The Marketing Bureau

Specialist Marketing & Communications Resourecs



Integrated Marketing (IMC)

What is it and Why is it Important?

By Laura Lake
First Published on

Integrated marketing is the holistic approach to communication in marketing. It's making sure that you are being consistent in your marketing both online and offline. Consistency is key in making sure that consumers understand your marketing message which leads to a great result and return on your investment. The Integrated marketing helps by optimizing the spend whether online or offline and putting the right number of dollars towards the most effective approach.

It used to be we could look at marketing in two segments - online and offline. Marketing is shifting and you will find the most optimum result by utilizing an integrated approach.

Let me share an example with you:

A few years ago there was a billboard in the area - a man proposing to a woman. Truthfully, it wasn't a real proposal, it was a jewellery store creating buzz which it did, and in my opinion the campaign failed.

It failed because people would see the billboard and then go online searching for news on this "billboard proposal."  Do you know what they found? My personal website talking about the proposal - actually commenting on how I hope the young lady being proposed to saw it, because we has consumers have developed slight billboard blindness.

A few weeks later they posted another billboard - same location. The billboard read “This guy proposed on a billboard, regular men go to <name of jewellery store>.“

Ok, clever - kind of.

If the agency had created an integrated campaign, they could have taken this campaign much further - getting more bang for their buck and attracting even more exposure and visibility.

The concept needed to add more to the user's experience in my opinion. Perhaps an integrated campaign would have looked like this:

Billboard with faux Proposal

Blog or website optimized for search for this proposal, so when people searched they found a website sharing the faux story.

The blog or website could have told the story of how they fell in love and perhaps even some include some online video.

The website is used to create that user experience and drive the message home. Perhaps at the end of the story - an online commercial for that jewellery store appears discussing why regular men go to <name of jewellery store>. You engage the user, create some emotion and it sticks in their mind even longer.

Do you see how integrating your marketing message and using both online and offline tactics for a campaign can increase visibility, yet increase cost in a minimal way? Let's say that the billboard costs $10,000 per month - you could have gained online traffic for a minimal cost, told a story and captured your market by increasing the user's experience and visibility.

That's why integrated marketing is important.



Laura Lake has over 13 years of online and traditional marketing experience. Marketing is not her job or career, it's her passion. She is the Vice President of Interactive and Client Services for Entrepreneur Advertising Group a Kansas City advertising agency that specializes in marketing solutions for entrepreneurs and small businesses. EAG helps companies in the development of their marketing strategy and plans, brand identity, social media strategy, public relations, internet marketing, search engine marketing and more.



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