An integrated marketing strategy can be a crucial part of creating brand awareness and building consumer trust. It’s a way of connecting with a consumer on a subconscious level, by making a company’s appearance, content, and tone instantly recognizable. This is essential for both continued sales, as well as when a company wants to launch a new product. Through integrated marketing, brands have the ability to create ongoing relationships with consumers while increasing market share.
Typically, consumers don’t want to do business with faceless corporations. Instead, they want to work with companies whose values align with their own. Integrated marketing is a way to establish those values and build rapport. With proper key performance indicators (KPIs), standardized designs, accurate platform targeting, appropriate content tone, and regular evaluations, brands can create and manage an integrated marketing campaign that makes an impact.
5 Successful Integrated Marketing Strategy Steps
Step #1: Establish KPIs
KPIs must be established early on to determine the success of an integrated marketing strategy. KPIs are particularly critical for integrated marketing because all marketing material is aligned to deliver one overall message. If that message doesn’t resonate, the campaign will fail on multiple levels. There are two categories of KPIs that are crucial for tracking the effectiveness of a campaign.
The first is the KPIs for the overall campaign. In this area, brands would want to look at metrics such as the cost for impressions of advertising messages, conversion rates, and overall impressions per campaign to determine if consumers are viewing and enjoying advertising content.
The next category is the content level KPIs. Here, brands would want to look at metrics like page views per article, video, or image as well as overall engagement through comments and shares. This shows a brand what types of content are most popular among their target audiences, allowing them to build campaigns around their most influential pieces.
Step #2: Standardize the Design
The design speaks to the overall aesthetic of a campaign. It’s a way to make a brand instantly recognizable even before the consumer views the content. Some things to think about in design standardization include:
- Logos: Logos should appear consistently across all branded content. Placement should be unobtrusive to not distract from the message, while still prominent enough to be memorable.
- Colors: Brands should select a color scheme that complements the existing line of products and use it consistently across all platforms.
- Layouts: While brands should not have the same design for their content every time, it is vital to create a consistent overall user experience. As such, using the same elements in content and organizing the elements in a standard way helps to build unity to align content to the brand.
Content which is standardized according to preset brand aesthetics helps to establish it as more authoritative while also improving consumer brand awareness. Regardless of where the consumer shops—online or in-store—the brand can provide a consistent experience.
Step #3: Create a Content Tone
The tone of content within a marketing strategy is as important as its appearance. Brands need to establish a common “personality” for the message that resonates with consumers. Red Bull is a prime example of a brand with a consistent presence across online platforms. The brand makes use of a high-energy, inspirational tone when sharing content, whether that content is text, audio, or video.
This strategy helps align the brand with its target market of busy professionals, athletes, and other on-the-go individuals. Rather than marketing the beverage, through their tone, Red Bull markets a message of success and achievement. This makes their products ones which can be viewed through that same lens—as tools to help individuals succeed and achieve.
Step #4: Target Proper Platforms
Brands using an integrated marketing strategy typically need to focus on a few key platforms to reach the right audiences. Becoming too segmented, and focusing on too many platforms, could cause the message to become disjointed, resulting in a poor marketing ROI. Brands should select a platform which supports the overall tone and style of their marketing messages. Common options include:
- Social media: Maintaining the presence of any major brand on a single social media platform is a full-time job. Brands should focus on the platforms where their key demographics congregate, rather than trying to balance their presence across all popular platforms.
- Video: Video streaming platforms have essentially become the new television. As more consumers cut the cord to cable services, an established presence on these platforms will be critical for brands.
- Shopping apps: Shopping apps, like Shopkick, allow brands to connect with consumers as they’re in the shopping aisle. These can be particularly strong tools for CPG brands as shopping apps are used by the purchase decision maker in a household.
- Branded apps: Just about every major brand offers a branded app. Shopping apps are excellent for maintaining relationships with ongoing customers, as it’s typically the most loyal customers who download branded apps.
- Third-party websites: Third-party websites, like popular news sites and entertainment pages, offer opportunities for sidebar advertising as well as pre-roll video ads.
It’s not about the quantity of platforms that marketers use in an integrated marketing strategy, it’s about the quality. By focusing on a few key platforms, brands can consolidate their efforts and keep the message consistent.
Step #5: Evaluate the Results
An integrated marketing strategy is less of a step-by-step process and more of an ongoing cycle. Brands need to consistently measure the effects of campaigns to ensure they’re always receiving the best ROI. When the results start to wane, the evaluation will tell the brand it’s time to take their marketing strategy in a new direction.
A strong integrated marketing strategy can help a brand gain customer awareness in the crowded CPG market.
A strong integrated marketing strategy can help a brand gain customer awareness in the crowded CPG market. By creating a consistent, enjoyable presence, brands establish authority in their niche and build customer trust. This trust can lead to sales, which is needed for CPG brands that wish to expand their market share.
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