11 Mar Is integrated marketing really that important?
In today’s world where everyone is focusing on social media, do we really need to integrate digital and traditional marketing to promote products effectively?
Digital technology has taken over the world; advertising, newspapers & magazines, social media, video, live streams etc. are all relevant and part of the way we live today, so is integrated marketing really that important?
The customer journey is no longer a straight forward A to B route.
As marketers we need to identify messages for each audience segment for each part of the journey they may take towards becoming a customer and thereafter. And, by only focussing on digital or traditional tools you are actively choosing not to communicate with some of your audience at a time when they’re looking to buy.
For a cohesive, successful, integrated marketing campaign a combination of both offline and online marketing communication tools are required to ensure you reach your audience wherever they are in their customer journey.
Understanding integrated marketing
A prospect may notice an advert in the paper they are reading whilst on the train following a passing comment a colleague made, they may then see an advert on social media or in their search engine returns list. From there they could read or visit a website for further information about the product or company. Next they could request a brochure or download a report to gather more information, followed up by asking for recommendations from colleges or offline/online networking groups they participate in. They may then be in a position to contact you directly for an appointment.
That is just a short scenario of the journey a prospect could make and of course the length of the journey will differ based on the value and impact of the product. Typically a low value product doesn’t have a huge customer journey however, a higher value product, or product that may impact the entire company eg. new sales system, will take longer, not only in terms of research and evaluation, but also in the buying process.
It is essential that your marketing is planned based on your target audience, where they hang out and use messages that will resonate with them at each stage of their buying journey.
The thing is, it’s not about online or offline, or digital or traditional, it’s about using the right tools and channels to reach and engage with your audience in the right place, at the right, time with the right message.