The idea of integrated marketing is to make sure that the internal and external messaging of a company is consistent across all communication and sales channels.
A big part of this is to make sure that ecommerce is not merely a platform for sales, but an opportunity to reach existing and new customers. For example, if a company is promoting its business via email or social media coupons, it is critical that the items in those promotions are in stock. Sometimes brick-and-mortar businesses start an ecommerce division and fail to integrate it into the overall marketing plan. Similarly, Internet marketing initiatives are sometimes undertaken with no coordination with the manufacturing and retailing departments. Make sure that all the departments are aware of the company’s overall message.
Here are five crucial elements for an integrated ecommerce marketing strategy.
Have strong communication across departments and level of employees, from the management team and to the retail personnel.
The success of the entire company is the goal. If each department focuses only on its narrow goals, keeping the entire company in mind is less likely. Create a culture that encourages cooperation and collaboration.
The message has to be consistent across the various platforms that customers use. Whether it is direct mail, a Twitter post, a television ad, or a free ebook, everything from the logo and branding has to be the same. Something as small as an inconsistent font use between a print ad and website can dilute a brand.
The centralization of integrated marketing does not eliminate creativity from employees. In fact, a strong integrated approach will encourage creativity. If you are an ecommerce business with much expertise around your products, build on that with blog posts and public-speaking events.
The focus on the customer has to be absolute. While obtaining new customers is always a good idea, retaining existing ones is perhaps even better. Integrated marketing can play a big role in this as existing customer data can be used to build customer loyalty.
So, how integrated are your marketing communications?
- Are you consistent in your brand promotion?
- Are you using diverse media to communicate your message?
- Are all your resources committed to the same marketing goal?
It may be time to revamp your marketing approach.