The Rise of Integration

August 3rd, 2011

Several months ago I attended a conference in San Diego where the focus was on the rise of integration – specifically, integrating your traditional and digital marketing techniques through strategic collaboration and communication. A huge emphasis was placed on spreading dollars across channels and how in order to achieve the greatest impact and see the strongest return-on-investment, we need to ensure that we are taking advantage of cost-effective online tactics and integrating those with proven traditional methods like TV and print.

We’ve heard it countless times, but strategies shouldn’t (can’t!) be silo-ed anymore. Think of some of the most memorable campaigns you’ve seen recently; The Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Be” comes to mind (though now slightly tainted by the long locks of Fabio…) This campaign originally aired during the Superbowl but then was posted to YouTube where it received tens of millions of page views. Following that and the overwhelming buzz (particularly on Twitter) the commercial began to receive, they took it one step further – directly responding to tweets via YouTube.

The results were phenomenal. The company saw a 107% sales increase and had a combined 135 million YouTube views. Individual products that were slipping in sales even saw spikes after being shown in the spots.

Another interesting topic was the evolution of the traditional marketing funnel – with social media, we’ve seen a new approach: awareness building –> favorability –> likelihood to recommend –> intent to purchase. Studies have also shown that consumers exposed to a brand through social media and paid search are more likely to search for the brand later and fall lower in this funnel to begin with.

As we develop marketing strategies for clients, it’s no longer individual departments (advertising, digital and PR) meeting separately and coming together with multiple ideas at the end to see if everything fits together. We now approach things from an integrated stance from the very beginning. This applies to in-house marketing departments as well. To promote a new product launch, store opening, company milestone, etc. sit all departments down in one room and brainstorm how it can be promoted across all platforms. Should a Facebook page be created for your new product, supported by paid search on certain terms and a TV or print campaign that drives people to connect on the Facebook page? Would a social media hub on your website help generate excitement and drive consumers to platforms where they can talk about your offering with other like-minded individuals? How can you build an army of advocates?

The possibilities are endless but should operate as a cohesive effort rather than individual tactics. This way, you will be hitting your target audience from multiple angles and ultimately see the greatest return on your investment.





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