We often discuss Integrated Marketing, and people might wonder what that actually means. To me, Integrated Marketing integrates several things:
- the brand and all the marketing tactics with each other
- the mission, vision, and foundation of the business with the marketing plan
- the goals of the business with those of the customers.
I recommend building an Integrated Marketing Program from the inside out. Like so many things in business, Integrated Marketing begins with the heart of the business – the mission statement, or the “why” you’re running the business in the first place. This makes sense because the heart of your business should also be the heart of your marketing. From there, we consider your vision – your long-term plans for the business, and the business strategy to reach those goals (which will include clarifying your product and service offerings, and defining your ideal customer). Then, the marketing strategy is developed to respond to the mission, vision, and business strategy. The marketing strategy will address topics such as the internal and external messaging, and short and long-term goals.
Once all this foundational work is understood, you’ll understand the business well enough to build a powerful brand. There are many articles on this blog addressing branding. This article might be a great place to start. The brand will serve as a shorthand to communicate the values and personality of the business, will incorporate many factors, and will be expressed in many ways, such as those described in How to Bring Your Brand to Life.
This core foundational work then informs the marketing tactics you’ll use for your business. There are hundreds of marketing tactics you could select to take your business to market. These might include your website, print materials, social media, events, advertisements, and webinars. Everything you do to bring your business to market reflects your organization’s mission, vision, strategy, and brand. In a solid integrated marketing plan, each tactic supports all others by communicating the same message, to the same audience, in the same voice.
We wrap the marketing tactics in analysis – both before implementing the selected tactics, to understand where and how we can best reach our customers, and ongoing throughout the campaign, to assess the success of various tactics. This leads to continuous improvement in marketing success.
Last but not least, at the heart of this model, together with our “why” is the customer. Everything we do addresses the customers and their needs and desires.
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