Print, Digital, and Beyond: Why Integrated Marketing Is a Must

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When it’s time to begin marketing a product or service, one of the critical first steps is to find out where your target audience is going for its information. You want to reach prospective customers via the media outlets they already rely upon.

‘Whether I’m at a trade show or an industry conference, I always take the opportunity to ask people where they get their information.’ Ron O’Brien, Thermo Fisher Scientific. Read more of his marketing tips here.

Yet, things can start to get complex when you consider today’s expanding media landscape. On a daily basis, your audience likely consumes a combination of news websites, social media sites, mobile apps, magazines, and more.

As a result, it no longer makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on just one type of media outlet or type of strategy. Print still maintains its value as a powerful anchor to any ad campaign — offering elements of credibility, tangibility and niche marketing, according to readership studies and publications such as Forbes — but many of the most effective campaigns today also include digital components such as email, webinars, banner ads, blogs and search engine ads.

Make an Impact Amid a Noisy Media Backdrop

To maximize your budget and make the biggest impression on your audience, you need a multifaceted approach that connects your brand messaging across many different media channels. Otherwise, you risk a campaign that’s disjointed and more costly than it needs to be.

For the most significant impact, integration is the way to go. A truly integrated campaign means understanding what will appeal to your audience and then ensuring that each of your marketing elements complement one another to deliver an experience that will capture their attention.

What does this look like? It can take many forms, but here’s an example:

  1. A print ad catches the readers’ eye with just the right headline, strengthening your brand image and appealing to them while they’re in the crucial information-gathering phase.
  2. The ad’s call-to-action pulls readers into a blog, where you can engage them with more compelling headlines and useful content on a targeted topic.
  3. From your blog or website, you ask your audience to submit contact information for a webinar, white paper, or other incentive.
  4. With their contact information and preferences, you can follow up in a manner that’s consistent with how they’d like to be contacted.

Note that other elements may come into play. You may choose to also run paid search ads, for example, drawing prospects to your webinar or other “thing of value.” Or you may promote your blog content, a networking event or tradeshow through social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Keep the Creative Consistent

Creative continuity is another important aspect of an integrated marketing campaign. True integration means that every element incorporates a consistent design and message. Done properly, the customer is led seamlessly through the sales cycle, with a creative consistency that builds familiarity with your brand. This will make your audience more responsive to your next call-to-action.

Keep in mind, there’s no “one size fits all” method to determining which combination of marketing tactics will garner the most success. A little experimentation goes a long way. Track metrics and seek to bump up your response rates through better headlines, crisp design, and compelling content that connects throughout the campaign.

Want to learn more on creating content? Download the white paper, Content Marketing Insights: Connecting with a Scientific Audience.

Integrated marketing is, in one word, strategic. It allows you to think more broadly about your message and open the door to new opportunities to capture your audience’s attention during various phases of the buying process and in various settings.

With the right messages, the most suitable media channels, and solid tracking data to measure success, an integrated campaign will build trust in your brand and increase revenue. Isn’t that your ultimate goal?

We want to hear from you: In the comments area, please let us know what combination of advertising and promotion vehicles has worked best for you.