If you consider the marketing tactics of Apple as a brand, they love to keep things simple. Their approach is simply to showcase their products as smarter, quicker and more stylish than the competition. This ‘no-nonsense’ approach is apparent across all aspects of the brand.
Apple’s packaging always remains the same – minimal text on crisp white boxes that showcase the product inside for all to see. Much like their packaging, their stores are also clean and minimal in their decor with white everywhere. Products are again, showcased and open for all to test out and use. Their commercials? You guessed it – sleek, minimal in voice descriptions of the products and are a close reflection of their online advertisements.
With this integrated branding and marketing approach portraying professional and premium products, Apple is able to charge prices well above their competitors, regardless of actual comparisons when it comes to technical performance. By doing so, they dominate the tech market in these specific product areas.
As media channels become more fragmented and the constant advertising customers are exposed to has desensitised them to a degree, it has become more important that brands become recognisable in an instant. Now, it is only the companies with the most integrated, consistent branding and marketing strategies that are instantly recognisable.
However, being consistent doesn’t mean you have to compromise on creativity in your marketing content. Integrated marketing is not defined simply by throwing the same colour palate across all media channels with the same imagery. Rather, it is a process of the marketing team (or agency) to put a great deal together behind the scenes to construct a clear, unilateral perception of a brand. That perception would include everything from advertising materials, face to face presentation with clients and customers, right through to the appearance and tone of the customer service reception, where applicable.
Integrated marketing should be considered by companies that:
Advertise across numerous media channels
Specify their target audiences definitively
Are concerned about the data and analytics behind the performance of their marketing activities as a whole
Commercially advertise through B2B or B2C channels
Multi-million pound corporations are typically suited as the most appropriate organisations to implement integrated marketing strategies and campaigns, simply because their reach extends to the largest amounts of people. However, there’s nothing to stop smaller organisations following the same techniques for their own marketing, as this will place them above the competition in their own markets in terms of greater brand awareness and sales.
Integrated marketing is not exclusively available as an option for new brands, companies at any stage of their presence in the market can adopt these techniques.
IKEA is a good example of this. At one stage, they were frustrated as an organisation because customers were only visiting them for throw pillows and kitchenware. This was the instigator that pushed them to create an integrated marketing campaign that would entice customers to make larger purchases on more expensive products in store. The concept of the campaign was to show customers how they could use IKEA to build their dream rooms in the home. Advertisements on television, printed brochures and a revamped website worked together in order to achieve this. The campaign was a success, with 9% and 12% growth in sales for living rooms and kitchens respectively.
Integrated marketing campaigns do not simply mirror the same advertisement across all of your media channels; instead each media channel’s advertisement contributes to the overall story or voice of your campaign. Each media channel serves the same purpose for the campaign objective, but in different ways that add up to an overall offering that customers can understand and interact with. Integrated marketing campaigns focus on the identity of a brand and a message trying to be conveyed.
As the nature of marketing in the 21st century is largely interactive, the easiest way to successfully integrate a brand across all platforms is to make the digital aspect fluid and specific. Most marketing campaigns these days are based on being interactive – it’s almost a necessity nowadays. The digital aspect of marketing campaign has to be fluid and specific in order to be tailored towards a wider brand message.
Example: Old Spice Guy Campaign
On day 1 the campaign received almost 6 million views
On day 2 Old Spice had 8 of the 11 most popular videos online
On day 3 the campaign had reached over 20 million views
After the first week old spice had over 40 million views
The old spice Twitter following increased 2700%
Facebook fan interaction was up 800%
com website traffic was up 300%
The old spice YouTube channel became the all-time most-viewed channel
The campaign generated 1.4 billion impressions in the first 6 months
Old spice is now the #1 body wash brand for men