Madhuri Keta

Madhuri Keta

MarketingSocial Media

Why Brands Need Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing_Blog banner_Artboard 1 copy 8

Today, customers are channel agnostic, the marketing environment is over-saturated, and competition is fierce. There are a variety of communication channels to choose from – digital platforms, mobile apps, radio, print, etc. So, if you want to have the largest piece of the pie called customer base and develop a truly effective brand, you will need Integrated Marketing.

What is Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing (IM) is defined as a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting specific audiences through effective coordination of all aspects of marketing viz., paid media, earned media, and owned media.

Integrated Marketing (IM) helps achieve consistent brand messaging to present a unified and seamless experience across a multitude of channels and various stages of customer lifecycle.

According to a 2014 study, more than 70% of consumers use three or more channels when doing the pre-purchase research for a product or service. It is clear that users no longer rely on a single channel to learn about a product or follow a defined path through the sales funnel. So, it is all the more important to develop an integrated approach as the foundation of any marketing strategy.

Who employs IM Anyway

To put it simply, the smart ones do. Strategic integration of a brand’s marketing efforts is not only a super smart move, but also an immensely critical component in maximizing the ROI using marketing materials.

Why your brand needs Integrated Marketing

Irrespective of your industry, business size, and geographical location, Integrated Marketing is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. The trick is in identifying the Goldilocks of the various channels and content mediums. When done right, IM can have a strong and positive impact on your brand presence and business.

According to AdReaction: The Art of Integration, well integrated and customized ad campaigns are known to boost effectiveness by 57%. This data is based on extensive research across 45 countries, multi-channel copy testing of 12 campaigns, and thorough analysis of Kantar Millward Brown databases.

According to the AdReaction survey, while 89% of marketers believe their marketing campaign strategies to be integrated, only 58% of consumers agree. The research further found that integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands, even without customization.

Integrated Marketing and its Impact in an Expanding Digital World

When it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ isn’t really the right philosophy to follow. Outdated and disjointed marketing strategies that worked in the past may not get promising results today. So, even if the strategies don’t ‘seem’ to have a problem on the face of it, replacing them with more time-relevant and technology-enabled integrated marketing strategies is the right thing to do. Here’s how such solutions can bring about a positive and sustainable impact on your business:

Enhances Brand Visibility

Drawing the attention of your potential customers to your brand is usually the first step in most marketing campaigns. If they don’t notice you, you don’t exist for them. That makes Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising the most effective ways to increase visibility among consumers. Integrated Marketing solutions can highlight key messages and owned assets of your brand, and help you build rapport with consumers quickly.

Builds Trust

Industry experts opine that ‘trust’ is the holy grail of all marketing strategies. In this age of trolls and memes, customers will rip brands apart at the slightest hint of a mistake. For instance, Indian actor Shraddha Kapoor was recently trolled for endorsing green tea for weight loss after she posted a ‘body positivity’ photograph of Marilyn Monroe. By efficiently integrating your brand message across all channels and maintaining consistency, you are more likely to build a higher level of trust among your target audience.

Pro Tip: If customers trust you, chances are they will buy from you.

Maintains Consistent Messaging for Stronger Branding

At the heart of every multi-channel marketing effort is a clear messaging tactic and cohesive strategy. Who knows where your customer is going to encounter your brand? You need to be prepared with a plan of attack for each channel, and an interesting and consistent brand story to minimize the time your potential customers need to become familiar with your brand. There, we just gave away the secret recipe to a successful IM strategy.

Boosts Cost Saving

Creating content, be it text or graphic, involves considerable expenses because there is a whole team of writers, editors, designers, proofreaders, developers, and managers involved in the process. However, when you integrate your campaigns across multiple channels, you successfully eliminate unnecessary duplication. That way you also cut costs that might be incurred due to disjointed and confusing campaigns. And that also means you earn a better ROI.

Makes Integrated Marketing Effective and Efficient

Integrating your campaigns across a range of channels helps you communicate consistently and reinforce your key message to a larger audience. There is minimal to no confusion in the message, and the uniformity in your image improves trust and awareness. For example, as per Gartner research survey, lead management campaigns that integrated four or more channels outperform single-channel campaigns by around 300%. Besides, IM helps you streamline your process and manage time, resources, and costs more efficiently.

British multinational market research firm, Kantar Millward Brown, strongly propagates the use of integrated marketing and says when you want consumers to remember your brand, “the more cues used, the better.” The firm further said in a statement, “A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.” Kantar Millward Brown also noted that campaigns with a strong central idea performed 64% better across all brand KPIs, especially brand image associations at 91%. The report concluded that such an idea acts as “connective tissue” across all content.

Brands that Got their Integrated Marketing Strategy Right

Coca-Cola Life: Digital Screen+Billboards+Social+Point of Sale

Coca-Cola is a brand that is often renowned for their marketing efforts. When they launched a campaign for the new Coca-Cola Life drink, they further demonstrated their innovative style by employing a range of inter-connected communication channels, from digital screen solutions, to billboards, Point of Sale advertising, and social media

Porsche: Events + Influencers + Social + Video + Radio

Porsche followed a multi-channel approach to change the perception that they manufactured expensive sports car that very few could afford. The central idea was clear – change the mindset of people. The brand used pop-up events, mobile-friendly content, influencers, social media, video, and radio to create urgency, trigger content sharing, and build momentum. Content was delivered to affluent customer smartphones through geo-targeting to generate awareness.

Red Bull: Extreme Sports Ownership + Events

Red Bull is almost always associated with high adrenaline adventure and sports. The tagline “Red Bull gives you wings” has been extensively promoted through endorsements, sponsorships, web, social, TV, etc. But the energy drink brand went one step further with a live event that the media called ‘edge of the space’ jump.

The Red Bull Stratos with Austrian Skydiver Felix Baumgartner is probably Red Bull’s most powerful marketing to date. In this live event, Felix flew into the atmosphere of New York, US, and made a space dive from an exit altitude of approximately 39 kilometers. The space jump video is extremely popular and drives home the point that Red Bull indeed gives you wings.

To sum it up, well-planned and efficiently executed integrated campaigns help you create a unified marketing strategy that delivers incredible benefits. Integrated marketing boosts sales and profits besides sharpening your competitive edge and improving brand loyalty. So, are you convinced yet? If not, reach out to us and we’ll tell you more.

Digital MarketingMarketing

Marketing Mega Trends in 2018

PL Blog- Marketing Megatrends in 2018-01

As 2018 begins after a much deserved holiday downtime, there’s this curiosity to know what possibilities, challenges, and opportunities the year holds for the marketing industry. Here’s a look at the marketing mega trends in 2018 that we believe are here to redefine the space for good.

marketing trends

According to a research conducted by The Economist Group, 79% of users prefer to buy from a company that functions with a social purpose. The same research showed that 83% of junior staff prefers to work for an organization that operates for a social purpose.

Purpose-driven brands such as 3M, Google, and Chobani have proven that the best way to make money is by putting ‘purpose before profit’ and supporting the interests of all stakeholders. To be successful and sustain that success, it is imperative to have a ‘brand purpose’ because it reveals the ‘why’ of your business and tells your customers what makes you unique.

If your brand purpose makes a positive impact, people are more likely to buy your products or services. For instance, Starbucks has been striving towards 100% ethically sourced coffee and participating in community service besides launching a climate change strategy.

If your brand purpose is honest and resonates with the customers, you could well be their hero! For example, Heineken’s ‘Moderate Drinkers Wanted’ marketing campaign deals with some serious issues related to alcohol consumption and prods both the consumers and the industry to promote ‘responsible drinking’.

marketing techniques

Traditional advertising is dying a certain death. The proof? Over 600 million consumers worldwide are using ad-blocking technology today. Consumers today want something better than the ‘one-way’ communication of advertising.

‘Context’ is slowly but surely replacing advertising. Tesla spent as little as $6 per car in advertising, less than 1/190th of the ad cost of its closest competitor, and outsold them by three times. While Mercedes Benz was busy persuading the world to buy their cars, Tesla was having a direct conversation with its consumers about living fossil-fuel free.

Similarly, short-term rental site Airbnb sent its messages to Craiglist users looking for a room and solved the problems of its users in a timely manner and in a way acceptable to them. The engagement was honest, native, personal, and purposeful. To put things in a perspective, Airbnb’s target is to book over 100 million stays in 2017 within an ad budget of $23.5 million, while Hilton Hotels is looking to book over 140 million stays on an advertising spend of $188 million.

marketing automation

According to 2016 ‘State of Marketing — Salesforce Research’, the best-in-class marketing organizations deploy as many as 14 tools on an average. The report also found that a cohesive customer experience is possible only through integration and automation across tens of data sets, channels, and applications. The new era of marketing requires us to focus on automations across such hyper-connected networks.

The future of marketing is not about messages; it’s about creating contextual experiences. Given the variances in data structure, tools, and workflows in the industry today, only an Automation 2.0 framework can support this future.

According to Digital Ocean, 85% of high-performing teams implementing loT-based marketing, rate their results as ‘effective to very-effective’ at helping them create cohesive customer journey (Source: LinkedIn).

public relations

Publishers no longer control the narrative of propaganda and PR today. Instead, a collective engagement of both the publisher and the consumer makes for a powerful and engaging narrative setting. Users today have as much content generation ability as the brands they interact with, thanks to the multitude of apps, technology, and tools at their disposal.

The power of ‘participation’ was evident by the 2016 US presidential election. When searching for ‘Election Results’ users were directed to a fake news story that stated that Donald Trump had won the popular vote. With over 325 backlinks, 45,000 shares on Facebook, and hundreds of comments, this article beat CNN hands down. Agree the fake news site was probably a bottom rung publication, yet it was able to change the narrative through ‘participatory propaganda’.

marketing management

According to a recent Myclever study, about 70% of consumers prefer engaging via a chatbot rather than an app. The study also revealed that consumers consider chatbots to be the fastest way to find answers to their queries. Forbes writer, Blake Morgan, believes chatbots are the future of ‘customer experience’ and have the power to replace search windows and many apps in the not-so-distant future.

The case in point is AdRoll that has been using chatbots to empower its sales development rep (SDR) team to increase the number of calls by 13%. What’s more, the SDR team now sets up almost 50% of all appointments via chatbot.

Marketing consultant and best-selling author, Jay Baer, has begun using a chatbot to communicate with his audience and has been seeing almost ten-fold increase in open rates and a five-fold increase in click-throughs.

customer insights

Chatbots are going to be an irresistible temptation for marketers in 2018. They are gaining customer insights, using AI to get smarter, learning to negotiate, and getting more affordable!

The Final Word

It is clear that marketing in 2018 is going to be hyper focused on purpose, context, participation, and technology. To succeed, business organizations must ensure that they are listening to their customers, and relating to them through relevant, timely, and engaging content.