A little background on me: I have built my career in digital marketing. I have spent the past decade or so learning and honing my digital skillset. I have used SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing with resounding success. I have a long list of happy clients BUT I have a confession to make.

I think we left opportunities on the table.

Let me explain. I have found that marketing can no longer be done in silos. A company’s digital marketing, traditional advertising, public relations, etc. efforts need to be done in sync and with a holistic approach. I know this may sound like common sense but all too often as marketers we think only through the lens of our discipline, completely disregarding other marketing avenues.

Why an Integrated approach?

For years I have been telling whoever would listen about the wonders of digital marketing. It is research and data driven. You can track conversions, therefore making ROI tracking is that much easier. You can scale online advertising quickly and easily. The list goes on. What my conversations with clients have been focused on as of late have been different in nature. While most business owners and marketing directors have caught the digital marketing bug, I have been steering people to a more integrated approach. Here are a couple reasons why:

1. Different Mediums are for Different Applications.

Whether we’re talking about online or traditional advertising, email campaigns, radio spots, or being top ranking in organic search, there is a time and place for each. For instance, Social media is a great way to engage your current audience but may not be the best tool for direct conversions, or sales. An optimized Google Adwords campaign is great for first time buyers but will not build brand awareness like a well placed billboard or a targeted radio spot.

2. Different Mediums Target Different Demographics.

There have been numerous in depth studies that outline the effectiveness of different marketing mediums on different demographics. For instance: older Americans (65+) still prefer direct mail and strongly dislike text message notifications. Go figure. Women are more likely to purchase through social media and while some “marketing guru’s” say that email marketing is dead, it still performs well across most demographics.

Holistic planning

Holistic planning is a process and starts with a deep dive into the current marketing strategy, sales strategy, and overall business goals. A SWOT and Competitive Analysis are helpful along with deep market research. That research phase informs the formation of marketing personas to help segment audiences for different messaging via different marketing mediums. It is advantageous to craft a singular campaign idea and then tailor that idea to different messaging for different personas. This will help keep all messaging cohesive while staying highly targeted.

Integrated Marketing Execution

Choosing what marketing mediums for different persona’s and how to roll them out in strategic ways is where a good marketer really earns their keep. Creating assets, tailoring messaging, and implementing an integrated marketing plan efficiently takes a certain level of experience, being looped into the newest tools and techniques, as well as the skillset to execute using different tools. 

Measurement and Pivoting

I am wired with a data driven and analytical mind. I think that’s why I found my way into digital marketing. I see the value in measurement and testing. Digital marketing obviously lends itself to measurement, testing, and pivoting. It is more difficult with traditional marketing avenues. Tracking direct and comprehensive ROI on a print ad, for instance is difficult if not impossible. Coupon codes, vanity URLs, or UTM campaign codes help to track conversions and website traffic. This data is beneficial even if not completely accurate or comprehensive. I have found that the key to integrated marketing testing is to go about it in a scientific way and test one new marketing avenue at a time, if possible.

With that being said, testing marketing efforts does not do any good unless marketers learn from them. Whether we learn that our efforts are good, bad, or indifferent, what we learn should guide our approach moving forward. Optimizing campaigns should be an ongoing focus, scaling what works well and cutting what does not.