What Is Integrated Marketing? A Layman’s Primer

by George Konetes | Apr 7, 2015 | Digital

integrated marketingIn one sentence, Integrated Marketing is a strategic blend of using old media, new media, and non-traditional methods to communicate a coordinated message.

Every one of those words is significant, but let me zero in on one key phrase: a coordinated message.  The subtly and the success are wrapped up in these two words. You see, communicating a message or mass messages across multiple channels is a like a musical harmony, everything is in unity.  A coordinated message on the other hand is a little bit more like a symphony.

Messaging Harmony

In music, every instrument has a distinct and independent sound.  A violin sounds a certain way, a viola is slightly different, and a cello is also different. The notes and melodies however are similar across all three of these stringed instruments.  All three could play the same music at the same time and it would be a pleasant experience.  But if you coordinate each instrument to play slightly different notes, each corresponding to its unique strengths and diversity of tonal ranges, you end up with something special.  The instruments play in unison, there is one song, but instead of a simple harmony, you have the makings of symphony.

Integrated Marketing is similar in many ways to this concept. Every media channel communicates a similar but coordinated message. There are differences, distinct elements that are expressed through each media channel. The core brand is always consistent.  But the variations in the channels can help triangulate the message.

Find The Best Instruments

Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message,” which points to the fundamental relationship between what you are trying to communicate and the medium you are using. In other words, the method of communication alters the nature and impact of the message.  Take the historic “I have a dream” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  These culture changing words were delivered via a passionate verbal expression that was recorded and broadcast.  These same words delivered in print would have had a very different impact.  This message had a synergy with the spoken word.

The Listener Experience

The goal of integrated marketing is to compile all of the expressions of your message and use the most effective media tools to communicate them. When this is successful, your audience receives a dynamic message that builds with each media interaction.  This amplifies your impact when compared to a message that comes across clunky and flat due to being projected in ways that are not effective for each medium.

Whether it is television, radio, partner email, digital display, or social based communication outlets, each media channel has unique synergies with different expressions of your message.

Integrated marketing is about strategically matching those synergies so that an orchestra of media channels can produce a symphony of a message.

George Konetes

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