You have to be able to navigate several channels if you want to market your business efficiently in the digital world.

Traditional advertising, social media, direct mail, email, texts or video blogs—no one vehicle is enough for today’s busy consumer. Besides that, your consumer base is as diverse as it has ever been, perhaps more, and each demographic will have a different way of looking for information. To be successful, you need to implement Integrated Marketing.

Integrated Marketing is a phrase that’s been thrown around a lot lately, but what exactly does that mean?

This is how the Data & Marketing Association defines it: “Integrated Marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”

In short, it’s a one-stop, cohesive approach to marketing your business. Integrated Marketing recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that includes every tool at your disposal—or, at least, every tool you use in your business—to get the maximum impact from your communications.

 There is great value in an integrated campaign that uses both traditional and non-traditional marketing channels. Each can reinforce the other and build a consistent message and will often strengthen overall brand. If consumers see your message across multiple platforms—and it is good, compelling and consistent, it can increase brand loyalty, cultivate consumer relationships and improve sales. 

“All your digital marketing tools need to work as closely together as possible,” said Kevin J. Steeland, CEO of Pistn Marketing Accelerated. His firm has developed a method of consolidating all marketing channels into one convenient, easy to use system.

This is important because shops don’t have to deal with a different company for every marketing feature.,” he said. “This causes confusion with branding and message.”

Different channels have different strengths. Different content has different purposes. Used effectively together, they offer consumers a story they can either understand at a glance or read through for more depth and information. Consider a well laid-out newspaper story with a compelling graphic. The headline attracts your attention, the photo caption provides another interesting detail, the lead paragraph draws you in. They’re using different methods to provide the story.

Really good integrated marketing is about more than just having the same slogan, identity and brand colors on your web site, in your mailers and on your social media channels. It tells a coherent story through everything the brand does.

For example, look at the Geico gecko, which started as a simple television mascot but has since morphed into the brand identity of the insurance giant. He (we assume it’s a he, based on the voice) isn’t just in television commercials, he’s visible on billboards, their social media channels, in newspaper advertisements and mailers. Each time, the message may be slightly different, but the gecko is now synonymous with the Geico brand. 

Another great example of an integrated marketing campaign is Coke’s ‘share a coke with’ campaign. For that matter, look to Coke for a good example of any kind of marketing campaign—they don’t do too much wrong. Like other successful campaigns, the ‘share a coke’ uses unified messaging across TV, social media, outdoor and other display ads. The company says it’s accounted for a seven percent increase in sales.

GoPro, too, used an integrated marketing campaign to transform itself from a small start up to a national brand. Their Be a Hero campaign tapped into the weekend warrior in all of us through outdoor ads, brand related sponsorships, and even original videos.

The Pistn system is unique in that it not only provides that type of integrated thinking throughout several marketing channels, it includes a single dashboard where customers can find out how effective all of their marketing is—in one place.

 “You also don’t have to log into several different dashboards to manage everything,” Steeland said. “Having the ability to look at one dashboard that provides all the relevant data on how all these features are working also helps shops make timely and accurate decisions.  This helps them be more effective and drive more sales.”

There are plenty of different apps, sites or business that offer a help in a variety of different marketing features. Keeping track of all of them can be nearly as confusing as trying to tackle them all yourself. Integrated Marketing through the Pistn system handles all of that and makes your job—one of them, anyway—much easier.

“Today there are so many companies performing things like Reputation Management, email blasts, text blasts, Google Adwords, Facebook, CRM.  Having one company manage and specialize in them all helps create a consistent message that is branded with the customers look and feel,” said Steeland.

“Having the ability to look at one dashboard that provides all the relevant data on how all these features are working also helps shops make timely and accurate decisions,” he added. “This helps them be more effective and drive more sales.”