Integrated marketing is a buzz phrase that gets tossed around a lot, but what does it actually mean? True creative marketing ideas rely on cohesion to work. If you come up with a fabulous tagline sure to go viral on Facebook then switch gears with your blog posts or ads, your campaign splinters badly.
The goal for most projects is to hit as many customer touch points and marketing channels as possible. Consistency in those efforts through integration gives birth to brand evolution and audience participation.
Integration Done Right
Let’s look at a couple examples of companies that got integrated marketing right.
“Love that Chicken from Popeyes”
The Louisiana king of chicken found a way to tie it all together using a taste test they did against a certain market stealing brand favorite. The company built ads, discount programs and even a microsite around this one theme. They beat out the big boys in a taste test and used integrated marketing to tell the world about it.
“The Crunch is Calling”
Kraft Foods made integrated gold with a video campaign that features Wheat Thins and the consumers who eat them. They published some memorable videos and national commercials around this tagline. The combination of social-driven media with national TV exposure worked to help the brand evolve.
“Huddle to Fight Hunger”
Kraft scored again with their Huddle to Fight Hunger campaign that integrated consumer incentives, cinema ads, mobile activities, store displays and dedicated social media sites to their campaign to donate 20 million meals for hunger relief.
How to Make Your Own Connections
You know what it is and you’ve seen it in action, so now how are you going to make integrated marketing work for your clients? Here are some tips:
- Create a consistent image – Just in case you have not caught on, integrated means connecting the dots for your audience. You can do that by displaying the same brand image on every channel, whether it’s online, offline or social media.
- Maintain that consistency with your message – You can change up the format and even play with the wording a bit, but the core message should be the same with every marketing effort.
- Connect different campaigns – Kraft used this approach with the Wheat Thins promotion. They incorporated the video concept and the tagline into different flavors of Wheat Thins. This interconnectivity managed to enhance the overall brand while still highlighting the individual product.
- Don’t lose sight of the basic rules – In your quest to create an integrated plan, don’t forget who your target audience is and how to engage them.
- Make it a marathon – Not a sprint. It takes some patience, but an effective strategy can last through multiple campaigns if done well.
Without integration, your marketing efforts can easily become chaotic and splintered. When is the last time a splinter was a good thing?
Darla F spends her time writing and tackling artistic projects like painting. Her first novel was published in 2009 and she is working on a second and third, while still creating engaging content for her clients.