The Power of an Integrated Marketing Campaign: How to Make 1 + 1 = 3

By Lisa Ross President & Partner, rbb Communications | November 18, 2018

When integrated marketing communications was first introduced decades ago, many marketers deemed it as a phase with no lasting-power. Since then, it has managed to become the go-to approach for forward-thinking companies, especially as technology has evolved to play a key role in the way consumers live, acquire information and interact with brands. I strongly believe in the power of delivering an integrated message to consumers across all channels in a brand's arsenal.  Businesses that recognize the importance of this will reap the rewards.

Integrated marketing campaigns can effectively transform a company's relationships with its customers, regardless of the industry.  The most successful integrated programs assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect are relevant and consistent over time.  This means that no matter where your audience sees your message -- a magazine ad, newspaper article, direct mail flyer, social media post, or sales commercial – it is presented with clarity and consistency to tell a cohesive brand story.

Integrated marketing is planning communications using key brand images and messages in combination with different channels ranging from advertising, direct mail and public relations to sales promotion and social media for maximum penetration with target audiences. Finding the proper mix of messages, content and platforms to surround target audiences with brand communications can engage consumers and help move them through the multiple stages of the booking process. This effort requires time, commitment and resources, but it's worth the benefits it delivers. Competitive advantage, sales boost and increased profits are just a few of the reported outcomes from smart marketers.

Think about it, all of the world's leading brands – Nike, Amazon, Starbucks - have a constant image and message, and they speak consistently with one voice all of the time, every time. One of the most prolific companies in the history of marketing is Coca-Cola, which also was among the early adopters of using integrated marketing to reach and impact its consumers' lives. The universally recognized brand often optimizes the use of different marketing tactics. According to this case study , Coca-Cola uses web-based interactive marketing as well as public relations, banners, video and more to engage with its customers.  Online games, and social, cultural and sporting events also are part of the company's marketing mix and have all become the focus of the brand's website content. Despite the use of different tactics, the brand's message remains the same, and its steady commitment to consumer engagement is a key focus in each campaign that allows it to continually increase customer loyalty.

Here are a few reasons to consider a move to integrated marketing:

1.     Stronger Results

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.