At its simplest, integrated communications is about harmony. A pleasing effect – think customer conversion and sales – caused by a well-coordinated execution of different, reinforcing promotional methods.

Integrated communications signal an end to the segregation of campaigns and offers a seamless experience across your business. It merges all aspects of marketing communications – advertising, digital, social media, sponsorship, public relations – into a unified force centred on the customer.

The end goal is to break through the clutter and rise above your competitors with a memorable message driving brand recognition.

Creative consistency strengthens campaign themes

The average Joe Public is living a multi-channel life with every touch point being important. And in the age of digital, it’s not just what you say that’s important, it’s how you say it.

Delivering a consistent message with the same look and feel, enables a brand to become firmly entrenched in the consumer’s mind and leads to better brand affinity – that elusive emotional connection that we subconsciously feel for our favourite brands. An all-encompassing strategy can also save on costs and time while reaching customers in the format they prefer.

Encouraging a conversation with your brand

At the core of integrated marketing communications is a two-way conversation. Without it, a brand is merely back-pedalling to the bygone era of the traditional who-can-shout-the-loudest marketing. Customer-centric communications put the (potential) customer first. They listen, engage, innovate and go the extra mile, using customer feedback and reviews to improve.

The age of social has opened up a Pandora’s box for brands where control has transferred to the customer. While a negative trending hashtag or online review can create immense fall out, the converse is also true. A brand that is authentically listening to its customers can work with any bad press and use it to their advantage.

Integrated communications incorporates both the old and the new

At the same time, old school marketing methods should never be abandoned. Although Millennials are digitally au fait to the point of becoming saturated, competitions, coupons, in-store signage and training of shop staff, for example, should be equally utilised and enhanced to ensure conversion right at the end of the marketing funnel.

Even though marketers and companies are tending to shift from more traditional media such as newspaper and television over to digital marketing channels, it doesn’t make the former redundant. Each channel has its own audience and in turn, their own way they want to be engaged with. Armed with data, brands can utilise the most relevant channels to communicate with consumers across multiple touch points.

A powerful holistic strategy…

A synergistic, integrated marketing communications strategy gives clarity and consistency while reinforcing your message in the consumer’s mind. The power of a holistic strategy should never be underestimated. Done well, it can increase profits, brand loyalty and lower company spend.

Brand inc Creative Group is an integrated communications agency focused on developing strategies that build brands, grow audiences and maximise ROI across relevant media channels. Please get in touch if you have any marketing needs. Go to www.brandinc.co.za or email info@brandinc.co.za.