Integrated Marketing – The Maze Behind the Must

Traditional marketing is now suffering the same fate from the broad and instant dissemination of information as legacy media, including broadcast television and newspapers.

Marketing companies can no longer wave their magic wands and hand desired results to their clients.

The “Mad Men” of marketing’s past were creatures of the controlled and predictable environments of traditional broadcast and print media. Today’s effective marketers must also be creatures of (and experts in) non-traditional media and news platforms that were not part of the American lexicon 15 years ago.

This paradigm shift presents both great opportunities and risks for marketers and their clients.

ThinkstockPhotos-478800411Marketing is no longer about a single, targeted message. It is about developing and executing actionable, iterative and integrated marketing plans.

While most savvy marketers agree on the concept of integrated marketing, many fail during the execution and communication phases of development. These failures may, in part, occur because firms have not acknowledged the impact of the digital revolution. New methods must be developed to optimize the unique benefits of the digital age while minimizing the impact of a messy, multi-platform world that changes every second.

When legacy media (television, print, radio and direct mail) was king, it was far simpler to launch a converged messaging campaign. The traditional marketing mix consisted broadly of advertising, public relations and print communication.

In contrast, the features of the new media landscape, due to disruptive technology, no longer allow such straightforward methods. According to the Pew Foundation, “87% of American adults now use the Internet, with near-saturation usage among those living in households earning $75,000 or more (99%), young adults ages 18-29 (97%), and those with college degrees (97%).

“Fully 68% of adults connect to the Internet with mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers. The adoption of related technologies has also been extraordinary: Over the course of Pew Research Center polling, adult ownership of cellphones has risen from 53% in our first survey in 2000 to 90% now.”

This means that organizations must engage in unified marketing strategies or risk having their messages fragmented, diluted and lost.

Traditional marketers also need to evaluate the current internal structuring of personnel. Companies must create integrated marketing teams that can break through the clutter with consistent messages.

The American Marketing Association defines integrated marketing communications as “…a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”

That planning process is where marketers can fall short because their team members may not be aligned in a way that facilitates success for these complex campaigns.

Traditional marketing is like the children’s game of “telephone”, in which the message is ultimately lost in translation. In contrast, integrated marketing allows you to reach your customer with one voice on every platform. Although seemingly simple, the greatest challenge in integrated marketing is designing the complex machine that can deliver powerful results.


Mike White smallAbout Mike White:

Mike White launched Jacksonville-based Client Focused Media in 2002. A leading integrated marketing firm in Northeast Florida, CFM has extensive capabilities and experience providing strategic planning, marketing, creative, advertising, printing, branding, public relations and crisis communications services.

White also serves as the publisher of Jacksonville BUZZ Magazine with a monthly readership of 150,000. White is committed to providing the broadest range of integrated marketing services possible for CFM’s clients.

Burning Bush Brands, CantrellWhite Communications, Develofi, Zero In Digital, Whyte Space Design, WhitePepper Sports Marketing, Get in the Game SE, Bluhorn, Lowest Priced Promos, and Sangamon Print and Brokerage are all divisions of CFM.

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