Keys To Building A Successful Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign
Last updated on January 30, 2020
Marketing on purpose, versus pot-luck marketing, is the difference between having an integrated marketing communications strategy and not having one. This marketing method assures that your message is being delivered to your target audience, regardless of how they interact with your brand—whether it’s through advertising, social media, public relations, direct marketing, content marketing or digital marketing. It also offers businesses the ability to outline a core message and highlight its unique selling proposition (USP) to an identified target market, with a tailored message, through various communications tools.
According to Kantar’s latest AdReaction: The Art of Integration study, integrated campaigns are 31 percent more effective at building brands and marketers can integrate across ads in a variety of ways. Although extremely effective, integrated marketing communications (IMC) continues to be a challenge for many businesses. That same study found only 58 percent of consumers see campaigns as being integrated, leaving room for improvement across all channels.
Businesses can build a successful IMC campaign by:
Defining a strategy through analysis
Before a business can even begin putting together an IMC plan, it needs a clearly defined marketing communications strategy. CMA utilizes a proprietary discovery process, Marketecture™, to engage in a strategic analysis, which helps its clients understand how their business can be best positioned in the marketplace. The firm analyzes customer pain points, buying motivations, competitive challenges and marketplace forces impacting its client’s business. Then, CMA orchestrates Marketecture insights into differentiated positioning, captivating sales messages and, ultimately, a game plan of IMC tactics to get results for its clients.
Having a consistent message
Further develop your business’s brand message within the framework of a logo or tagline. Although the delivery method will differ across channels, the core marketing message should remain consistent across all channels, address the relevant market and stand out in the marketplace.
The branding should quickly connect your product or service to its target audiences, in a memorable and credible way. It also needs to set your business apart from its competitors. This will ensure greater visibility and customer loyalty.
Guaranteeing your target audience is on point
Next, identify the right target audience for your brand, by answering these questions:
- Are they located internationally, nationally or more locally and/or in certain geographic areas?
- What are their demographics (age, gender, occupation, income level, marital status) and psychographics (values, hobbies, lifestyle, personality, attitude, behavior)?
- Are they within certain industries (medical, accounting, lighting, nonprofit), if a B2B focus?
- What are their motivations?
- What is their personality type (persona) and pain points, so you can frame the content for each?
Elaborating on the last point, it’s imperative not only to define your target customers, but also to know their different considerations to a purchase path, as well as pain points. Think like the customer and ask pertinent questions such as: How can I provide a solution to a problem? What goal does my target audience want to achieve?
Creating personas, which are centered around stages of the buying cycle (awareness, consideration and decision), will help you to understand your current and potential customers’ needs and pain points. Tailored key messages, branding and content that are specifically designed to speak to those personas will result in a higher likelihood of moving them down the sales funnel. Personas are fictional characters based on research, which help you to represent the different user types who might use your products or services in a comparable way.
Leveraging the various marketing channels
Once you have a marketing strategy, unified message and identified target audience, you’ll need to determine the best channels to reach those audiences. In addition to tapping into the traditional channels, like print, with the advent of digital media there are even more to target. A good problem to have, if you only focus on the ones that are going to give you the most return on investment (ROI).
IMC Campaign Case Studies
CMA built and executed an IMC campaign for Amerlux, a B2B LED lighting manufacturer, to increase sales. Through a lead-generation program, CMA created a path to drive prospects down the sales funnel.
The IMC campaign tactics encompassed:
- Content marketing
- Public Relations
- Social media
- Social media advertising
- Email marketing
- Geo-targeting advertising
As part of the content marketing strategy, CMA developed a complex, 90-piece “owned” media campaign through blog posts, whitepapers and case studies. Each spoke to different audiences during the stages of the buying cycle below. The content positioned Amerlux as the solution to numerous problems directly or indirectly involving LED lighting.
- To reinforce the “awareness” stage and take a deeper dive on interesting topics and solutions: CMA created whitepapers.
- To support the “consideration” stage: CMA created checklists and “how-to” content for target audiences.
- To support the “decision” stage and provide social proof: CMA published several case studies that clearly identified the situation, problem, action and outcome. Amerlux case studies leveraged customers by providing a platform where they could build Amerlux’s brand themselves. Customers profiled also shared the case studies on their own websites and through social media channels.
In addition, to add diverse content and build Amerlux’s reputation, CMA executed a public relations (PR) component, by developing breaking-news blogs.
The various forms of content were supported with short-form education and product videos on YouTube, organic and paid posts on social media (including LinkedIn ads to drive five monthly webinars), geo-tagged ads and landing pages for lead generation.
Following are topline results:
- Content Marketing: Drove 9,838 individuals to “Locate Your Sales Rep” page on Amerlux.com.
- Content Marketing: Compelled Amerlux visitors to invest 371 hours reading Amerlux’s blog.
- PR: Secured 1,392 media placements, with a combined 139 million reach.
- PR: Supported content that drove 14,508 unique visitors to Amerlux.com.
- PR: Increased traffic to “Locate Your Sales Rep” page on Amerlux.com by 83 percent.
- Website: Documented 265,662 sessions, 152,049 users, 908,924 page views.
- Website: Various landing pages generated 381 marketing qualified leads.
- Social Media: Generated more than 810,900 impressions and more than 13,000 clicks to Amerlux web pages from Facebook and LinkedIn ad campaigns.
- Social Media: Delivered more than 470,000 impressions, more than 17,100 engagements and more than 5,900 clicks with organic social media posts.
- Videos: Viewers spent 10,638 minutes (approx. 178 hours of watch time), watching the 33 minutes of Amerlux video content on YouTube.
- Videos: YouTube videos racked up 8,956 views.
- Email Marketing: 7-Week Drip Campaigns (5) generated 97 marketing qualified leads in second half of 2018.
- Geo-Targeting: Generated 410,120 impressions and 708 clicks to landing page targeting a Design-Build Conference in November during 45-day campaign.
- LinkedIn Ads: Generated 1,985 clicks.
Another one of CMA’s clients, International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), a global transaction card association, had a goal to increase traffic to its website from the previous year. CMA implemented a one-year marketing campaign, to continue to grow membership and enhance industry recognition. Tactics consisted of public relations, content marketing and social media, along with digital advertising to promote registrations its events.
- PR: More than 12.4 million reach. Media relations helped drive web traffic and generated a more than 33 percent increase in existing and new users and a more than 13 percent increase in page views, compared to 2018 activity.
- Content Marketing: The top five performing blogs produced more than 823 total page views and 757 unique page views.
- Social Media: Gained 312 new followers across targeted social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube).
- Digital Advertising: The display advertising campaign, to drive additional event registration over a 4-month duration, resulted in 19,500 clicks and 3.6 million impressions. The geofence advertising campaign resulted in 73,932 impressions and 101 clicks, within a one-month period.
To conclude, instead of creating a one-off advertisement or press release next time you need to promote your business, product or service, consider an IMC campaign. Although it could be daunting at first, if you work with professionals who are expert in this area, you will quickly gain confidence and reap the rewards of taking a more holistic approach to your marketing efforts.
Do you want to learn more about how an IMC campaign could be the right solution for your business? Contact us today, to start the conversation.