“The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes” by Dave Poulos was featured in the Hayzlett Book Club. This is part two of a two-part guest blog series where he discusses key topics from his book. Read his first part here.
The phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is never more appropriate than as part of a discussion of integrated marketing campaigns. No matter how you slice it, by media type, audience, or offer type, multiple approaches working together with common offers, brand and goal will be much more effective than any of those single efforts. There is synergy to be gained by driving all efforts under the same flag.
Integration offers several key benefits, which as marketers we can scarcely afford to ignore.
- Cost-effectiveness. If a greater return is gained by fewer outgoing exposures because they work together and support each other, then the results have been obtained for less expense. More for less is the goal, and this hits it squarely.
- Breadth of Coverage. If point one is true then the corollary is that for the same cost, you can reach out to even broader audience. This spreads the brand and the offer further, which can be beneficial to the next effort beyond this initial one, preconditioning the new audience to respond the next time they are touched.
- Brand Strength. Based on point two, if you are reaching more people with an integrated campaign, the pieces supporting each other, the brand impression is strengthened with each hit – overlap is more likely, and the impression is stronger with each hit as a result – there’s no disconnect between impressions depending upon the piece to which the audience is exposed.
Some of the strength of campaign integration comes down to brand control. Harley Davidson has one of the strongest brands on earth, and its customers and fans are among the most loyal purchasers around. One reason for that effect is that the brand itself is so highly protected. It means you can expect a certain level of quality and value that competing products don’t have. An integrated campaign uses that same power of continuity and of meeting expectation as part of its effectiveness.
It’s All About Levels
Integration can be achieved on a number of levels. Ideally, an effective campaign should be tied together on all of them to maximize return on investment.
Level 1 – Appearance
All pieces in all mediums (except radio) should have a similar look and feel to them, including type face, imagery, color palette, and theme. It should also offer the same product at the same terms, should share contact information, and include the same expression of the product and company logotype.
Level 2 – Functionality
Each piece should not only function on its own to drive response, but cross-promotes to drive response from the other approaches as well. Media can be functionally tied together in this instance. TV spots, websites, e-mails and point of purchase materials can all have the same offer and appearance and you are engaged by all 4 to drive a purchase. The added bonus is that along the way you’re also exposed to a full range of other related products, thus priming the pump for an extended purchasing relationship.
Level 3 – Emotionality
This is the toughest to achieve, but if the campaign is truly integrated it becomes extremely effective. Each piece, media contact, and touch-point with the customer should elicit that same emotional response. And at its peak, not only should the same emotion be activated, but the customer should also feel it at the same level of intensity as the initial contact.
All three levels offer advantages over the traditional, less coordinated campaign. The higher a level of engagement you can achieve, the higher the level of effectiveness you’re going to experience. There is a direct correlation between the degrees of integration you can achieve compared to response levels among the target audience.
Overall, integration is a valuable key to attaining pushdown marketing response levels that are unrivaled by singular media levels. The extra expense and effort at the outset provides significant payback in the long-term, and sets the stage to expand your efforts to new products, new approaches and the creation of an extremely loyal purchasing audience for a long time to come.
About the Author: David Poulos, Chief Consultant at Granite Partners, has been providing marketing guidance and expertise to clients firms large and small for over 30 years. Speaker, thought leader and author, he wrote “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes” and published over 20 articles on marketing and business. Specialties include non-profit membership marketing, tradeshow marketing, direct mail, and full-scale strategic marketing campaigns. He can be reached via the web at www.granite-part.com.