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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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.