Have you ever asked yourself something like “Why in the world is ‘integrated marketing’ a good idea?” Considering you are reading this article, and barring that it is an accident that you’re here, my guess is you’ve had a thought like that. With many different marketing channels to pursue, learn, and bring together, integrated marketing can look like a daunting world to enter. But fear not! As you step into this brave, new realm, you will find these qualities useful no matter the marketing channel. Besides, uniformly sharing universal qualities across channels is itself an element of effective integrated marketing. Ready?
Confusion and lack of clarity quickly become the most common reasons why integrated marketing gets put on the back-burner. At best, the attempts made in the space are feeble or inconsistent. I occasionally struggle with B2B and B2C content blogging and social media work with Lynx, which usually looks like this: 1) I don’t know who is reading my blogs, and 2) I don’t always have a real connection to the material I cover in the blogs. And yet, here we are, in one of my blogs! So what can we do on the playground of integrated marketing in the face of these kind of roadblocks?
This isn’t just for blogs, it’s for every facet of integrated marketing. I finally get a chance to breathe in, and tell you how it is for me from inside our integrated marketing company. I cringe at the thought of what people “like me” have done for years – endless meetings, eternal research, extensive number-crunching, and trials-and-errors GALORE. However, being able to share how much this kind of work makes me cringe is starkly different than just me doing all the cringing, on my own, on my computer, in my home office, without letting you know. Being authentic gives me a chance to be a real human being with other real human beings (you!), in any avenue I choose. Sports are more popular than ever, in which matchups of athletes that have to “give their all” in the name of the game must perform authentically. Viral videos frequently display some authentic element of
Connect, Connect, Connect
This falls on the heels of authenticity. Sifting through data, research, analytics, and dozens of websites can certainly further the game of being knowledgeable, but don’t forget to take time out to connect with other human beings. It turns out that human beings are the only ones with a real interest in the results of your work (sorry, Fido!) so take time to connect with other people amidst your constant workload.
The constant grind, although productive, can leave you feeling pretty disconnected. To manage that, remember two sides of the issue:
- Remember that you have people on your team and in your corner. Connect with your people about your progress (or lack thereof), connect with family or friends about anything that is on your mind or in your way, connect with yourself about what has you want to do this kind of work anyway. It can be challenging – just connect with your peeps!
- Connect (authentically) with your market! Had a meeting not go the way you feel it should have? Great! Say something about your experience, and what you learned for next time. Don’t know what to write next in a blog? Write about that! Just reach out into your market – people you may end up forgetting are also your people – and connect.
Consider simply sending out a tweet or a Facebook post that is relevant to your brand, but might be unexpected or uplifting. Here’s an example:
“I’ve been doing all of my printing at the local Office Depot for years. If you’re in Boulder, reach out to Frieda in the Print Services department – she’s the best!” This is absolutely true, is original content, and would easily prompt likes from people who will ultimately need this kind of service – from another real human!
It is so easy to just read a “how-to” article and carbon copy nearly any piece of marketing collateral. There is no shortage of blogs, landing pages, white-hat SEO, and social media management blogs in the digital sphere, and you could simply follow the mechanical steps to produce original content, a uniform message, and the nuances of the effectiveness of each medium. Taking only this route, you will bore most people to death, if they even take note of you.
You have an original voice, which means you have an original way to share what matters to you and your brand, and engage in what matters to your customers. Find ways that are unique to your voice or your brand that are also engaging, insightful, and memorable.
- Want to be ironic? Great – just make sure you’re shooting for being memorable, not annoying.
- Want to use a barrage of puns (one of my personal favorites)? That can work, if you are demonstrating a novel way to think about your brand through wordplay.
- Want to be witty because you think it’ll get you more traffic? Stop. Check in with your team: is it entertaining? Does it register as meaningful in anyway?
- Want to make a cat video or jump on some other content bandwagon? Stop. Unless there’s something absolutely unique about the content, and it ties directly back to your brand, you are not offering anything of value to your viewers.
Embrace Your Nerdiness
As you delve more into integrated marketing information, you will start to look like an expert. Trust me – the shoe will fit, so wear it. You will continue to dive into more research, more facts, more insights, and you will become gradually more intrigued and knowledgeable about how to set yourself apart from your competition. You will also begin to be desirable for your integrated marketing knowledge (even if you’re an automotive company or a musician) so don’t let that slide. You can begin offering tips to gawkers, onlookers, and inquirers. You’ll be related to as cutting-edge, and a leader in your brand. Here are some critical statistics you can share immediately:
- From Business2community: 51% of marketers say they have yet to integrate marketing technologies beyond the most basic level. (Signal) This means that you are not alone in your confusion and uncertainty. This also puts you at an advantage the moment you begin to utilize new approaches and avenues to share your message.
- From Adpushup: Once you write 24-51 posts, your blog traffic jumps by up to 30%. Remember what I shared with you above about my own blogging? This is the stat that had me push on through and share all of this with you today. As the saying goes: “there’s still more East to go.”
- From HubSpot: As of 2013, lead management campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. (Gantner) Think of the ways you could expand your brand through added channels. You may already have the message – you owe it to yourself to get that message out uniformly in new channels.
What approaches have you already taken with your integrated marketing management? Let us know here some game-winning strategies, or even some brutal failures your attempts (or just attempts you’ve seen) have left you with.
Lynx | Digital Media Producers creates results-driven content and strategies to enhance your customer’s experience of your brand. Contact us today to partner our digital marketing strategies with your brand’s message.