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Why the Integrated Marketing Campaign Is Still King

There’s no shortage of discussion these days about digital marketing vs. traditional advertising, typically along the lines of extolling the former and downplaying the later. There seems to be an either-or mentality when it comes to these two types of marketing. However, digital marketing and traditional advertising are not at odds with one another, and if you want to grow your brand or your business, an integrated marketing campaign is probably the shortest and surest path to success.

An integrated marketing campaign can be defined as one that presents a consistent message across a variety of platforms, traditional and digital, and leverages the unique strengths of each medium to create a more effective campaign. The idea itself may not be new, but in our world of increasingly fractured attention, the need to develop wholly integrated marketing campaigns has never been more important and apparent.

All Media Matters

Even among millennials—that highly sought-after, notoriously hard-to-reach demographic—traditional forms of advertising have an impact. According to Nielsen’s Millennials on Millennials report, 66% of millennials watch about 1.6 hours of traditional television each day. However a HubSpot report shows that millennials spend an average of 2.5 hours on social media each day. These studies offer two different opportunities to reach the same audience.

Add to that various market research that has tracked how different demographics are more accessible to marketing by phone, TV, email or radio at varying times of the day. The take away is that no matter who your audience is, you can’t count on any one channel to connect with them all of the time. That’s why it’s important to address as many of the right channels as possible, and to be consistent about it.

Working Together

Your integrated marketing campaign shouldn’t just be consistent across channels; the channels should build upon one another to guide your audience in and through the sales funnel. Examples might include a direct mail piece that also gives the URL for an individualized webpage, a television commercial that gets viewers to use a Twitter hashtag, or a bus stop poster that moves readers to follow a company on Facebook.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to QA everything (twice)! Is your slick-looking postcard referring the receiver to an outdated webpage, creating a messaging and stylistic mismatch? Is there Google Analytics tracking on that webpage?

Utilize Conversion Tracking

One of the big concerns we’ve heard when it comes to the traditional aspect of integrated marketing campaigns is being able to track the results. If that’s top-of-mind for your business, no worries! Here are tips on tracking direct mail and print advertising. (Many of these tips can be used for other forms of traditional advertising as well.)

Layering Your Message

While we just lauded the importance of consistency, that doesn’t mean that an integrated marketing campaign can’t be used to tailor messages for your key demographics as well.

Take for example an auto dealership that needs to market several different models to several different target audiences. Using traditional media such as outdoor billboards and television, they can create general messaging to help establish their overall brand identity and trustworthiness in the market. They could then make an extra push for sedans or luxury cars to older audiences through newspaper inserts and on broadcast radio, while pushing sports cars or coupes to younger audiences through Spotify or Facebook ads. All the while using the same, easily recognizable branding throughout.

All Together Now

When it comes to executing your integrated marketing campaign, one approach is to divvy up the work and hire out specialists in each field, whether for web design, paid ads, direct mail or video production. This gives you access to a lot of experts, but it can also increase costs and still lead to inconsistencies in the look and feel of the campaign. Not to mention some management headaches.

The other way to go is with an agency that has not just the capabilities but also the proven experience in creating and carrying out integrated marketing campaigns from the ground up. Because this involves a single knowledgeable partner who oversees all channels of the campaign for consistency and optimization, it tends to be a more economical and effective approach.

That’s why when we were faced with the digital vs. traditional dilemma years ago, we decided not to pick sides. Instead, we focused on developing in-house experts on both sides of the aisle, so to speak. This has allowed us to offer the best of both worlds, from clever billboards and direct mail pieces to effective paid ads campaigns and company blogs.

Want to learn more about getting your next integrated marketing campaign off the ground or improving your existing one? We can help with that. Contact St. Gregory for a consultation today.