PodCast November 2015 - The value of an integrated marketing approach

24th November 2015

“Personality goes a long way” - Jules, Pulp Fiction

When it comes to building brand awareness and gaining a following, the first crucial step is to find the right voice: A voice that appeals to your target market, that is appropriate and relatable, and that is consistent.

The “personality” of any given business or organisation can be outlined through brand guidelines, but increasingly - and as the population is bombarded with more and more information from disparate sources -  it becomes about so much more than making sure your logo and brand colours are included on everything. It’s about your core values, and how these come across in every piece of communication you do.  The more fragmented the marketplace becomes, the more important it is to take a connected and consistent approach to your marketing.

Authenticity is everything:
There is an ongoing debate around PR and its place within the marketing mix. I still believe it is as important today as it was yesterday, but only when included as an interconnected part of an all-embracing communications strategy.  When we see messages from a brand- in print, on social media, in a press release- those messages must be consistent or lose their validity. The stronger the consistency across all channels, the more believable, connected and “honest” it becomes.  If we had a friend or colleague who was constantly changing their opinion on something, or being friendly one minute and cold the next, we would no longer trust that person or their judgement– so why would it be any different in marketing? Bipolar brands simply don’t work.

For this very reason, taking an integrated and strategic approach to your marketing communications as a whole is critical to enhancing and positioning your brand, and in cementing its core values within the mind’s eye of your target audience.  The evolution of people’s ability to make a significant emotional connection with a brand (due in part to increasingly emotive marketing techniques) is forcing the evolution of the agency: PR can no longer be managed in isolation, or sat outside of your core marketing team. Creating barriers to integration, by maintaining that PR is an independent channel, is damaging to coherency - and your audience now expects to see a consistent campaign across every media. Trust is key, authenticity is everything.

Agree with yourself:
Consistency isn’t about never bringing anything new: It’s simply about introducing innovative new ideas in a way that already resonates with your audience and fits with your brand personality. Once you’ve done this, you have multiple ways in which to reinforce your own message. The marketing mix you need will depend on your audience and how best to reach them, but also on what you are conveying. The agency you use needs to be able to understand this: They can then operate a multichannel marketing strategy effectively, eliminating any emotional swings. By using a full service agency you can more easily develop trust and remove confusion: Everyone will have their own specialisms but will also be “on the same page”, making sure you don’t compartmentalise your personality by channel and that you always get to agree with yourself.