By Rachell Newburn

Integrated marketing is a business term that’s been floating around for a while now, but what does it really mean? When you create an integrated marketing campaign, you are ensuring that your customers are seamlessly hearing the same messages across all channels. So, your sales activities are tied into your Facebook posts, which are linked to your tweets, which are connected to your direct mail pieces, advertising, newsletters, blogs and PR messaging. Believe me, I know, it sounds like an exhausting task to ensure the fluidity of messaging between all your marketing outlets, but this really is the most effective way to leverage your marketing and sales strategies. When you sit down to create an integrated marketing strategy, you’ll find that it is not as difficult as it may seem.

The best time to implement an integrated marketing campaign is when you reach the point in your business’ life where you want to increase your growth. You already know that sales and marketing drive your growth ─ these components are distinct, yet need to work together to amplify your message and sales efforts. The biggest challenge at this point is making sure that everyone on your team is on board, using cohesive language tailored to one specific goal. At Collaboration, we utilize integrated marketing every day. Whether you’re talking to me, Ryan, Maggie, or Michael, we are a unified force and you’re getting the same messages from us.

Before you embark on an integrated marketing campaign, you’ll need to determine your financial strategy: What is your true break-even point? What is your total revenue goal for not only this year, but the next 3 to 5 years? Once these numbers are in place, then you can determine your sales strategy and sales projections. Next, determine your target market and find out who your ideal customer is. Once these three areas are identified, then you’re ready to figure out how you will reach these goals through integrated marketing.

If your sales team is doing one thing and your marketing team is doing another, you won’t reach your financial goals. This can be an eye-opening experience for you! Think about some of the businesses you follow. Maybe you see a post on Facebook about a product, and you contact the company to find out more. You’ll reach a member of the sales team who may not even know what you’re referencing regarding the Facebook post. Sadly, it happens a lot. Think about the impact this will have on your customers: if your sales team isn’t aware of the efforts your marketing team is implementing, they may be relaying completely different messages to your customer base, potentially souring a customer relationship.

The best part about integrated marketing is that you don’t have to be the social media guru, email marketer and PR expert. Running a small business doesn’t mean that you have to do it all either. In fact, there is a special strength found in small teams, since you are able to more closely control the message. Take a step back and look at your strategies holistically; make sure communication and expectations are clear and that your vision and direction is shared with your team. Identify leaders within your business who can take on the tactics of your integrated marketing campaign. Develop trust and delegate these tasks to ensure your vision is shared amongst your team. If you are able to clearly communicate your direction and expectations, then your team will understand where you’re going and what you’re trying to market.

Bottom Line

Integrated marketing is the future of your business. By becoming a strategic, empowered communicator, you’ll be able to effectively lead your team to implement this essential marketing strategy. This is the first of a series of articles dedicated to integrated marketing. Stay tuned to future blogs to learn more about how to create an integrated marketing campaign that aligns with your business’ growth goals.Integrated Marketing: More Than a Buzzword

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