How Not to Fail at Integrated Marketing

Forming an integrated marketing strategy isn’t exactly an easy task – of course, there are as many incredible possibilities to take advantage of as there are pitfalls to avoid.

All right, pop quiz – what’s an integrated marketing strategy? It’s a way of unifying your brand values and message across all forms marketing, whether it’s traditional techniques like leaflet distribution, or newer methods like promotional marketing. So what’s on your website is reflected in your letterbox marketing; your social media accounts look, sound and feel exactly the same as your trade show staff, say.


Respond the Right Way

A good marketing strategy will be responsive too. You’ll usually see that in the build up to Valentine’s Day, say, every company – even those who aren’t florists, chocolatiers and dating agencies – will link themselves to the day. And that’s precisely what Penguin Books tried to do in the run-up to Mother’s Day – or Mothering Sunday, if you prefer longer words.

It probably seemed like a wonderful idea, when their marketing guru decided to pay homage to all those bookworm mothers on Twitter. What better way to celebrate books and mums than creating a #YourMum hashtag, right?


But hey, we live in a deeply sarcastic world – where just saying ‘Your mum’ is set-up and punchline to a joke unsaid. Cue a barrage of inappropriate jokes on Twitter about – you guessed it – ‘your mum’.


No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

Of course, it wasn’t long before some bright spark twigged that, far from being an extraordinarily naïve mistake, Penguin knew exactly what it was doing – forming a trending hashtag that was, to quote one Penguin employee, ‘a bit odd and provocative.’


So is the old adage true? Is there really no such thing as bad publicity? The problem, perhaps, wasn’t the hashtag itself – there are plenty of offensive comedians out there who thrive on this type of so-called humour – but that it didn’t fit with who Penguin are. They’re a heritage-rich, family-friendly company, so ill-advised jokes about mothers don’t fit their style.

What to Watch

A good integrated marketing campaign will take this into account. A strategy that isn’t focussed on the type of audience you have, or wish to chase, is doomed long before the starter’s pistol goes off.


Another factor to take into account is consistency. The message you put out on your website should also feature in every other form of marketing you’re working with. It’s not just about visual branding, but also the words. If you have a snappy slogan or a key offer for customers, get it out there on every marketing channel. This isn’t cheating, it’s good business sense: some might not see your social media pages, but they’ll see the message on your leaflets. Not only does this save time, it saves costs too – all the while retaining a consistent message.


One way of ensuring this consistency is to make sure every part of your business is communicating with the other departments. Sure, you’ll still want to have the final say on everything – too many cooks and all that – but if you have everyone aiming for the same goal, you’re sure to score.


And finally, respect all marketing channels. You might think that a billboard is the best way to go, or that direct letterbox marketing is the only option you want to focus on, but when it comes to integrating your marketing, don’t neglect one form over another.

Why not kick off your integrated marketing strategy today, with our awesome leaflets? We specialise in demographic profiling and printing services, as well as distribution, to make sure your voice is heard by the right people. For more information, contact us today on 0800 028 6353 and we’ll be delighted to help.

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