The Plain-English Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications

I fly Southwest Airways virtually completely. They provide affordable costs, make racketing factors straightforward, and all the time have enjoyable and sort flight attendants.

One factor I’ve seen about Southwest is their branding is on level.

Whether or not I’m reserving a flight on their cell utility, being served my go-to in-flight ginger ale, or strolling by means of the terminal at Halfway Airport, I’m surrounded by Southwest’s constant model colours, messaging, and imagery.

That is an instance of built-in advertising at work. In case you’re fascinated by presenting a cohesive, constant model expertise that leaves your services or products top-of-mind — like Southwest does — this information is for you.

Learn on to be taught extra about built-in advertising and learn how to create your personal marketing campaign.



Think about discovering a brand new model on Instagram and visiting the corporate’s web site to buy one in all its merchandise. If their web site promoted a special message or marketing campaign than the one you discovered on their Instagram account, you’d have a tough time understanding the gist of the model, proper?

Built-in advertising exists to eradicate these disparities and variations no matter how or when a buyer interacts along with your model. It’s just like multi-channel advertising, besides built-in advertising aligns the message you share on all these channels.

Relating to channels, built-in advertising doesn’t apply to only your inbound or digital advertising channels; it additionally consists of conventional media channels. Many built-in advertising examples we’ll assessment beneath incorporate typical advertising channels similar to print, radio, and TV adverts.

Now, let’s discuss built-in advertising campaigns.

Why are built-in advertising campaigns efficient?

Whereas built-in advertising campaigns can differ of their objectives (e.g., changing views, constructing model consciousness, and many others.), they need to all have one part in widespread: to align your advertising channels to current a united advertising “entrance”.

In case your advertising channels are gamers, think about your built-in advertising marketing campaign the coach in control of operating performs and serving to your channels work as a unified system — not disparate ones.

It’s additionally more practical to run built-in advertising campaigns than campaigns on particular person channels. Built-in advertising campaigns are impactful for just a few causes:

  • They attain a wider viewers than a single advertising channel.
  • They’ve a larger probability of being seen on a number of channels, thus maintaining your model top-of-mind and pushing guests nearer to conversion.
  • They construct belief with guests as they see a constant message on a number of channels.
  • They prevent cash since belongings are shareable between and repurposed for various advertising channels. Relying in your marketing campaign, clients can assist you market your services or products for you.

So, how will you construct your built-in advertising marketing campaign? Observe these steps to get began.

1. Set up your overarching marketing campaign purpose.

Earlier than you think about what channels will likely be a part of your built-in advertising marketing campaign, you need to think about the purpose of all the marketing campaign.

Possibly you’ve launched a brand new product, service, or initiative and need to get it in entrance of consumers — like Southwest’s Transfarency. Maybe you’ve rebranded and want to broadcast your new message — like Previous Spice’s Odor Like a Man, Man. Possibly you’ve chosen a brand new positioning tagline and wish your viewers to begin associating your model with it — like Snickers’ You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.

(Don’t fear, we’ll dig deeper into these examples later.)

No matter your marketing campaign purpose could also be, all the time keep in mind to make it SMART. This can provide help to keep centered, observe your marketing campaign success, and learn to enhance the subsequent time.

These objectives must also relate to at the least one of many following key efficiency indicators (KPIs) and their subsequent metrics, which you’ll observe once you launch your marketing campaign.


associated Metrics

Site visitors/attain

Distinctive web page views by channel and supply


Bounce fee; common time on web page

High (and falling) content material

High web page views; high exits


Click on-throughs; conversions; backlinks


Feedback; social shares

Lead technology

Whole leads; whole classes; session to steer conversion fee

Gross sales

Result in advertising certified lead (MQL); MQL to gross sales certified lead (SQL); buyer buy/closed-won enterprise

Additionally, whereas elevated engagement and new leads are all the time thrilling, a multi-channel marketing campaign ought to think about the larger image: how your marketing campaign impacts gross sales alternatives and enterprise income. Take a second to map out the way you need your marketing campaign to influence your backside line, too.

2. Select your advertising channels and set objectives for every one.

Now that you realize your overarching built-in advertising marketing campaign purpose, you most likely have a greater concept of what channels (if not all of them) can assist you attain that purpose.

For instance, if you wish to roll out a brand new emblem and branding suite, you don’t essentially must leverage radio adverts. Then again, in the event you’re extending your viewers to focus on a brand new geographic area or metropolis, radio adverts, billboard adverts, TV adverts, and different native channels could come in useful.

Selecting your channel(s) all boils all the way down to what you’re making an attempt to realize by means of your built-in advertising marketing campaign. There are 10 main advertising “channels” that you should utilize to distribute your marketing campaign content material.

Your built-in advertising marketing campaign ought to embody a wide range of advertising channels to succeed in the widest viewers and drive residence your marketing campaign message. In case you see a number of channels plateau, don’t hesitate so as to add, take away, or take a look at new ones.

3. Outline your purchaser personas by channel.

Each advertising channel targets its particular purchaser persona. Because of this, as an alternative of defining a broad persona in your marketing campaign, you need to outline your viewers by channel.

There’ll inevitably be some overlap, but it surely’s smart to know precisely who you’re speaking to on every medium and learn how to tailor these particular belongings to be essentially the most profitable.

Word: With some campaigns, you might be concentrating on a particular viewers. On this case, flip steps 2 and three — outline your purchaser persona(s) first after which resolve which channels can assist you attain that viewers.

Obtain our free Persona Templates to prepare your viewers segments and rapidly strengthen your advertising.

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4. Establish your channel managers.

Relying on the scale of your advertising crew, you will have completely different individuals (or whole teams) in control of different channels. When operating a multi-channel advertising marketing campaign, you need to decide who particularly will guarantee their channel(s) align with the marketing campaign.

That is vital for 2 causes: 1) the supervisor is the knowledgeable on their channel (e.g., viewers, posting cadence, optimization ways, reporting methods, and many others.) and can know learn how to tailor the marketing campaign content material to be essentially the most profitable; and a pair of) placing one particular person in control of all channels could also be overwhelming and can trigger the content material and marketing campaign to endure.

You’ll have a extra minor advertising crew the place one particular person handles a number of channels. No matter your crew measurement, do your greatest to share channel administration duties throughout just a few individuals — ideally, with one particular person operating one or two channels.

5. Create adaptable advertising belongings and messaging.

You will have your marketing campaign purpose, target market(s), and advertising channels. It’s now time to create your built-in advertising marketing campaign content material. This stage is the place copywriting, graphic design, and different inventive processes come into play.

Earlier than I dive into how, let’s discuss a vital part of built-in advertising content material: adaptability. To maintain your marketing campaign constant (and ease your workload), it’s best to be capable to repurpose any content material to make use of on completely different channels.

For instance, let’s say your built-in advertising marketing campaign focuses on the launch of a brand new 3-minute model video. You possibly can repurpose this video into:

  • 30-second and one-minute “trailer” movies
  • Nonetheless photos
  • Quotes
  • GIFs
  • Hashtags
  • Weblog posts
  • Soundbites

As you develop and repurpose these inventive belongings, preserve them aligned along with your model pointers and per one another. Create your model pointers in your built-in advertising marketing campaign to share along with your crew and any channel managers.

This documentation might embody just a few issues:

  • Visible pointers (emblem, coloration palette, typography, and many others.)
  • Any developed and repurposed belongings in a number of file codecs
  • Voice and tone pointers (taglines, most well-liked language, phrases to keep away from, and many others.)
  • Messaging pointers (ache factors, objectives, kinds of content material, assets, and many others.)
  • Purchaser persona info and pointers

Built-in advertising is all a few constant model expertise. Ensure your marketing campaign belongings replicate that, no matter what channel your viewers visits or sees.

6. Set up your plan for amassing leads.

Whether or not or not you plan your marketing campaign to gather leads, it’s best to all the time be able to obtain them. You don’t need to go away this as an afterthought when you launch your marketing campaign. Even in the event you’re merely campaigning to boost consciousness of your model, think about how your guests may convert to leads — and, finally, clients.

First, think about how a customer may convert to a lead. Would they subscribe to your publication? Or enter their info to obtain a content material provide? Or create an account in your web site? Guarantee these conversion elements of your marketing campaign are additionally on-brand with the remainder of your visible and messaging belongings.

Subsequent, think about how your leads will likely be nurtured as soon as they convert. Would they roll into an automated e mail workflow? Would you cross them alongside to Gross sales? Nevertheless you go about this step, be sure that your leads aren’t forgotten as soon as they willingly give over their info.

As all the time, talk with Gross sales to verify that they’re conscious of your marketing campaign and on board along with your plan for brand new leads and clients.

7. Launch, measure, and iterate your marketing campaign.

Able to launch your built-in advertising marketing campaign? It is perhaps time to place your marketing campaign to work — but it surely’s not time to relaxation.

Bear in mind these KPIs and metrics from the 1st step? Whichever KPIs relate to your overarching marketing campaign purpose (e.g., boosting model consciousness, rebranding, new product, and many others.), begin monitoring these subsequent metrics every week, month, and quarter (relying on how lengthy your marketing campaign is operating) to see how profitable it’s at reaching your purpose.

As all the time, apply what you be taught from every built-in advertising marketing campaign to future campaigns. With the fitting methods, managers, and instruments, you may create a endless cycle of built-in advertising campaigns — and wins.

Built-in Advertising and marketing Methods and Finest Practices

As you assemble your built-in advertising marketing campaign, there are just a few key methods and greatest practices to recollect. We’ve detailed them right here, they usually apply no matter your chosen media, channels, or objectives.

Align behind the scenes.

So that you can efficiently implement an built-in advertising method, it’s crucial that you simply not solely select advertising channel managers however that every one your advertising managers additionally talk usually about initiatives and campaigns.

Whereas not each built-in advertising marketing campaign or promotion must be on all of your channels, they need to complement one another to keep away from a fragmented model expertise for patrons.

Take into account the channel transition.

Built-in campaigns obtain site visitors from a number of sources — and cross alongside these sources like a sport of Sizzling Potato. Take into account how a customer could view/expertise every advertising channel: 1) if it was their first go to and a pair of) in the event that they transitioned from one other channel. Take into consideration how every channel can assist others convert.

For instance, say a buyer noticed your new billboard on their strategy to work and, as soon as they arrived, visited the web site on the billboard. Think about if, in your web site, the shopper couldn’t simply discover no matter your billboard was advertising. How complicated would that be? That buyer would doubtless drop off instantly.

Don’t neglect the small overlaps.

When making ready to launch your built-in advertising marketing campaign, it’s tempting to consider every channel and its respective media belongings. Nevertheless, this thought course of inherently goes in opposition to the ethos of built-in advertising. Built-in advertising exists to eradicate the silos of conventional advertising and produce collectively a cohesive marketing campaign expertise.

Because of this, don’t neglect the locations through which your marketing campaign overlaps. Listed here are just a few examples:

  • Your e mail signature, the place you may plug your social media handles, web site URL, or video hyperlinks
  • Your social media bios and posts, the place you may embody hyperlinks to your web site, weblog posts, content material provides, or different digital content material
  • Your weblog and web site, the place you may incorporate social sharing buttons
  • Your standalone touchdown pages, the place you may optimize for related key phrases and web optimization
  • Your PPC copy, the place you may take a look at topic traces to see what your viewers responds to

Whereas these overlaps won’t instantly help your marketing campaign objectives, they assist your viewers transition seamlessly between channels, take pleasure in that constant, cohesive model expertise, and finally discover their strategy to a web page that converts them.

Each marketer is aware of how a lot you may be taught from these earlier than you. On this part, we’ve pulled collectively a handful of well-executed built-in advertising campaigns to present you an instance of this tactic’s success.

1. Odor Like a Man, Man by Previous Spice

For years, I related Previous Spice with one thing solely my dad or grandfather would put on. I keep in mind the outdated, white bottle of aftershave with the light pirate ship that used to sit down in my dad’s cupboard.

integrated marketing example old spice old bottle


I don’t suppose I’m the one one who held this affiliation, so it’s no shock that, in 2010, Previous Spice launched a significant rebranding marketing campaign to present its merchandise a younger, playful really feel — and finally appeal to a youthful viewers. Not solely did Previous Spice change the design of their packaging, however additionally they renamed their merchandise and crafted a brand new tagline (“Odor Like a Man, Man”).

The preliminary marketing campaign launch featured one 30-second TV spot, The Man Your Man Might Odor Like, that was so beloved that Previous Spice launched a handful of others.


However Previous Spice didn’t cease on the TV business. In addition they included their web site, product pages, Instagram, YouTube, and different channels of their marketing campaign.

No, they don’t all characteristic the particular characters or taglines from the unique TV spots (keep in mind, the marketing campaign launched virtually 10 years in the past). Nonetheless, they replicate the identical tone, theme, and model, thus giving clients a constant model expertise throughout all media.

integrated marketing example old spice website

2. Transfarency by Southwest Airways

I mentioned Southwest Airways’ constant branding initially of this text. One marketing campaign that stands out is their Transfarency motion, which launched a brand new phrase that marketed Southwest as an airline with easy pricing and no hidden charges.

The marketing campaign initially launched in 2015 and stays a permanent airline model staple. 

Southwest has used virtually each attainable advertising channel to broadcast this marketing campaign: a devoted touchdown web page on which you should purchase tickets, print ads posted alongside airport partitions and tucked behind airplane seats, a slew of video spots, and loads of user-generated content material on their social media.

integrated marketing example southwest instagram

3. You’re Not You When You’re Hungry by Snickers

Snickers is one in all my favourite chocolate bars, so I paid shut consideration after I began to see commercials for his or her You’re Not You When You’re Hungry ads.

Launched on the 2010 Tremendous Bowl, this Snickers marketing campaign has remained top-of-mind for chocolate and sweet lovers in all places.


One purpose for that is the marketing campaign’s humor. Nonetheless, the opposite, extra pertinent purpose is that Snickers pasted this motion in all places — on its web site, social media, TV, print adverts, and more- together with loads of celebrities. 

By presenting an aligned, cohesive, built-in advertising marketing campaign, clients now consider Snickers when craving a candy snack — and the corporate has benefitted.

integrated marketing example snickers billboard

4. Share a Coke by Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke marketing campaign was distinctive in that the corporate put its clients entrance and heart by that includes names and enjoyable phrases on its product. This created countless promoting angles and led to limitless user-generated content material from clients desirous to share merchandise with their names. The #ShareaCoke hashtag was shared through 500,000+ buyer images.

coke share a coke integrated marketing campaign

When this marketing campaign was at its top, I took photos of and even purchased Cokes that includes the names of my family and friends. Evidently others did the identical — the marketing campaign elevated Coke consumption from 1.7 billion to 1.9 billion day by day servings.

5. Develop Higher by HubSpot

HubSpot has numerous digital properties — its weblog, web site, social media channels, and SaaS merchandise. This stage of selection requires a number of consistency in messaging and advertising.

HubSpot just lately set its final imaginative and prescient to assist clients develop higher — all clients on all channels. To advertise this messaging, it up to date all content material to replicate this imaginative and prescient.

integrated marketing communications hubspot grow better

The message could also be brief, however the influence is important. Nevertheless, wherever clients work together with HubSpot, its built-in advertising has ensured that they understand how HubSpot operates — and why they need to grow to be a buyer.

Creating Your Advertising and marketing Plan

As you may see, planning is the important thing to profitable built-in advertising. In case you want additional steerage by means of the planning course of, HubSpot provides a free advertising template to assist set you off heading in the right direction. 


The template consists of: 


  • A enterprise abstract 
  • Enterprise initiatives 
  • Goal advertising 
  • Market technique 
  • Price range 
  • Advertising and marketing channels 
  • Advertising and marketing expertise 


Budgeting a structuring your advertising plan is made easy with this template. 

Built-in Advertising and marketing Helps You Develop Higher

Built-in advertising turns your advertising campaigns into multi-channel actions. In as we speak’s omnichannel world — with customers encountering your model on-line, on social media, and on their day by day commutes — built-in advertising is extra vital than ever to seize new clients and construct model recognition and loyalty.

Implement these steps and techniques in your subsequent built-in advertising marketing campaign, which can certainly achieve success.

Editor’s word: This submit was initially printed in October 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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