The Importance of Integrated Marketing Communications
by Ian Linton
Integrated marketing communications is an approach to planning communications that gives your small business the potential to get better results from your campaigns and reduce marketing costs. By integrating tools such as advertising, direct mail, social media, telemarketing, and sales promotion, you provide clarity, consistency and maximum communications impact, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ definition.
In the traditional approach to marketing communications, businesses and their agencies plan separate campaigns for advertising, press relations, direct marketing and sales promotions. Integrated campaigns use the same communication tools to reinforce each other and improve marketing effectiveness. In an integrated campaign, you can use advertising to raise awareness of a product and generate leads for the sales force. By communicating the same information in press releases and feature articles, you reinforce the messages in the advertising. You can then use direct mail or email to follow up inquiries from the advertising or press campaigns and provide prospects with more information. To help convert those prospects to customers, you can use telemarketing to sell directly or make appointments for the sales team.