Like so many industries, the marketing world is changing rapidly with technological advances. Advertising agencies now call themselves integrated marketing communicators, but what does that mean?
Integrated marketing communications is what many of us would consider the combination of inbound and outbound marketing: banner ads, blogging, social media, direct mail offers, branding, speech-writing, etc. The key to a great IMC strategy is finding the right balance of every aspect and creating one cohesive vision that each can meaningfully contribute to.
What does that look like? Read on to learn more.
Build on a Cornerstone
A good brand should be the foundation upon which you build your marketing scheme. Beyond the effect of a logo, your brand plan should indicate the best way to reach your target markets, outline the language to use as you promote products and services and indicate visual themes.
Since marketing strategies change more frequently than brands do, feel free to play a little beyond your brand plan. The public doesn’t want to get bored of your three reasons why Business A is the right choice. You can read more about building a valuable brand in our last blog post.
Choose compelling key messaging that will inform and attract users is the most effective way to create one voice for your marketing strategy. Make a list of key words and adjectival phrases to be used across the board and another for individual products and aspects of your business.
Write a bio for the voice your company should use when “talking” with prospective buyers, visitors, business contacts, investors and the media. Remember that these may not be the same or particularly similar. Tailor the voices to each listener by understanding their wants and needs.
Understand and Manipulate Advantages and Disadvantages
Both inbound and outbound have distinct advantages and disadvantages each business should be aware of. Choosing where each message can be used most effectively is key to creating an impactful marketing campaign.
Inbound marketing is well known for being a relationship-building tool. The nature of blogging, social media, website design and press releases builds trust in its viewers and gives them a place to give immediate feedback. However, it takes time to see results with inbound marketing, and the feedback you get is open-ended and hard to streamline.
Outbound Marketing is great for complete control of your messaging and the placement of it in a publication. But as outbound media has been the tradition for quite some time, everyone is much more used to tuning those messages out. Also, paying for ad placement and creation can add up quickly.
Using inbound and outbound for their best features can help you consolidate your messages and create one voice.
Play with Your Placement
Use a variety of marketing methods to reach your audience. The way the public responds to your tactics will change over time. So, reevaluation will be necessary. First be sure you aren’t doing something wrong, and then consider a new place to reach your audience.
What brands do you think use inbound and outbound marketing cohesively and effectively? Which don’t? Let us know in the comments down below!