Integrated Marketing Strategies

Author:Texas Creative
4 Steps to Integrated Marketing Strategies

Have you ever seen a piece of creative and thought - where the heck did that come from? Was it totally off brand? Well, it’s time we talked about Integrated Marketing Strategies and why they are so important. 

An Integrated Marketing Strategy is defined by coordinating creative strategy and messaging across several tactics throughout a marketing plan. By creating a unified experience for consumers to interact with your brand, you are controlling and honing in on exactly what you want the consumer to take away from that interaction. Integrated Marketing strives to tie together all aspects of a marketing plan including TV, radio, print, digital, website, social media, public relations, direct marketing and more. A holistic, integrated approach increases the chances that your brand’s campaign will deliver greater results, including increasing brand awareness, consumer recall and purchase intent.

The Brand Storytelling Report 2015, commissioned by content marketing agency Headstream, revealed that 85% of the 2,000 adults surveyed couldn’t give an example of a memorable story told by a brand. This means that we not only have to work harder to get consumers’ attention and maintain it, but even more so to achieve consumer retention. By using a clear communications strategy to amplify your brand, and its message across several channels, you decrease the chance of getting lost in the daily clutter of messaging and increase the chance of having a memorable impact.

So, now that we know what an Integrated Marketing Strategy is, let’s dive into how we achieve one. Below are four basic steps to consider while formulating an integrated go-to-market approach.

  1. Understand Your Marketing Plan - Work with your media planning and buying team to understand every tactic that is included in the media plan. Get to know why there is a placement for your brand on each channel and exactly when and how consumers interact with the different tactics throughout their day. Also, be sure to garner an understanding of goals and how success will be measured at each level (this will help with step #4 further on).
  2. Define Creative Strategy - Using the information gathered in step #1, along with the campaign objective and the brand DNA that is established, put together a creative strategy that is a) concise, b) flexible enough for all tactics required in the plan and has legs to last through the duration of the campaign, and c) memorable.
  3. Implement Across Channels - Now that you have an established creative strategy, it’s time to tailor the message to each channel in the marketing plan to address goals for each tactic. This tactical approach will depend on the nature of the channel and consumers’ behavior while interacting with that media. For example, the way you communicate a message on Instagram is going to be drastically different from a radio spot and a direct mail piece. It’s important that a brand naturally fits into the space in order to resonate with consumers, while also staying true to its brand DNA and creative strategy.
  4. Review Performance and Optimize as Needed - An effectively managed marketing plan is not simply thrown out into the marketplace and left to fend for itself for the duration of the campaign. Make sure to review performance of both media tactics and creative messaging to see what is working well and what can be improved. Digital tactics like social media and online ads provide real-time metrics and insights into performance data that can then be applied to all tactics. Using this data, you can continue producing creative based on the work that is performing well. 

Take a look at how Texas Creative has employed Integrated Marketing Strategies for our clients: