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How To Build an Integrated Marketing Plan

A major goal of integrated marketing communication is to drive brand awareness. Success starts with knowing how to build an integrated marketing plan.

Which of the following is true of integrated marketing communication?

To be found by consumers today, you must be everywhere.

Integrated marketing is any campaign executed on more than one channel.

Campaigns must be integrated, not the teams creating them.

The best place to start building an integrated marketing plan is with a killer idea.

The first two statements are mostly true. The last two are mostly false. With a few tweaks, all four form a foundation for answering the question, “What is integrated marketing communication?”

To be found by consumers today, you must be everywhere YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE.

Integrated marketing is any campaign executed on THE CHANNELS WHERE YOU CAN INTERSECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Campaigns AND THE TEAMS CREATING THEM must be integrated.

The best place to start building an integrated marketing plan is with a killer STRATEGY.

What is integrated marketing communications?

As a HubSpot-certified agency, we appreciate its definition of what is integrated marketing:

“Integrated marketing communications is aligning your marketing channels to promote your products or services in tandem, typically through a strategic campaign. Integrated marketing also works to align the primary brand message that’s being delivered through your marketing channels and assets.” – Allie Decker, HubSpot

Think for a moment about all the places you find or actively seek out information about something you’re considering buying. Let’s say you’re looking for a new set of stainless steel cookware.

After reading an article from a reliable news source about the health risks associated with long-term, repeated use of nonstick cookware, you decide there’s enough there to make you research further.

You read blogs, scour social media and talk with friends and discover many people have trod this path before you.

Convinced of your need to switch, you begin searching for information about the best brands, taking into consideration where and how the sets are made, how long they should last, how to care for them and, of course, price.

This process doesn’t happen in one sitting. It probably doesn’t happen in one day, because you’re busy and have a lot more going on in your life than looking for new cookware. Still, it matters. So, in the evenings and during your downtime, you find yourself:

  • Reading reviews of stainless steel cookware sets on foodie blogs.
  • Watching videos of people preparing pan-fried Brussels sprouts with bacon on TikTok.
  • Scrolling through pictures of cookware on Instagram.
  • Comparing prices online at Target, Costco and Williams Sonoma.
  • Searching for the best stainless steel cookware sets on Google.

Along the way, you notice ads in Facebook and in commercial breaks on Hulu for stainless steel cookware. Instagram serves you sponsored posts about the best stainless steel woks.

How do they know you’re looking for this?

Someone, somewhere knows how to build integrated marketing plans for their stainless steel cookware brand.

They’ve followed the plan the pros at OBI Creative do in building integrated marketing campaigns that target the right people, with the right messages, at the right time, and in the right ways.

We understand the importance of personalization in integrated marketing.

What does personalization mean in the context of integrated marketing communication?

When done well, integrated marketing delivers personalized messages to multiple target audiences that are consistently on-brand.

Everywhere you look, you find messages that resonate with you and complement what you’ve already heard about a brand. Every message is different, but consistent. Every engagement moves you further through the marketing funnel until you purchase.

After purchase, smart marketers continue to engage customers with relevant offers and attractive messaging that adds value, improves affection for the brand and continues to nurture a long-term, loyal relationship.

This kind of marketing doesn’t just happen. Integrated marketing follows a proven formula.

  1. Research
  2. Strategy + goals
  3. Creative
  4. Execution
  5. Ongoing monitoring, tweaking and reporting

Integrated marketing campaign goals vary, but they align with business goals. They function in light of operational realities and help inform internal decisions.

They start, run and end with consumer insight in a beautiful feedback loop that keeps customers at the center of everything a company does.

Now you might be thinking, this sounds great but very expensive. Isn’t it just easier to pick the most cost-effective channel or two and deliver consistent messages there?

In reality, integrated marketing campaigns save money because the content created for the campaign can be repurposed on every channel necessary to reach target audiences.

If you’re smart, you can even get your customers to do some of your marketing for you. (Just ask Ocean Spray.)

What is an integrated marketing campaign?

You’ve been told, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Much can be learned about how to build an integrated marketing campaign from analyzing a successful one.

Building upon our stainless steel cookware example, award-winning agency Innocean provides an excellent case study in how it helped LG launch a new luxury kitchen appliance line in a crowded, established market.

While the creative is, of course, stunning, what we love most about the integrated campaign is where it started — with customer understanding.

The agency knew its goal was a difficult one — disrupt the status quo in an industry that’s remained unchanged for decades. Without the name recognition of well-established brands like Sub-Zero and Viking, it had to get clear from the start on exactly who its audience was.

They identified one.

Young, affluent technicureans (technology-forward food lovers). People who care about how their food is sourced and prepared. People attracted to the latest, most advanced technology.

With a goal and audience clarified, the agency turned to execution. The creative spoke to audiences’ values. Messages were delivered by respected voices (such as podcast host, food reviewer and best-selling author Mark Bittman).

Brand videos played on social channels. Engaging audio ran on podcast platforms. And best of all, award-winning designers imagined the ideal kitchen incorporating the new appliance lines in the industry’s first virtual online showroom.

A community was created for Technicureans on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Posts included:

  • Real recipes.
  • Ingredient-rich tips.
  • Stories from food artisans around the world.
  • True to Food web episodes.

Nurtured by engaging, trust-building content, the audience could then explore the new product line in an online, virtual designer vignette that allowed them to personalize appliances to their unique needs and interests.

Unsurprisingly, the campaign worked.

Aided awareness rose by 50%. The brand became known as being “for foodies” and “trustworthy.” Brand consideration went up by 60% and familiarity skyrocketed 200%.

Anyone would be happy with those results. And they weren’t achieved by some mysterious combination of intuition and luck.

No, successful integrated marketing campaigns follow the formula of research to strategy to creative to execution. They keep customers at the center of it all. And they’re created by integrated teams of talented professionals.

Are you ready for integrated marketing success?

The pros at OBI Creative live for this stuff. We’d love to help you delight your customers.

Reach out now.