Marketing consist of various channels which need to work in alignment to be as efficient as possible. An integrated approach funnels all the efforts towards a common goal.
What is an Integrated Marketing Approach?
An integrated marketing approach is a strategy where a variety of marketing channels are managed to work together in a seamless way rather than as separate and unrelated pieces. The integrated approach levels the strength of each channel to deliver a greater overall return than the channels individually could deliver.
The approach sounds simple but to deliver effectively significant strategy is required and a deep understanding of how each channel works both individually but also for the benefit of other channels too.
The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts
A main principle of an integrated marketing approach is that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. Therefore it’s more beneficial for a business to invest its available marketing budget into a number of channels, rather than just all in one. This certainly applies to Direct Mail, which can be used as both a main marketing channel but also as a back-up/reinforcement for messages sent initially through other channels.
Integrated Marketing Family Members
There are a range of family members within integrated marketing, these include:
- Advertising – This can include a number of mediums, e.g. billboards, posters, stadiums, subways, taxis, etc.
- Direct marketing – Direct mail is a subset of direct marketing. Other examples are catalogues, mobile advertising (including text messages) and telemarketing
- Promotions – A range of promotions can be used to market a business, e.g. contests, coupons, events, prizes, etc.
- Public relations – Any PR is a form of marketing, e.g. charity work, online reviews, press conferences, press releases, testimonials, etc.
- Radio – Advertising by use of radio on a range of stations, local, national and internet based radio stations
- Social Media – Using the power of social media for marketing benefit on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest
- Television – Using TV to advertise on a range of national, local and internet based TV stations
- Website – The internet is an ideal place to market a business. This can include marketing on the main business website, on promotional websites, by the use of Pay Per Click (PPC) methods and through external websites (maybe by guest posts)
Examples of Direct Mail use in Integrated Marketing Campaigns
A great aspect of direct mail is that it can seamlessly integrate with other family members of marketing; here are just a few examples of how integration might work:
- Advertising – A range of advertising messages can be reinforced by sending a direct mail piece. These will be recognised by many recipients who will be familiar with the original advertisement and therefore generally more open to the direct mail message
- Promotions – Coupons could be included within a mailshot offering discounts and value to recipients
- Public relations – An important press message could be backed by a direct mail, perhaps most effectively to a selected list, maybe a group of customers about a new product launch for example
- Radio – Campaigns on radio can be reinforced by direct mail. This is particularly effective for local radio where direct mail could be targeted to a very specific area to coincide with the same audience listening to the radio advertisements
- Social media – Campaigns on social media often go viral through the use of a #hashtag. Any social media campaigns can be reinforced in a mailshot by including links to social media accounts and also any hashtags in active use
- Television – Reinforcing the TV advert through a mailshot. This has proven particularly effective for Charities that have received more donations through this integrated approach
- Website – Backing up the launch of a new website by direct mailing a targeted group of people about the braking news. This would be particularly effective for targeted niches, where the recipient will have a real interest in the new website