The Basics of Integrated Marketing

Want to know the difference between branding and marketing? Branding is about making people feel something while marketing is about making people do something. Branding is the activation of your brand strategy. It connects emotionally with people’s hearts, and good design experiences can turn clients into fans. Marketing is all about making sure that people know about the brand and what it offers. In essence, marketing speaks to your mind, while branding speaks to your heart.

Having worked in marketing for over 20 years, especially in advertising, I’ve learned that if you want to market your brand, you need an integrated strategy to deliver a unified message across all marketing touchpoints. Lacking strategy can lead to audience confusion and disconnection with your brand. All aspects of campaigns need to work together to create synergistic value. Brand consistency alongside integrated marketing allows for better campaign performance and reduced costs as you can re-purpose the same creative across different channels.

When it comes to touchpoints, some companies are quick to consider campaigns with advertising tactics such as bold outdoor placements as seen on billboards or bus wraps. Not only are these placements expensive, they may not be effective. Drilling down to understand both business and marketing objectives helps inform a clear advertising and brand strategy and use of tactics. It answers the questions, “Why are we doing this?” and “What problem are we trying to solve?” Knowing who you want to reach as well as where and when your target audience consumes media is key. Creating fictional profiles or target audience personas from demographic and psychographic information also helps deliver the right brand messages to the right people at the right time.

Knowing when to go into the market is particularly important because there are periods when advertising saturation may impede campaign performance, such as late summer ‘Back to School’ ads. Mass media can be less expensive because of its broad reach, but it can also entail wasted distribution if you are attempting to reach a specific audience. Digital and social media have exceptional targeting capabilities, such as programmatic and re-targeting. Different purchasing models, such as PPC (Pay Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand), are also less expensive than other forms of traditional advertising.

Most customers would rather wait until they have more information about a product before purchasing it. Having an integrated strategic marketing and advertising approach will provide consumers with a coherent brand message and consistent look and feel across numerous marketing channels, creating greater brand recognition and loyalty.  

Tamara Clarke – Research and Consulting Manager