Strategic integrated marketing is all about creating a seamless customer experience. A brand can improve both affinity and sales by ensuring they have a consistent presence on all platforms. Simple fixes like using logos and specific color schemes are part of this, as are high-tech options like mobile apps, data-based personalization, and rewards. Strategic integrated marketing gives a brand a personality, making it far more approachable to consumers.
Today’s consumers do not want to do business with big, faceless corporate conglomerates. That’s why many brands have turned to integrated marketing to humanize their product lines. Brands use cause-based marketing, consistent messages, and in-store mobile advertising to improve their relationship with consumers and ensure that they are positioned to grow in the years to come.
Humanizing a Brand With Integrated Marketing
A big part of humanizing a brand comes from integrated marketing. This customer-focused marketing strategy is a method for giving a brand a personality which is consistent across all platforms, including:
- Advertising: Advertising messages, like commercials, lay the groundwork for a brand’s personality. For example, a brand that has humorous ads should carry that humor across all channels consistently.
- Sales promotions: Discounts, deals, and events should be based around the branded personality. A brand known for high-end quality wouldn’t suddenly roll out a heavily discount focused event, as this would not be consistent with the brand’s existing persona.
- Public relations: Just like people, brands have values. Their public relations departments should release messages and promote causes that further those values.
- Direct marketing: Email messages and texts to consumers should use language, colors, and logos which are consistent with the brand’s identity.
- Social media: The brand should comment on and share content that aligns with its current marketing campaigns.
The key to humanizing a brand is keeping the branded message consistent. Brands should use a similar tone across all content, regardless of platform. Also, brands need to carry that consistent tone into the shopping aisle by connecting with consumers via mobile apps.
Using Integrated Marketing in the Shopping Aisle
Integrated marketing shouldn’t extend only to digital channels. It should also provide a consistent experience in the shopping aisle. Merging the digital and physical experience can be accomplished using mobile apps, which can offer:
- Location-based notifications: With location-based messaging, brands can reach out to consumers while they’re near their products in the shopping aisle. This location-based messaging allows brands to offer deals and events based on the consumer’s area, creating a targeted experience.
- Personalization: Mobile apps offer an additional opportunity to cater messages to consumers while they’re shopping. In addition to location, mobile apps can provide brands with information regarding a customer’s demographics, in-app usage, preferences, and behaviors. This information will allow brands to provide messages via mobile that align precisely with that customer’s desires as they are on the path to purchase.
- Rewards for engagement: Shopkick, for example, focuses on consumer engagement with products in the store, as this increases purchase likelihood. The consumer can receive rewards points for interacting with a product, which they can later redeem for gift cards. By incentivizing the interaction, the consumer engages with the brand and purchase potential increases.
All these methods are about bringing the digital experience into the physical world. This form of integrated marketing may be complicated for most brands to manage, as they must decide between creating a proprietary app or working with a third party, both of which have their drawbacks and benefits.
- Pros: With an in-house app, brands have more control over the content, allowing them to highlight only their products. They are also suitable for creating a consistent, branded experience using logos, brand colors, and messages.
- Cons: The development of these mobile apps can be complicated, expensive and difficult to maintain. It can also be hard to gain new app users, as proprietary apps are most desirable for those who are already loyal to that brand.
- Pros: Third-party apps come with built-in audiences, as well as extensive features which brands can leverage to improve brand recognition and sales. Third-party partnerships are also lower cost options as the third-party app developer takes on the expense of creating and marketing the app, allowing brands to see a higher marketing ROI.
- Cons: Brands may have less control over the content on the apps, though they can offer branded content to share with users. Also, brands may have to compete with others in their product categories on those apps.
Often, the best solution for brands that wish to use apps in their integrated marketing strategies is to use both third-party apps along with their proprietary apps. Third-party apps can plug the holes that proprietary apps may create, offering a more robust experience for consumers.
Strategic integrated marketing allows companies to humanize their brands.
Strategic integrated marketing allows companies to humanize their brands. This integration should extend beyond the digital space, into the physical world, for a seamless experience. Using consistent marketing across all channels improves brand recognition, which leads to sales and spurs brand growth.
Image courtesy of Baramee