Article Image - 8 Keys to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign

8 Keys to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign

By: Patrick Kopischkie
March 2023
5 minutes

If something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck, right? In marketing, it’s easy to think that once you establish a consistent design that carries across channels and media that you’ve achieved integration. Unfortunately, this is only skimming the surface of what integrated marketing represents.

Why is this important? Because today’s consumer is bombarded with marketing messages daily. To break through all that clutter, brands need a strategy that goes far beyond a consistent look. They need a campaign that lives in the mind of the consumer, one that includes a narrative that positions the brand and product/service as the solution to a real problem or need. A look and feel alone cannot and will not accomplish that. So, where do you begin? With this list!

One of the biggest reasons integration fails is because it’s not adopted by all parties internally. Often, the agency or marketing team develops the campaign and other departments or teams either do not think they need to apply it to their marketing efforts or have their own campaign that conflicts with the new one. It’s important to begin by bringing together key internal stakeholders to ensure buy-in before, during and after the campaign is developed.

This is a common occurrence. You have this amazing campaign ready to be unleashed on the world and then budgets are cut. Now the campaign becomes one ad and maybe a social post or two. If you invest in something powerful and meaningful, it’s important to not let it die a slow death due to lack of resources. If budgets get cut, it pays to find ways to keep the campaign alive, whether it’s taking a scrappy approach or utilizing existing channels and distribution methods to get the message out.

This may seem obvious, but often the answer is too basic or broad. Females 35-44 living in the U.S. with an average household income of $75,000 is simply not enough to build your campaign around. To establish a campaign that resonates, you need a more detailed audience profile, one that includes their interests and behaviors, whether they have busy lives, own a home and have kids. How will you know if your campaign strikes a chord if you don’t know who it’s intended for? Go too broad and you end up with messaging that tries to be all things to all people.

This is where a lot of marketers get tripped up. To get to the right campaign, resist skipping right to the features—faster, lighter, more convenient… Or focusing too much on the business problem: “we’re losing market share” or “sales are down.” Yes, those are important, but what we’re talking about is a consumer insight—what they struggle with, desire or what’s missing. It has to be real and something the brand, product or service can help solve. This is where you need to dig deep, listen to customers and get creative. The best campaigns come from a simple yet powerful insight.

Once you identify your insight, it’s time to craft your story. Every great campaign has one. Nike’s Just Do It is about empowering the athlete within us, GE’s Imagination at Work shows us what great minds and imagination can deliver. The story has to be something real and authentic, not contrived or full of marketing speak.

Your campaign should be reflective of the brand, but setting the tone is important to ensure the target understands knows what to do and how to feel. Is your brand on a mission to change something that people have been frustrated by? If so, taking a more daring or inspiring tone could ensure those receiving the message feel what you want them to feel. Or maybe you need to take a more emotional, heart-strings approach. Whatever tone fits the story, just make sure it’s delivered in a consistent way.

The litmus test for any great campaign is how well it extends to advertising, PR, social media and beyond. Let’s take Coke’s Open Happiness campaign for example. It starts with ads that feature the line and happy imagery, but the campaign itself allows for so much more—sponsoring events where happy people can be found, asking people to share their happy moments with Coke for a chance to win something or creating branded happy places, virtual or physical, for like-minded people to hang out. Finding unique ways to bring the campaign to life not only gives you more marketing firepower, but executed well, it can also break through the clutter and ensure people remember your brand.

Thinking you have a great campaign and knowing you’ve nailed it are two different things. Do qualitative research with people that represent your target audience. Share the campaign with them to see how they feel. Does it stir something inside them? Make them want to buy your product or service? What about the campaign do they like or dislike? Once you have some intel, use this feedback to refine the idea until it addresses any potential concerns or misfires.

Creating a truly integrated (and powerful) marketing campaign is no easy task. It takes funding, a team of people who are aligned internally, a good insight and the strategic and creative firepower to create something meaningful. At Hoffman York, we help clients find the right insights and leverage them to develop fully integrated campaigns. Our consumer insights and experience (CIX) team, along with our creative, PR, social, digital and paid media teams, work in unison to help deliver campaigns that move people to action.

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