If you counted up all the different ways you reach potential customers, it would likely span tens — if not hundreds — of different channels.
With so many marketing channels at your fingertips, you're likely using at least the following channels, each of which has countless variations:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
Using multiple marketing channels in parallel can mean you have an omnichannel, multichannel or integrated marketing strategy – or all of those.
But what's the difference between these, and how can you combine them to create the strongest marketing strategy for your business?
Here's our guide to what you should know for your marketing strategy for the year ahead.
The difference between omnichannel, multichannel and integrated marketing
Multichannel marketing uses several online and offline channels at the same time to market to your prospects and customers. This increases brand exposure and keeps your product or service top of mind.
Omnichannel marketing is slightly different than multi-channel marketing. Its focus is on the customer, not the brand, and the message changes and adapts to how the customer has interacted with other channels. This strategy has more emphasis on personalization and segmentation.
Integrated marketing is similarly about delivering a consistent experience on every channel. With it, you arrange your different marketing channels to work together to promote your products or services in a holistic way, usually through a strategic campaign.
Integrated marketing is similar to multichannel and omnichannel marketing, but it's specifically about what aligns the message you’re sharing on those separate channels. It depends on having a consistent view of your contacts in every app, with the right data synced between them.
Read on to learn more about integrated marketing campaigns and best practices, which we think will be the most impactful addition to your strategy in the year ahead.
The cornerstones of successful integrated marketing
What makes for a successful integrated marketing campaign? As with much of marketing, it's about getting these three things right:
To drill deeper, here are the key principles to pay attention to for the most impactful results in your integrated marketing strategy.
1. Find the unique blend of channels for your audience
Not all integrated marketing strategies look the same, and that's because every audience has its differences. Every organization has target personas to tailor communications to, and each of these will prefer different communication channels.
Your job as a marketing manager is to find and hone that ideal balance, sharing your message through the most relevant ways and in the most convenient places for your audience.
2. Create adaptable assets
An integrated marketing campaign depends on a multichannel strategy that delivers a consistent message in many different places. For that, you need to easily adapt your content to many different formats.
Get into the habit of thinking how you can repurpose your content. For instance, a podcast discussing the best tablets for designers could also provide content for evergreen blog posts, email sequences, and social media posts. Each of these formats will provide new opportunities for lead generation and nurturing.
The integrated marketing campaigns that are the most time-efficient and high-impact are often built on highly adaptable assets.
3. Track the big and small picture
Let's be clear: tracking isn't everything! If you have a fantastic analytics platform and dashboards but don't actually put the work into thinking up and deploying creative campaigns, you won't have anything to track.
That said, tracking is the perfect partner for a well-built marketing campaign that reaches the right people in the right places. With relevant KPIs and automated dashboards, you know exactly how you're performing, where the highest ROI is, and where you can harness future opportunities.
Put most of your team's collective energy into creating your actual campaigns, but make sure to track important big and small metrics to monitor your results, segment your audience, and pivot effectively.
4. Apply what you learn everywhere
Integrated marketing isn't a set-it-and-forget-it model. It requires constant tweaks to be successful, both on a macro level with your big picture strategy, and on micro levels with content personalization, A/B tests, and other small adjustments.
For instance, if you find out that one of your target audiences is much more likely to convert when offered your premium package instead of the economy edition, don't just apply that learning in one place. When you learn something about your audience, optimize your strategy everywhere.
Yes, it takes longer to update multiple channels, but it's worth it because it contributes to a consistent and streamlined experience for your prospects. And that always has a return on investment.
You can also save time on manual data updates by automatically syncing your data between apps. This means that when something changes in one app, it's reflected everywhere.
5. Integrate your data and apps
One of the most common stumbling blocks for integrated marketing is having disconnected data in your marketing apps.
For an integrated campaign to be successful, you need an accurate and up-to-date view of your contacts in every app. This provides the basis for segmentation, personalization, and only contacting the people who want to hear from you.
For the strongest data foundation to build your integrated marketing strategy on, start by syncing your apps two ways with PieSync. An easy place to begin is by syncing your CRM with your email marketing app, enriching the data about your subscribing contacts and keeping all lists and tags updated everywhere.
Get your integrated marketing strategy right
For the best results in your marketing team, keep thinking back to the key principles of integrated marketing: content, audience, channels and data. Frequently ask yourself and your team:
- Are you sharing the most relevant content for a defined audience?
- Are you communicating with your audience on the channels they prefer?
- Are you collecting data to provide the most personalized messaging on every channel and to continually hone your strategy?
To give your marketing strategy a boost, start by syncing contact, prospect and customer data between your apps using PieSync for the most insightful view everywhere.