It's all very well having a product or service. You know about it, your colleagues know about it. But getting all your potential customers to know about it is the bit that makes it a success.
Executing a marketing campaign without considering the communication strategy behind it is a big mistake. With so many communication platforms and strategies bombarding the market, every campaign should have clear objectives around what the message is, where it should be said, and who you want absorbing it.
Increase the chances of reaching the target audience, but also of engaging them.
With an integrated marketing communication plan, traditionally separate strategies and platforms are used together. Not only does it increase the chances of reaching the target audience, but also of engaging them in such a way that they start to build a relationship with the brand.
It's deciding which communication mix you use that requires the skill.
What types of communication marketing should your team consider mixing?
Let's take a look at some real examples that show it's not about one platform, but several.
Take the brand ASOS. They have utilised the marketing revolution that is social media to engage thousands of consumers, who are now promoting the brand amongst themselves. Their hashtag #AsSeenOnMe encourages users to go beyond just buying the outfit. They also share them on their personal social media accounts for a chance to appear on the ASOS feed. The brand gets free content and their products are advertised directly to 'friends' of #AsSeenOnMe users – people they wouldn't normally have access to.
They're making sure customers know that shopping with ASOS means more support for those less fortunate.
But they don't stop at social media. They also advertise and offer sales promotions – encouraging new buyers with discounts. They even create their own online magazine in which they can advertise their products, with a direct marketing style click-through to buy option. ASOS' communication team isn't sleeping either. The brand has built a fantastic image for itself by starting the ASOS Foundation, offering education and infrastructure as well as working with well-known charities. By sharing their sense of social responsibility, they're making sure customers know that shopping with ASOS means more support for those less fortunate.
A much older but groundbreaking example of an integrated marketing campaign is the Budweiser 'Wassup' advert of 2000. The now famous beer ad ran on primetime TV and was immediately popular. Budweiser directed users to their website (pre the rise of social media) to continue interacting with the brand via an entirely different platform. The result was more customer engagement and increased sales.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty did something similar using social media. What started out as a straightforward advertising billboard campaign asked questions that the public answered on social media. While the billboards remained in place, social media ensured that the message was spread far and wide, well beyond the people seeing the adverts. Once more, sales increased.
What's the message here? Any type of communication marketing can feed into another – and it should. An effective communication mix is what gets your brand heard beyond the immediate reach of traditional marketing channels.