If you own a company that makes and sells a product, you’ll need to do some marketing in order to maximize sales. You’ll also need to market your company if you provide a service, and integrated marketing is an effective method. Integrated marketing uses a number of techniques to get your company name noticed and to attract more business.
Instead of using a single marketing strategy, you’ll need to use a number of tools to reach a much larger audience. If you target more people, you’re likely to increase your customer base. Having a seamless and consistent marketing strategy is a proven way to boost the profile of both small and large businesses.
How Does Integrated Marketing Work?
To target more people, you need to advertise in more places and advertising can be expensive. Using more than one method to sell your products and services will maximize the returns from your advertising budget. Communication is very important with any marketing strategy but even more so with integrated marketing. It’s essential to communicate with your customers, past and present, as well as looking after any potential new business.
There are three main types of marketing used by companies and they all have some benefits. Mass marketing, direct marketing, and one-to-one marketing can all be used to target potential new business. Let’s take a look at the three main types of marketing to see how they differ and what benefits they could have for your business.
Mass marketing in one of the most successful ways to advertise goods, products and services. A mass marketing campaign will target as many people as possible in the hope of reaching more potential customers. There are various ways that companies use mass marketing to get their name noticed. Adverts in the press, billboards and TV commercials are all good examples of mass marketing.
The net is now one of the most valuable tools used by advertising firms. Advertising online and using social media have the potential to reach more people. Potential customers will see adverts when web browsing, gaming or when chatting on social media.
Direct marketing involves a company targeting people directly, using a variety of methods. Cell phone messages, letters, emails and catalogs through the door are all examples of direct marketing. In recent years, direct marketing has come under some scrutiny and US citizens now have the right to opt out. People complained that companies were harassing them with constant messages, phone calls and junk mail.
Although direct marketing may not be the best way to advertise your products or services, it does work. When used in conjunction with other methods in an integrated marketing campaign, it can be very successful. One of the main benefits of direct marketing is that it’s easily measured. Responses to direct marketing can be quickly recorded to assess whether the campaign has worked.
One-to-one marketing has been successful for many years and before the internet it involved a salesperson speaking directly with a customer. The salesperson may have visited a potential customer or spoken on the telephone about products and services. The internet has made direct marketing much easier and companies now collect data in order to ascertain what customers want. Having this data allows them to target specific customers in order to sell a product or service.
There has been some controversy surrounding one-to-one marketing; people are uneasy about companies collecting their personal data. Browsing history is also collected and analyzed, which many are unhappy about. As with direct marketing, when a one-to-one approach is used with other methods, it has the potential to attract new business.
Who Needs to Use Integrated Marketing?
Any type of business can benefit from integrated marketing and every company should consider it sooner rather than later. Your competitors may already be running integrated marketing campaigns; you don’t want to be left behind. If you sell a product in stores, or directly to customers, there are a number of things the customer will want to know. Price, quality, and effectiveness are important and the customer will need to be convinced why they should buy your product.
You’re able to use integrated marketing to answer all these questions and more, which helps to increase sales. If a potential customer has all of the details at hand, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Companies within the service industry use various promotional tools to get their name noticed in the marketplace. The service industry is highly competitive. To succeed, you have to be the best and you need to advertise.
Marketing a service is a little different to promoting goods, and a different approach is needed. When companies in the service industry use integrated marketing, there's a lot of data to look through and organize. Companies will look at trends on social media and collect information about potential customers. Analyzing this data allows specific targeting, which is more cost effective than cold calling.
Is Integrated Marketing Expensive?
All advertising is costly and integrated marketing is no different—so it’s important to manage what you spend. If you decide to use TV and other media, you’re going to pay a lot of money for a short commercial. Advertising in the press is a little cheaper and you have the choice to go local or national. Other costs involved include website design and management, marketing staff and phone calls.
These costs add up over the course of a year and need to be factored into your marketing budget. If you’ve increased turnover after using integrated marketing for a year, then it’s paid for itself. In many cases, you’ll need to invest and take a small loss before you reap the rewards of a marketing campaign.
5 Ways to Ensure Integrated Marketing is Successful
When you plan to spend money on integrated marketing, you’ll want every dollar to count. These 5 tips should help to improve your chances of increasing your customer base and turnover.
Do Your Research
Before you invest a large sum in integrated marketing, you should research your customers. Look at what customers want, how much they’re prepared to spend and what the potential sales figures could be. This will help you decide if the financial outlay is viable.
It’s also worth researching your competitors—look at their goods or services and see how they differ from yours. Checking out the competition gives you the chance to work out if you need to improve in any areas to stay in the game. This research can be invaluable when you’re working out your marketing budget.
Talk to Your Employees
When you start marketing your company, it’s important that everyone knows what the goals are. Every employee needs to be informed of the aims of the campaign, so they can work as a team. Involving employees can also increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
When your integrated marketing campaign is up and running, you should monitor things carefully on a daily basis. Look at the feedback you’re getting from people and check out the number of hits on your website. Checking these figures allows you to modify things if certain areas of the campaign are not working. If a section of your marketing campaign isn’t popular, don’t be afraid to change things.
A strategy that works for one service or product may not work for another. One of the benefits of integrated marketing is that it’s flexible.
Invest in Design
First impressions are important. If you plan to use a website for marketing, it needs to look good. The website should contain the information that customers need, without any unnecessary sales blurb. Pictures and graphics need to be of the highest quality to engage potential customers.
The website should be easy to navigate so that customers can browse with ease. If the website is too complex, you’ll find that people will leave and may not return. Any website for a company should always include a contact link so that people can get in touch. Any packaging, brochures or signs that you use should be attractive and appealing to the eye. Customers often buy with their eyes and something that’s aesthetically pleasing is always going to attract people.
Stick to Your Budget
When you’ve calculated your marketing budget for the year, it’s important that you stick to it. If you need to keep spending more on integrated marketing, there is probably something wrong that needs looking at. The whole point of marketing is to create revenue and not lose money over the course of the year.
Now that you’re better informed about integrated marketing, you’re able to decide whether it’s right for your company. You have more knowledge of how this type of marketing works and many of the benefits are clear. If you decide to go ahead and try integrated marketing, we recommend that you seek professional advice. Speak to marketing executives who are experienced in all types of advertising. This will ensure that you get the best possible results from integrated marketing.