How many platforms do you use to promote your brand? Newspaper ads? Social media? Direct mail shots? Chances are you use at least a couple to get word of what you do out there to your target audience. This means it’s vital that your campaign planning is fully integrated, with each marketing channel working in harmony with its counterparts. So what can you do to ensure you have an integrated strategy in place?

Saman Mansourpour, managing director of The Agency, offers a few tips…

Know your audience
It doesn’t matter which platforms you want to use, as one fundamental basic principle applies regardless. You’ve got to understand who your audience is and what these people are looking for. Mr Mansourpour suggests carrying out research so audience reactions to a live campaign environment can be tested and measured. “Different media will infiltrate different audience segments, so research and testing can be isolated and personalised, but expect some crossover and develop your message accordingly,” he said.

Listen to what people are saying
Mr Mansourpour pointed out that consumer power has “increased exponentially” in recent years, with factors such as the rise of social media enabling people to become much more vocal. However, he believes brands shouldn’t feel disempowered and should instead “reach out to their audience and look to resolve any issues in the public space by being transparent with their practices”. This, he said, can create lots of opportunities to strengthen your brand and encourage positive mentions on review sites and online forums.

Plan ahead
It sounds basic, but it’s vital to ensure you know what marketing material is going out at particular times and where it is being distributed. “It’s all well and good having a presence across numerous media channels, but without a detailed plan of what will be posted, where and at what time, you entire strategy will spiral,” Mr Mansourpour remarked. “Line by line planning is what most media planners are weaned on and no campaign manager should go into battle without one.”

Build emotional connection to audience
Many brands have moved away from overtly plugging products and services to trying to form an emotional bond with their consumers. Mr Mansourpour thinks this shows how the wants and desires of modern consumers have changed and believes firms should therefore try and tap into their emotions “while delivering a message of value.” “Get this right and your brand can almost guarantee marketing campaign success.”

Compare channel performance
Some platforms will deliver better results than others, so it’s worth monitoring how well they are doing and whether you are hitting the targets you set at the start of the campaign. This means you can either change your approach or perhaps take the decision to not bother with those channels that aren’t working as well as you’d hoped.

Mr Mansourpour acknowledged that offering tailored brand experiences at every single consumer touchpoint can be a major headache for marketers. However, he said those who have managed this successfully have shown their adeptness at multi-channel media planning and performance tracking, as well as their creativity and a focus on the user experience. “Integrated campaign planning is more in-depth than just coordinating different media channels, and we are now seeing brand marketers apply integrated methodologies to their everyday campaigns as a matter of course,” Mr Mansourpour added.

Six tips for successfully planning an integrated marketing campaign, The Drum

Posted by Robin McCrink