Back in January I wrote a blog post on Why Having An Integrated Marketing Strategy Is So Importantthat kind of explains what we do at Stop and Stare, and perhaps how we’re different to some other local marketing agencies.
‘Integrated marketing communications’ is not a new concept, it’s one that large agencies and brands have been using very effectively for years. However, it is not something that we see so much of with small businesses; in my experience this sector’s marketing collateral can appear rather random with some conflicting and confusing messages going on.
INTEGRATED MARKETING CAMPAIGNS: THE 4 CS
In Pickton and Broderick’s book Integrated Marketing Communications they outline four key concerns (the 4Cs) that embody an integrated marketing campaign, and most importantly give your campaign the best chance of success. They are:
- Coherence– are different communications logically connected?
- Consistency– do multiple messages support and reinforce, and do not contradict?
- Continuity– are communications connected and consistent through time?
- Complementary– is the campaign synergistic, or are the sum of the parts greater than the whole?
So what does this mean in real terms when we look at a campaign? The following video is from one of my favourite campaigns from the last few years, O2’s ‘Be More Dog’.
Applying the 4 Cs above, here’s how agency VCCP integrated O2’s ‘Be More Dog’ campaign across their marketing, and how small businesses (albeit without the marketing budget of O2!) can do it too:
Coherence: An integrated marketing approach needs to join up all your communications. The ‘Be More Dog’ TV advertising slots drove viewers to bemoredog.com and an interactive quiz so that visitors could find out how ‘dog’ they are (I’m 90% a Golden Achiever) and then share the results on social media (hashtage #bemoredog). So the ad drives people to the website, the website provides an opportunity to engage with viewers and point them to more info about O2, and the quiz increases the campaign’s reach through shares on social media.
If this sounds too involved for your marketing campaigns, just think about joining the dots between the activities you are doing. For example, if you have a video promoting a product or service, the website URL shared in the video should be a landing page rather than the home page of your website. To make it really efficient that landing page should be specifically created to back up your campaign, but if that is a step too far it should at least be relevant to the video content. So, if the video demonstrates a product, the landing page can be the product overview page on your site.
Consistency: The core message of the campaign was to be enthusiastic and engaged with life (like a dog), rather than jaded, disinterested and aloof like a cat. Across all communications – print ads, TV commercials, interactive games that allow you to throw a frisbee from your smartphone to the cat on your PC etc. – the message was the same; that the we should all appreciate that life’s pretty cool, and make the most of our opportunities (and of course embrace technology from O2).
While your business may not have the budget to develop interactive games and apps to support your core message, consistency is a simple concept to execute. All it means is to ensure all your marketing activities reflect your core message and don’t contradict each other, whether that’s a clever three word slogan like ‘be more dog’, or your company’s brand message.
Continuity. Having a strong core message allows a brand to evolve marketing content over time but still maintain long-term continuity. O2’s initial campaign set out the ‘be more dog’ concept without being specifically aligned with any O2 product. Subsequent communications have been more targeted, featuring specific products or aimed at customer groups. However, over the last three years that the campaign has run the core message has remained the same and communications are joined up. For example O2 4G – Be more dog TV advert continues with the concept that dogs embrace life but showcases the 4G product. The landing page viewers are directed to may be a product page, but ‘be more dog’ is still present.
Small businesses should take away that to build trust and loyalty over time your core message needs continuity to ensure that customers know what you stand for. Too many different messages only confuses customers who then question whether your business / service / product is right for them.
Complimentary. With the three points above in place O2’s campaign has more value than all the individual communications if they existed as silos. O2’s customers, and potential ones, understand what the slogan ‘be more dog’ stands for and want to be part of it; becoming a customer of O2 is a way of buying into it.
Small businesses can learn a lot from big brand campaigns. In fact, for those businesses with more constrained budgets, the integrated marketing approach will deliver a lot more value than the disparate approach many companies employ.
If you would like to have a chat about integrated marketing or any of the factors covered in this post, give me a call – 01252 717373 – alternatively you can leave a comment in the box below.