educational

Integrated Marketing: Get More From Ad Dollars With Multiple Media Channels

Brian Sofer

By combining marketing elements and focusing on one basic message, you can develop a comprehensive, integrated marketing approach for your brand or product that will generate effective mileage for your advertising and PR dollars. Marketing that encompasses multiple channels, i.e., print, radio, TV, web, video, direct mail and social media to drive your brand can be termed as “integrated.”

Using an integrated approach is a smart way to get your brand noticed, seen and heard. More impressions in multiple forms of media leads to more penetration so use everything in your PR arsenal. We know that customers are getting their information, news, entertainment and brand/shopping knowledge from several different sources. Certainly not just magazines or television — but through a media mix including Facebook, Instagram, radio, online ad impressions and texting. If you’re using only one of those avenues to reach your demographic, you’re clearly missing ways to reach your customers.

I think many of us would agree that while in some ways our industry is on the cutting edge technologically — at the retail level, many still don’t utilize the web to its fullest potential.

An integration approach these days can be used for your social media channels alone. Have you run a new product promotion, sale or event engaging your social media customers or fans? You might be surprised at a completely different audience following you — and you should at least try to tap into what could be a new and potentially lucrative audience. You could send out specific “call to action” tweets. For instance, alert followers to “share your favorite sexual experience with brand X on our Facebook or YouTube page for a chance to win X.” You can plan out an entire participatory promotion centered around your brand using three different social media channels. You also get the benefit of turning new customers onto your social media network and cultivating them as part of your expanding social audience.

Integrated marketing can also help bring your less tech-savvy customers into your brand’s online presence. I think many of us would agree that while in some ways our industry is on the cutting edge technologically — at the retail level, many still don’t utilize the web to its fullest potential. This is important because everyone and everything will be done online — you want your audience there sooner rather than later because online marketing is much, much more cost effective than anything else. The sooner you can reapportion print marketing dollars to digital marketing dollars, the sooner you can start slashing your advertising budget. With that in mind, you may want to start shifting your marketing emphasis towards online to find out which are your most effective methods of web communication.

Some ways to usher in web-phobic customers is to reach them how they’re used to being reached normally — direct mailer, flyer, print ad, catalog, etc. Include a call to action inviting customers to “sign up for our online mailing list to receive 10 percent off your next order.” Or “fan us on our Facebook page before XXX for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree.” Keep the promotion alive only on your print channels, so that your audience remains the actual target — new online customers. Each time your company develops a new social media account whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, a blog, etc., create a promotion specifically designed to bring your customers into that new channel. Of course, make sure you have a strategy in mind. The strategy for having an Instagram account shouldn’t be “well, we just need it.” If your agenda is simply to establish an account and never use or update it; it will just fall into the digital dustbin of cyberspace.

Another example of integrating your promotional offerings is to use print and online ads as a discount coupon for your event. That way you can both promote your event AND provide a call of action/incentive to bring customers to the store with the same ad buy. Keep that discount theme going with Facebook posts, email blasts and website banners as well for maximum exposure to promote the event. If you’re running a radio spot for a ladies night at your store, reinforce it with a Facebook promotion, a web banner, a print magazine ad and a YouTube commercial.

Integrate your advertising and promotional materials efficiently to successfully promote anything and everything. The general rule is that it takes a person nine times of hearing a message before that person can recall it.

One print ad or one web banner won’t give you the boost you’re looking for to make an impact. Effective advertising requires repetition of a clear message in a variety of sources in order to give your brand the biggest bang for your advertising buck. Remember, stop leaving money on the table and advertising without a plan — strategize, create and integrate.

Brian Sofer currently serves as marketing ninja at Eldorado Trading Company. Sofer joined the Eldorado team in 2010. Brian is a creative, results-oriented marketing professional with extensive experience across his career utilizing digital media.

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