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What is an integrated marketing strategy?

  
  
  
  
integrated vs segregated marketing strategy - image

It is important to understand what an Integrated Marketing Strategy is before you get started with one. As you review the image above you will see the word "Integrated" is a well structured and organized word that is easy to read and understand. Each letter is integrated with the other to create the better good of all and make the word legible. On the other-hand you can see the word "segregated" is a mix-match of many fonts, colors, sizes, baselines. If you were even able to read the word or if your eye completely ignored this mess as a word, this is a good example of the difference between and integrated marketing approach and a segregated approach. If the message is unorganized, unstructured and unplanned, then it becomes overlooked and unread or uncommunicated.

Basically we defined each word individually below. This should help give a general idea of what each word means and why we put them together in the first place.

Integrated:
to bring separate parts together, combine or incorporate into a whole for the better good of all. Combining or coordinating separate elements to provide/create a harmonious interrelated whole. Organization of units to function cooperatively.

Marketing:
the act of promoting and selling in a marketplace. The process of creating, communicating, delivering offerings that have value for customers/clients. It is the tactics used to promote and start the sales process by generating leads through market research, strategy development, sales techniques, business communications and business development. Marketing is used to find and define the target customer, satisfy the customer, and keep the customer by building brand awareness and brand loyalty through business communications. This can include advertising, direct mail, trade shows, websites and social media promotions.

Strategy:
refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or result. Strategy is the "how to" list that outlines all the tactics needed and the order of each task to be accomplished over a defined time period.

Now when you put all these things together you can see how this could make a much more effective marketing campaign. You are using your direct mail, email campaigns, cold-calling and other promotions to reach the end goal you have created. This is the integrated part. I'm sure you have seen businesses who hire a web designer to do their site and a graphic designer to do their brochure and leave their ads to whatever company sells them the ad placement (yellow pages are notorious for this). The two look of all these marketing items are completely different and are not communicating the same message. Maybe this should be called a segregated marketing approach since each piece is focused only on it's own goals similar to the image above and the "segregated" word.

The strategic part of this group is focused on making a plan, organizing things and creating a timeline to deliver specific marketing items for a purpose or reason. This is a proactive approach to marketing instead of a reactive approach. You have probably seen companies that find out about a local trade show and sign up and slap together a quick hodgepodge of things to make a show that is two weeks away. In the end this ends up looking shoddy and amateure. This is the case with most knee-jerk reactive marketing. In the image above, the reason the word "Integrated" works is because we have been trained on how to write a word to communicate meaning to the reader. We took our education of how to spell and write and made this arrangement of letters mean something.

Sales are down so we got to do something right? Yes, step back and make a game plan, develop a strategy, define your target market, figure out where your customers are and communicate with them on the levels that they need communications. An example is using the yellow pages to reach a young audience to sell them cell phones or car stereos or shoes. The yellow pages are dead to the under 30's crowd. As a matter of fact the 20 somethings probably have never used the yellow pages to purchase something. Are the yellow pages a good place for plumbers trying to reach the 40+ crowd? Probably so. This is why you must know your audience and speak in a way that they can understand and want to be communicated to.

The point here is using an integrated marketing strategy is something that is not only effective at reaching your results, it is also more cost effective since there is less money wasted. It also allows you to start setting an annual marketing budget which will also help with other areas of business management.

If you need help setting up an integrated marketing strategy, feel free to give us a call 817-244-0990.

 

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Posted by: Dale Berkebile

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