What in the World is Integrated Marketing?
It’s a Culture, Not a Technique
You’ve probably heard the term integrated marketing before. It’s an industry word that’s thrown around often, but rarely understood or properly implemented. Some people think it’s just theory, others only know it as a degree program, and marketing professionals see it as a technique that can be used when needed.
It is true, integrated marketing is a technique that emphasizes the coordination of marketing initiatives into a seamless strategy. The opposite of this concept would be working in silos.
For example, when the development team works independently from the marketing team, systems and solutions used to carry out marketing tasks can become overly complicated. Frustrated marketing managers can’t properly update web pages, or track and analyze critical data.
Or when designers work independently from copywriters, websites can end up being designed without a powerful message. As a result, conversion rates suffer and lead generation declines.
To prevent these and other problems caused by silos, organizations look to integrated marketing as a technique to promote cross-departmental support and collaboration, as well as improve basic marketing benchmarks, such as conversion rates, lead generation and ROI.
But integrated marketing is more than just a technique for improving the workplace or web analytics – it’s a business culture that supports the sales cycle by emphasizing consumer experience and engagement.
- Experience refers to the interactions that your prospective customer has with your brand. Your company culture should focus on improving that experience throughout the entire decision-making process, from the initial search moment to post-purchase evaluation. The consumer should have a seamless experience that promotes the buying decision.
- Engagement refers to the consumer’s level of interest in your messages. Your company culture should focus on creating targeted communications across multiple touch-points and media types. Listen to the consumer, communicate on their terms, and when you do – be sure to deliver a custom message that meets their unique needs.
When it comes to implementing marketing that works – and I mean marketing that properly supports the sales cycle in a way that effectively generates revenue – then we’ve got to do more than just implement a technique. We’ve got to influence company culture in a way that emphasizes customer experience and engagement – and we’ve got to do this across all departments, not just in marketing.