April 12, 2013

Best way to build a business through integrated marketing

Marketing is now a complex subject with the number of channels and methods increasing by the day. Digital has created an explosion with several hundred websites in each category from social media, directories, articles and media websites, among several others. How is it possible for us to create an integrated marketing method across all these channels?

An Integrated marketing agency has been in the making for the past couple of years. Very few of them exist in a true sense of the word but the ones that do are trying hard to ensure that the same marketing message is broadcast across the marketing channels including digital, outdoor, print, television, radio and direct. Using an integrated marketing agency we can ensure that there is a consistent brand message that is sent out across all channels and this message will also be synchronised with other events that are taking place with the brand such as on-going campaigns, special promotions, offers and festival sales.

An Integrated marketing agency must have competence in several areas. Some agencies have a top-down approach and focus only on strategy while leaving the other areas to dedicated or specialised agencies, each with competence and strengths in one or more specific disciplines. For example, one agency may be specialising only in print advertising, the other in posting and managing Facebook and Twitter social media platforms for brands. Each of these areas needs a wide range of content, ideas, messages and visuals for them to be able to create a critical mass of engagement with their community. With close to a hundred channels and opportunities for brands to communicate, this is a challenging task.

An marketing agency is however a critical need, unless the marketing departments of brands and businesses can do this on their own. Until the advent of digital, campaigns used to run once every few months. For example in the apparel business a new collection was introduced twice a year - spring-summer and autumn-winter. This meant that marketing departments would only need to create and detail campaigns twice a year. With digital all this has changed. While the major campaigns and the launches of collections are still twice every year, the need for content has increased exponentially. For a community to be kept engaged day after day a number of new ideas, videos, images, articles and messages need to be created.

All of these messages must be harmonised and coordinated so that they all point to the same theme and reinforce each other. An integrated marketing agency will need a lot of good technologies, systems and tools to be able to run and coordinate a large number of tasks across agencies and campaigns. As digital gets more extended and usage increased, there is a critical need for integrated marketing to build a consistent persona and face for the brand.

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