marketing channels in order to reach the widest audience and drive home your campaign message. If you see one or more channels plateau, don’t hesitate to add, remove, or test new ones.

3. Define your buyer personas by channel.

Every marketing channel targets its own specific buyer persona. For that reason, as an alternative of defining a broad persona to your marketing campaign, it’s essential to outline your viewers by channel.

There’ll inevitably be some overlap, however it’s clever to grasp precisely who you’re speaking to on every medium and how one can tailor these particular property to be essentially the most profitable.

Word: With some campaigns, you could be focusing on a particular viewers. On this case, steps 2 and three could be flipped — you’d outline your purchaser persona(s) first after which determine which channels may help you attain that viewers.

Download our free Persona Templates to easily organize your audience segments and make your marketing stronger.

4. Establish your channel managers.

Relying on the scale of your advertising and marketing crew, you will have totally different individuals (or whole groups) in command of totally different channels. When operating a multi-channel advertising and marketing marketing campaign, it’s essential to decide who particularly will probably be in command of guaranteeing their channel(s) is aligned with the marketing campaign.

That is essential for 2 causes: 1) that supervisor is the professional on their channel (e.g. viewers, posting cadence, optimization ways, reporting methods, and so forth.) and can know tailor the marketing campaign content material to be essentially the most profitable; and a pair of) placing one particular person in command of all channels could also be overwhelming and can trigger the content material and marketing campaign to endure.

Maybe you have got a smaller advertising and marketing crew the place one particular person handles a number of channels. No matter your crew measurement, do your highest to share channel administration tasks throughout just a few individuals — ideally with one particular person dealing with one or two channels.

5. Create adaptable advertising and marketing property and messaging.

At this level, you have got your marketing campaign purpose, target market(s), and advertising and marketing channels. It’s now time to create your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign content material. This stage is the place copywriting, graphic design, and different inventive processes come into play.

Earlier than I dive into how, let’s speak about an essential element of built-in advertising and marketing content material: adaptability. To maintain your marketing campaign constant (and ease your workload), it is best to be capable to repurpose any content for use on totally different channels.

For instance, let’s say your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign is concentrated on the launch of a brand new 3-minute model video. You might repurpose this video into:

  • 30-second and one-minute “trailer” movies
  • Nonetheless photographs
  • Quotes
  • GIFs
  • Hashtags
  • Weblog posts
  • Soundbites

As you develop and repurpose these inventive property, hold them aligned along with your model tips and in keeping with one another. In truth, it might be useful to create your personal set of brand name tips to your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign to share along with your crew and any channel managers.

This documentation might embody just a few issues:

  • Visible tips (brand, shade palette, typography, and so forth.)
  • Any developed and repurposed property in a number of file codecs
  • Voice and tone tips (taglines, most well-liked language, phrases to keep away from, and so forth.)
  • Messaging tips (ache factors, objectives, sorts of content material, assets, and so forth.)
  • Purchaser persona info and tips

Built-in advertising and marketing is all a few constant model expertise. Make certain your marketing campaign property replicate that, no matter what channel your viewers visits or sees.

6. Set up your plan for gathering leads.

Whether or not or not you propose your marketing campaign to gather leads, it is best to all the time be ready to obtain them. You don’t need to go away this as an afterthought when you launch your marketing campaign. Even if you happen to’re merely campaigning to boost consciousness of your model, take into account how your guests may convert to leads — and, ultimately, prospects.

First, take into account how a customer may convert to a lead. Would they subscribe to your publication? Enter their info to obtain a content material provide? Create an account in your web site? Guarantee these conversion features of your marketing campaign are additionally on-brand with the remainder of your visible and messaging property.

Subsequent, take into account how your leads will probably be nurtured as soon as they convert. Would they roll into an automated email workflow? Would you cross them alongside to Gross sales? Nevertheless you go about this step, ensure that your leads aren’t forgotten as soon as they willingly give over their info.

As all the time, talk with Gross sales to verify that they’re conscious of your marketing campaign and on-board along with your plan for brand new leads and prospects.

7. Launch, measure, and iterate your marketing campaign.

Able to launch your built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign? It is perhaps time to place your marketing campaign to work … however it’s not time to relaxation simply but.

Bear in mind these KPIs and metrics from step one? Whichever KPIs relate to your overarching campaign goal (e.g. boosting brand awareness, rebranding, new product, etc.), start tracking those subsequent metrics each week, month, and quarter (depending on how long your campaign is running) to see how successful it is at reaching your goal.

As always, take what you learn from each integrated marketing campaign and apply it to future campaigns. With the right strategies, managers, and tools in place, you can create a never-ending cycle of integrated marketing campaigns — and wins.

Integrated Marketing Strategies and Best Practices

As you construct your integrated marketing campaign, there are a few key strategies and best practices to keep in mind. We’ve detailed them here, and they apply regardless of what media, channels, or goals you’ve chosen.

Align behind the scenes.

In order for you to successfully implement an integrated marketing approach, it’s imperative that you not only choose marketing channel managers but that all your marketing managers also communicate often about projects and campaigns.

While not every integrated marketing campaign or promotion needs to be on all of your channels, they should at least complement each other to avoid a fragmented brand experience for customers.

Consider the channel transition.

Integrated campaigns receive traffic from a number of sources — and pass along those sources like a game of Hot Potato. Consider how a visitor may view/experience each marketing channel 1) if it was their first visit and 2) if they transitioned from another channel. Think about how each channel can help others convert.

For example, say a customer saw your new billboard on their way to work and, once they arrived, visited the website that was on the billboard. Imagine if, on your website, the customer couldn’t easily find whatever your billboard was marketing. How confusing would that be? That customer would likely drop off immediately.

Don’t neglect the small overlaps.

When preparing to launch your integrated marketing campaign, it’s tempting to separately think about each channel and its respective media assets. But this thought process inherently goes against the ethos of integrated marketing. Integrated marketing exists to eradicate the silos of traditional marketing and bring together a cohesive campaign experience.

For this reason, don’t neglect the places in which your campaign overlaps. Here are a few examples:

Whereas these overlaps won’t straight assist your marketing campaign objectives, they assist your viewers transition seamlessly between channels, get pleasure from that constant, cohesive model expertise, and in the end discover their option to a web page that converts them.

Each marketer is aware of simply how a lot you possibly can study from those that’ve come earlier than you. On this part, we’ve pulled collectively a handful of well-executed built-in advertising and marketing campaigns to offer you an instance of simply how profitable this tactic could be.

1. Odor Like a Man, Man by Outdated Spice

For years, I related Outdated Spice with one thing solely my dad or grandfather would put on. I can bear in mind the outdated, white bottle of aftershave — the one with the light pirate ship — that used to take a seat in my dad’s cupboard.

integrated marketing example old spice old bottle


I don’t assume I’m the one one who held this affiliation, so it’s no shock that, in 2010, Outdated Spice launched a serious rebranding marketing campaign to offer its merchandise a younger, playful really feel — and in the end appeal to a youthful viewers. Not solely did Outdated Spice change the design of their packaging, however in addition they renamed their merchandise and crafted a brand new tagline (“Odor Like a Man, Man”).

The preliminary marketing campaign launch featured one 30-second TV spot, The Man Your Man Might Odor Like, that was so beloved that Outdated Spice launched a handful of others.


However Outdated Spice didn’t cease on the TV business. In addition they included their web site, product pages, Instagram, YouTube, and different channels of their marketing campaign.

No, they don’t all characteristic the particular characters or taglines from the unique TV spots (bear in mind, the marketing campaign launched nearly 10 years in the past), however they do replicate the identical tone, theme, and model, thus giving prospects a constant model expertise throughout all media.

integrated marketing example old spice website

2. Transfarency by Southwest Airways

I mentioned Southwest Airways’ constant branding at first of this text. One marketing campaign that stands out is their Transfarency motion, which launched a model new phrase that marketed Southwest as an airline with simple pricing and no hidden charges.

The marketing campaign initially launched in 2015, however Southwest has since been rolling out phases to launch new parts and introduce more themes and stories. This tactic has helped elongate the marketing campaign message and actually solidify the affiliation between flying Southwest and saving cash on fares.

Southwest has used nearly each doable advertising and marketing channel to broadcast this marketing campaign: a devoted touchdown web page on which you should buy tickets, print commercials posted alongside airport partitions and tucked behind airplane seats, a slew of video spots, and loads of user-generated content material on their social media.

integrated marketing example southwest instagram

3. You’re Not You When You’re Hungry by Snickers

Snickers is considered one of my favourite chocolate bars, so I paid shut consideration once I began to see commercials for his or her You’re Not You When You’re Hungry commercials.

Launched on the 2010 Tremendous Bowl, this Snickers marketing campaign has remained top-of-mind for chocolate and sweet lovers all over the place.


One cause for that is the marketing campaign’s humor, however the different, extra pertinent cause is that Snickers pasted this motion all over the place … on its web site, social media, TV, print adverts, and extra, and so they included loads of celebrities besides. By presenting an aligned, cohesive built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign, prospects now consider Snickers when craving a candy snack — and the company has benefitted as a result.

integrated marketing example snickers billboard

4. Share a Coke by Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke marketing campaign was distinctive in that the corporate put their prospects entrance and heart by that includes names and enjoyable phrases on their product. Not solely did this create countless promoting angles, however it led to countless user-generated content material from prospects desirous to share merchandise with their very own identify. The #ShareaCoke hashtag was shared by way of 500,000+ customer photos.

coke share a coke integrated marketing campaign

When this marketing campaign was at its top, I discovered myself taking photos of and even shopping for Cokes that includes the names of my family and friends. Evidently others did the identical — the marketing campaign resulted in a rise in Coke consumption from 1.7 billion to 1.9 billion each day servings.

5. Develop Higher by HubSpot

HubSpot has numerous digital properties — its weblog, web site, social media channels, and SaaS merchandise. This degree of selection requires a number of consistency in messaging and advertising and marketing.

HubSpot not too long ago set its final imaginative and prescient to help customers grow better — all prospects, on all channels. To advertise this messaging, it up to date all content material to replicate this imaginative and prescient.

integrated marketing communications hubspot grow better

The message could also be quick, however the influence is large. Nevertheless and wherever prospects work together with HubSpot, its built-in advertising and marketing has ensured that they understand how HubSpot operates — and why they need to develop into a buyer.

Built-in Advertising Helps You Develop Higher

Built-in advertising and marketing turns your advertising and marketing campaigns into multi-channel actions. In at this time’s omnichannel world — with shoppers encountering your model on-line, on social media, and on their each day commutes — built-in advertising and marketing is extra essential than ever to seize new prospects and construct model recognition and loyalty.

Implement these steps and techniques to your subsequent built-in advertising and marketing marketing campaign, and it’ll certainly be successful.

Editor’s observe: This publish was initially revealed in October 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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