You’re probably thinking, “What the heck is integrated marketing?” We understand the confusion. In a marketing world that pops out the latest, greatest, newest, best approach every year, it’s hard to keep track. There’s marketing. Then there’s inbound marketing. Then there’s integrated marketing. Then there’s cause marketing, guerilla marketing, alliance marketing, relationship marketing, proximity marketing… the list goes on!
If we haven’t given you a headache yet, let’s get back to the point here: What is integrated marketing all about and how can it win you more customers?
The definition for integrated marketing that has been around for decades emphasized developing a unified and consistent message across all marketing channels. While that message is still true, we’ve had to adapt it.
We’re living in a business world that is strife with more competition than ever due to the mass amount of technology available to us. This isn’t a bad thing. Really. It just means we have to adapt how we market to our customers so that we can stay ahead. And with all kinds of technology available to us that help our sales and marketing processes, like CRM systems and analytics, we are able to better understand how to formulate our strategies and create integrated marketing solutions.
Any marketing agency will tell you that they strive to deliver a targeted, unified message to its’ customers. What your integrated marketing agency will tell you is that they strive to deliver a targeted, unified message to it’s customers, in a way that puts the customer’s perspective first. In other words, in every aspect of your business (sales, marketing, customer service), the customer’s perspective, or how they are experiencing the message, is the primary focus.
Today, integrated marketing coexists with inbound marketing in that is all about the customer. Sales and marketing align to create smarketing—your ultimate marketing super power.
Here’s an example of an integrated marketing message:
Your latest content offer that was published on all of your channels (web, social media, etc.) produced a lead. Due to your insights about the prospect, your marketing and sales teams were able to collaborate on qualifying this lead based on their sales-readiness. You both determined they were not sales-ready. As a result, you sent them your remarkable content (blogs, eBooks, infographics, etc.) that aligned with their preferences based on the clues and insights you had developed about them. The remarkable content, as a part of your selling strategy, offered value to them and ultimately led them further down the sales funnel.
Takeaway: Because you were able to use smarketing to your advantage through customer insights and remarkable content, your integrated marketing strategy turned a non-sales-ready lead into a potential customer.
How does integrated marketing align with inbound marketing?
The two go hand-in-hand. Inbound marketing, as we know, is all about engaging your visitors with rewarding, valuable, and educational content that helps convert them into leads, eventually into customers, and ultimately into promoters. It’s all about the customer.
The same goes for integrated marketing. We focus our strategy around the customer’s perspective based on where they are in the buyer’s journey, and use inbound marketing methods to deliver a targeted message. What would they benefit from about this message? How can this product or service add value to them? What information can we bring to them that establishes us as a trusted source? It’s a goal whether you’re in sales or marketing. You want your prospects perception of you to be one of a trusted advisor. You are the expert in your industry, not just on your product or service. Your knowledgeable insights benefit them in ways that your competition does not.
Today, the key to marketing to your prospects and winning new customers is simple: always be thinking about your customer. Integrated marketing, working hand-in-hand with inbound marketing, generates business by being a valuable resource to your customers. Using integrated marketing solutions that establish your business as a valuable resource to your customers will give you the competitive advantage you need to win more customers.