There is a lot to love about integrated marketing – not just for you, but also for your customers.

By using multiple touch points to paint the big picture for a brand, product or service that is consistent across channels and communications, it creates a synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To make your brand more memorable and recognisable in the minds of your target audience, an integrated marketing approach can increase the effectiveness of all your marketing activities.

So, what exactly is integrated marketing?

Integrated marketing involves tying together all the threads of marketing effort executed across different media and over time, into a coherent and complete tapestry that communicates a strong brand story or message.

Another way of putting it is that integrated marketing creates a unified and seamless way for a customer to experience and interact with a brand identity. This results in the brand’s message being consistent and synchronised across all channels – whether traditional, digital or otherwise.

Segmented marketing campaigns and strategies might involve using multiple different channels to convey brand messages, without a common goal and unified communications framework across those media, the brand message becomes fragmented. For example, a billboard ad or brochure might communicate a brand message which has little or no connection to brand messages delivered through another medium, such as email or digital display advertising, resulting in a lack of consistency and coherence for customers. At best this can be confusing for the identity of the brand, at worst it can erode brand trust.

Importantly: it just works

A 2017 report done by iab on Cross-Media Ad Effectiveness Study finds that a media plan that includes digital executed simultaneously with traditional offline media consistently drives greater lift than traditional offline media alone. The study found an uplift in consumer brand consideration and search by 50% and 56% respectively from an integrated Desktop + Print Ad campaign for a launch of a new model by a major auto brand in the US.

The same study also found digital media executed simultaneously with Radio and TV drove positive brand perception and intent to shop in the store for a major US retailer. The retailer supported a key shopping season with a Digital, TV and Radio campaign and found that no media executed alone drove significant or comparable brand lift. The combination of Digital, TV and Radio was the primary driver of Purchase Intent and Brand Perception.

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That is important. How do I go about it?

“…The combination of Digital, TV and Radio was the primary driver of Purchase Intent and Brand Perception.”

Source: iab (2017) Cross-Media Ad Effectiveness Study

Integrated marketing puts a strong focus on strategy and creative ideas, but is media-agnostic in execution and multi-touch in market. Your big idea could take one or more forms in traditional media, such as print, TV or radio plus be complemented by online paid advertising, social media or earned media and content marketing. Crucially, integrated marketing aims to close the loop, using cross media reporting and analysis to allow you to repeat and refine successes as well as respond to areas where performance isn’t meeting expectation.

To create consistency across multiple channels, customer data may need to be centralised and any divisions between different marketing departments may also need tackling to improve communication, collaboration and set common goals. This can help to avoid situations where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Because integrated marketing creates multiple paths to a singular destination, with multiple planned impressions along each path, it’s essential to first define what the destination is and then ensure that messages conveyed across every marketing channel are contributing to a coherent brand experience and bolstering the underlying promise of the campaign.

Why all the fuss about integrated marketing?

Integrated marketing creates a big impact, because by helping to control and optimise campaign and brand messaging across multiple communications platforms audiences now consume media through so many different channels. An integrated approach is crucial because it connects and multiplies the effectiveness of all the impressions. Keeping true to the strategy, messaging can be crafted and optimised for different channels, taking into account audience and context around each medium and utilising personalisation where practical.

“The study found an uplift in consumer brand consideration and search by 50% and 56% respectively from an integrated Desktop + Print Ad campaign.”

Jo Edwards
Creative Director

Gone are the days that brands only had one or two communication channels to consider. Now, brands must find a way to maintain a consistent identity across multiple mediums, and a number of platforms within those mediums. Of course, different mediums need to be utilised differently – how you might express yourself on Twitter is not likely how you’d express yourself on the radio – and that simply comes down to the opportunities presented by each medium.

When it comes to any marketing, metrics are essential. Tracking activity across media and measuring ROI through analytics tools enables you to refine and improve your campaigns for greater impact. As technology progresses, we may find ourselves having to manage more and more mediums. Fortunately, the ability to automate, track activity and optimise has also increased.

 Four tips for a successful integrated marketing campaign

  1. Create comprehensive customer personas for your target audiences. Also important here is to ensure these are updated as new data comes in, and that there is consistency of data across all departments and channels.
  2. Work with partners with both a strong capability in creative ideas and the ability to strategise and execute across different media.
  3. Facilitate great communication between your business units and marketing teams to ensure consistency across the board in marketing campaigns.
  4. Measure the results of campaigns through analytics tools so that improvements can be made next time round.

How a solid integrated marketing strategy could be crucial to your brand’s success

Integrated marketing helps leverage the opportunities in today’s high intensity media environment, crafting campaigns with consistent messaging and amplified impact. The growth of media platforms provides opportunity to connect with potential customers in a way that is consistent, authentic, and honest. But, while customers are interacting with your brand everywhere, from ads in their cars and on the train to flicking through Tweets, Pins, and posts, customers today also increasingly media savvy and have high standards. They also won’t stand for untrustworthy brands or inconsistent messaging – they crave consistency with each and every interaction. It’s time to move past a segmented approach.

Put more method into your marketing. Contact The Walk Agency today to discover how we can grow your brand through an integrated marketing strategy.