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Integrated Marketing Basics for Small Business

November 10, 2014

Integrated Marketing Basics for Small Business

How consistent is your marketing message? Whether you’re a small business or a growing enterprise, having a marketing message that’s consistent across different mediums is the key to achieving the best possible results.

This strategy – of having a consistent message – is known as integrated marketing, and it’s a strategy that lets you avoid the numerous downsides of marketing that’s fragmented into different messages, campaigns and promises.

In this guide, we’ll look at the basics of integrated marketing and explain how you can use integrated marketing tactics to get more from your direct mail campaigns, online marketing and advertising efforts as a whole.

Why should small businesses care about integrated marketing?

As a small business owner, it’s easy to think of marketing trends and strategies as something that only “big businesses’ need to follow. The disadvantages of having a fragmented marketing strategy, however, are just as serious for small businesses.

Marketing integration revolves around having a marketing message that’s entirely consistent from one medium to another. Your direct mail campaign matches your online marketing, which in turn matches your billboards and radio campaigns.

When your message is consistent across multiple mediums – even if they’re local – it becomes more powerful. Since people hear, see or read your message in numerous different formats (often multiple times daily) is compounds and has a greater effect.

The end result is a greater return on your marketing spend, especially if your goal is brand recognition and familiarity. Your slogan, brand name or product benefits are easier to remember because they’re consistent and memorable on every medium.

The world’s best marketers use integrated marketing to their advantage

Which advertising slogans can you recall from memory? The most memorable and effective marketing messages come from businesses that use integrated marketing heavily in their campaigns.

Apple made “Think Different” its slogan in the late 1990s and used every chance it got – from product packaging to TV ads – to mention it. It became one of the most iconic, effective and memorable slogans in marketing history.

Nike made “Just Do It.” its official message in 1988 – a risky choice compared to the sports and product-focused slogans of rivals Reebok and Adidas. It used its message whenever possible; 10 years later, its market share had grown from 18% to 43%.

You don’t need to be a big company to benefit from integrated marketing. Just like Apple’s Think Different message rebuilt its creative image and helped it stand out, your own consistent message can help your business stand out in its community.

What marketing message should become your business’s focus?

Do your marketing campaigns all revolve around a single message, or do they suffer from the lack of focus common to fragmented marketing? The more consistent your message is from one platform to another, the stronger it becomes.

Think carefully about your most effective marketing message and turn it into your focus. If you operate a local café, focus on comfort or your menu. If you run a small professional services business, focus on the single biggest benefit of your service.

There’s an old idiom: “More wood behind fewer arrows.” It’s the strategy behind the success of huge companies like Google, and it can help you determine what’s worth keeping and – more importantly – what’s worth sacrificing in your marketing.

Once you discover the message that has the greatest effect on your target audience, make it your absolute focus across print media, direct mail, social media, display ads and more. Be 100% consistent and your marketing results will quickly multiply.