Building Lifelong Brand Loyalty
Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), or cross-channel marketing, is something many of us are familiar with. A few years ago, a grocery store convinced me that it was unique by employing this approach. While shopping, I noticed a sign that encouraged me to download the store’s app for a coupon. Not long after, I was prompted by a blogger’s post on Instagram to enter my mailing address on the app. She said that by doing so, I could receive coupons in the mail. The store began to regularly send me coupons based on my shopping choices. I began to view the store as more than a place to get a good deal. In my mind, it was the only store that provided discounts on organic food, which helped me to eat healthy on a budget. As a result, the brand seemed to reflect me as a person.
What is Integrated Marketing?
The grocery chain’s marketing strategy is a successful example of integrated marketing. In short, IMC targets a specific audience with a personalized message in order to secure customer commitment to the brand. IMC offers customers an engaging experience through scheduled advertising across various channels. That customers have one clear idea of the brand is crucial. To achieve this goal, an IMC campaign combines a variety of approaches. These include direct marketing and sales promotions, social media, the internet, cell phones, and alternative marketing strategies.
Integrated marketing grew in popularity in the 1990s and has become prominent today. Computer databases, the ease of internet shopping, and big-data analysis assist cross-channel marketing campaigns. They provide the tools companies need to identify their target audience and, significantly, their personal preferences. Access to the internet and social media use have also helped to improve the process.
Why is Integrated Marketing Important?
Recently, this multi-channel approach has proven to be more successful than traditional marketing strategies. For example, Shama Hyder of Zen Media shares that “Integrated campaigns across 4+ channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300 percent.” Utilizing different means to capture consumers’ attention has several benefits. Although the initial cost may be high, it will likely lower expenses in the long run, because fewer advertisements are necessary after the first campaign. Often, a specific customer becomes devoted to the brand following an effective integrated marketing strategy.
Central to IMC is the idea that the customer views the brand or product as both one of a kind. Also, the brand should mirror the customer’s own personal value, according to Robyn Blakeman. An IMC campaign is successful when a brand or product seems unlike any other one.
How To Create an Integrated Marketing Campaign that Wows Customers
1. Use Data to Learn About Customers
According to Forbes contributor Steve Olinski, it’s necessary to analyze information about customers. He says, “All your marketing tools are useless without adequate data from potential customers. This includes social media analytics, real-time personalization, CRM, and marketing automation.” Measuring data ensures that marketers know how much each channel effectively reaches customers.
2. Showcase a Consistent Brand Image
Coherence in advertising is meaningful for consumers. It is important that the company’s image is standard when displayed across different channels. Doing so, as Mark Woodland puts it, “will raise brand awareness and trust, and will lead to the customer thinking of you first when they are ready to buy or make a recommendation to a friend or colleague.” Presenting a fixed concept of the brand across channels makes it more likely that consumers will purchase the product. Teams in a company should agree on how the brand should appear.
3. Coordinate Marketing Across Channels
Send out marketing content such as emails, promotions, and social media posts using a consistent schedule. Technology and apps can assist marketers to plan weeks or months ahead to deliver marketing content.
4. Provide an Interactive Experience
Create an experience for customers in which they are heard, seen, and valued. To increase customer engagement, invite customers to act. For example, ask them to complete a quiz, send in feedback, to tweet a hashtag, to post on Instagram and Facebook, and to interact with others on social media.
“Approaching Influencers: The First Step to Influencer Marketing, Outreach, and Digital PR.” https://zenmedia.com/approaching-influencers-first-step-influencer-marketing-outreach-digital-pr/
Blakeman, Robyn. Integrated Marketing Communication, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. https://books.google.com/books?id=m-1DDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=blakeman%20integrated%20marketing%20communication&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
Davenport, Debra. “What is Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)?” https://online.purdue.edu/blog/what-is-integrated-marketing-communication-imc
Hyder, Shama. “Why Integrated Marketing is the Future.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/shamahyder/2018/11/29/why-integrated-marketing-is-the-future/#52a6d8c01736
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Starr, Rob. “15 Examples of Great Integrated Marketing Campaigns.”
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Woodland, Marc. “The Benefits to Having an Integrated Marketing Campaign.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/benefits-having-integrated-marketing-campaign-marc-woodland/