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An integrated marketing agency is a team of diversely skilled professionals who help you plan and execute an integrated marketing strategy.
The term integrated marketing communication, or IMC, has been around since the 1980s. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines IMC as “a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”
The most practical definition, however, is provided by the American marketing author Philip Kotler, who defined integrated marketing as “a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the viewpoint of the customer”.
Today, technology enables marketers to track the buying journey and analyze the customer behavior at various channels and touchpoints throughout the sales journey. Marketers can take advantage of the available data to design and deliver contextual messaging at each stage of the customer’s purchase path.
Like cross-channel marketing, the integrated marketing approach employs multiple tactics for reaching customers and prospects with relevant and consistent brand contacts across multiple channels.
We’ll note up front that all integrated marketing is multichannel marketing, but the converse may not be true.
Both approaches are closely related, but there’s a very important difference between them. Multichannel marketing aims to put your brand’s message on every channel that your customers use. It is more concerned with targeting digital media outlets that deliver better results.
Integrated marketing is focused on the message that is communicated. An integrated marketing agency takes a high-level view of your customer’s buying journey. It identifies the touchpoints where your customers come across your message and optimizes the message to make it more relevant and consistent.
Let’s say some of your customers view your ad on their Facebook newsfeed and click to your landing page. Others see your organic listing or PPC ad on Google. Once at your landing page, some of the visitors subscribe to your email and start receiving an automated lead nurturing sequence. Others reach out to you on Messenger, where you have a person (or a chatbot) ready to answer their questions. Some of your visitors may buy your product, download your app, or subscribe to your service on their first visit. Others may have to be reminded via remarketing ads.
As you may see, putting together the simple marketing sequence we just described requires the integration of several skills, such as:
An integrated marketing agency is the single point of contact where all of these skills come together.
An integrated marketing agency combines the power of branding, advertising, design, digital, and communication to create and deliver effective and timely communication at all customer touchpoints. It creates and implements a multichannel strategy and deploys several tactics for getting your message across to your prospect customers.
To achieve its goals, an integrated digital marketing agency uses a distinct skill set that produces better results for its clients. It creates a holistic marketing strategy and optimizes brand messaging to exploit the strengths of different digital channels.
According to Mediapost, more than 70% of online customers use three or more channels before reaching a purchase decision. Interestingly, multichannel companies who have integrated all channels are three times more likely to report higher marketing effectiveness compared to those using fewer channels and less integration.
In the digital space, small businesses can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with big brands by using integrated digital marketing communication. No company, big or small, owns the entire skill set needed to get a successful integrated marketing campaign up and running smoothly. Working with an integrated marketing agency becomes necessary if you want to reap the benefits of integrated marketing communication.
Can’t you use your in-house resources to integrate marketing? Perhaps. But working with an integrated marketing agency like Josh Meah & Co multiplies the chances of success and takes a lot of burden off your shoulders. There are several advantages of working with an agency that specializes in integrated marketing. Some of them include:
Integrated marketing agencies are sitting on top of a pool of human and technological resources. They can deploy and redeploy teams and technologies at a very short notice. You don’t have to worry about your internal team’s skills or bandwidth when you want to add a new channel or launch a new campaign. The agency can respond more quickly to the changing consumer response and/or competitive landscape than your in-house team.
The agency can run more efficient cross-channel campaigns by exploiting the marketplace business model. For example, a social media marketer can work on several campaigns at one time and an expensive software program can be used to manage several accounts. This pooling of resources brings in economies and efficiency for the agency for their clients.
Research findings suggest that well-integrated marketing campaigns are 2X more effective for small and medium sized businesses and 3X more effective for enterprise-level concerns. What these findings mean is that you can expect to see a significant jump in your revenues and profits. Working with an agency makes marketing integration hassle-free. It’s the easiest route to running integrated campaigns and multiplying your ROI.
At Josh Meah & Co, we offer the following services to help you execute highly successful integrated digital marketing campaigns.
All marketing starts with the customer. For integrated marketing to be successful, it is important to understand the customer segments and behavior on a multitude of channels. People behave differently on Facebook when they are interacting with friends than when they search for something on Google. We work with your employees and customers to build up a comprehensive understanding of your market. Some of the components of this service include:
Using the insights gathered from research, we create a multichannel strategy for your brand. The strategy documents the marketing channels, content types and themes, and campaign timings. We provide you a timeline for all activities as well as their goals and benchmarks for tracking progress. Here are some of the activities we perform during this phase.
Integrated marketing is focused on brand messaging. Different marketing channels require different types of content to be shared at different stages of the customer’s buying journey. Your agency ensures that the content stays consistent across channels, formats and touchpoints. For example, your paid search ad, follow up email, social media updates, and video ads should deliver a consistent experience. Our main design services include:
Based on the strategy, we launch and monitor your multichannel integrated campaigns using industry-leading software. Our experts track the campaigns in real time and make adjustments to their content, timings, targeting, and budget allocations, which allows you to maximize the return on your investment. Executing successful IMC campaigns requires expertise with a diversity of skills and technologies. An integrated marketing agency must offer the following services:
We do business in a borderless digital metaverse in which customers perceive no boundaries between channels. To outperform competitors, companies need to deliver relevant and consistent messaging at all customer touch points. Integrated marketing is not something simple or easy, but an integrated marketing agency can make it look like it is.
Josh Meah & Co has a global team of experts working in 12 different time zones, so we are an integrated marketing agency that’s always there, managing and monitoring your campaigns in multiple channels and territories. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve solid results with integrated marketing.
The art is building the right marketing campaign which maximizes business growth. The science is in the results.