We’ve watched clients from small businesses to large enterprises struggle with integrated marketing. Why? Marketing silos. Silos are great for farms or assembly lines, not so great for high-performance marketing. In this article we’ll dive into how to break down your marketing silos with a kick ass integrated marketing program.
What are Marketing Silos?
You’ve likely been a part of a company or agency with specialty marketing departments. The digital marketing data nerds in one corner, public relations networkers in another, designers on their own artsy planet, and so on. This type of marketing silo structure is great for keeping workloads organized and tasks funneled appropriately. Unfortunately, this structure leads to less collaboration on marketing initiatives, less sharing of marketing data, and most importantly, less impactful marketing for the company or agency. Yikes, right? So how do we break down these marketing silos? The answer: Integrated Marketing.
What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is a holistic and streamlined approach for a marketing program. Rather than compartmentalizing teams based on specialities, the marketing teams work together and in tandem to target the right audiences at the right time in the buyer’s journey across all relevant marketing channels. The result is a seamless user experience and a higher converting audience.
3 Reasons Why Integrated Marketing is More Effective
- Audience: Ever heard the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?” This isn’t more true than when talking about integrated marketing. When marketing teams work together to form a cohesive, cross-channel strategy, the quantity and quality of audience targeting becomes exponential.
- Messaging: There’s nothing more cringeworthy than seeing misaligned ad campaigns. When you navigate from a website and later see an ad for that same brand or product on Instagram, you’d expect that messaging to be consistent, right? Pretty basic marketing 101 techniques. So why wouldn’t you also expect consistent messaging from a TV, radio, and newspaper ad from the same brand? Integrated marketing helps teams align on one cohesive message across all channels. This not only saves brands embarrassment, it builds brand trust with consumers.
- Full Funnel: Not all channels are created equal. Depending on your target audience, various channels serve unique purposes to drive a consumer closer to the end goal. With an integrated marketing approach, each marketing team is forced to think beyond their specialty and better understand the audience’s journey across all channels and touch points, from top to bottom.
How to Build an Integrated Marketing Strategy
State Your Goal and Supporting Metrics
Before you begin any marketing program, the first step is to always state your goal and the metrics that will measure your achievement of that goal. With a full-funnel approach, the end goal will be to drive some sort of measurable action, but don’t forget about supporting metrics that help measure how well your entire marketing team is trending towards the target goal.
Goal: Drive $2M in Revenue
Supporting Metrics: $3 ROAS from Paid Media, 100k Sessions from Organic Traffic, 7% CTR from Organic Social, 3M Website Visits from TV/Radio Spots w/i Target DMAs
Define Your Audience and Map the Entire Buyer’s Journey
Once your team aligns on target goals and supporting metrics, it’s time to dig into who it is you actually need to reach to achieve your goal. This includes standard demo information like age, geo, gender, income, interests, etc. Pretty basic but important stuff. The real value in this step is mapping where this target audience exists across the entire digital and traditional media landscape.
- Where does your target audience exist across paid, owned and earned digital channels?
- Which stage of the buyer’s journey are they in while on each channel?
- How does your target audience use these specific channels to consume information?
- What type of messaging will they expect on each channel?
- Which actions make the most sense to engage your target audience within each channel?
- How can each channel be leveraged collectively to engage and re-engage your target audience?
Develop a Cohesive Message and Repurpose
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Don’t worry, vegans. By “cat” we mean a clear, concise message. The beauty of integrated marketing is the overarching message for a marketing initiative is defined by the entire team up front. Messaging isn’t just plopped on the creative team to figure out. Each team member has input on the What, Why, When, Where and How to connect, engage and convert the target audience.
With collaborative message development, each team member has buy-in on purpose and direction. This makes it easy for digital, traditional and creative wizards to adapt and repurpose the message to best suit each defined channel as needed. So whether it’s a display ad or a TV spot or a Spotify snippet, each piece of content across each channel aligns with the message to best engage the target audience. And, no cats will be harmed in the making of the message.
Measure Results, Often
Be sure your team sets consistent check-ins to evaluate performance. The key here is to communicate and share holistic data, often. Don’t wait until the end of a marketing initiative to regroup as a team and evaluate each other’s performance. By this point, all opportunities to pivot and adjust tactics based on data insights are lost. Set recurring meetings with the whole team at the start of every marketing initiative, know which platforms are your source of data truth, and come ready to evaluate, collaborate and kick ass.
Most marketing programs are much less effective than they could be. This isn’t because the people managing these campaigns aren’t intelligent and talented. Quite the opposite. They are being held back by an outdated model of marketing that places people and teams in silos based on their specific marketing disciplines.
This model just doesn’t work in 2020. Our audience expects more from us. They expect brands to provide them with timely and relevant information based on their unique needs at that moment. They also expect this regardless of what channel they are viewing your message on. The good news is that integrated marketing provides a way to fulfill these needs and create a profitable long lasting relationship with your audience. We’ve outlined some tried-and-true approaches above. Now let’s go create some awesome marketing strategies!