Marketing Campaigns Still Aren't Integrated

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Here are five ways to ensure that campaigns are integrated across digital and traditional channels.

Decades before new channels like social media were ever conceived, marketers were taught the importance of integrated campaigns. Despite the pervasiveness of this philosophy, the reality is that a large percentage of campaigns still happen in isolation, according to a new Hotwire PR study.

According to the survey of 300 senior marketing decision makers, 46% have campaigns that tend to run in isolation, while nearly a third (30%) say their campaigns aren't designed for multichannel.

“It's surprising,” says Rebecca Honeyman, Hotwire VP and GM of the firm's New York office. “After years and years of preaching about having one campaign and telling a coherent story, no one is practicing what they preach.”

Part of the problem, according to Honeyman, is that marketers tend to have one team in charge of direct marketing, another in charge of brand marketing, another in charge of communication, etc., as well as working with a handful of different agencies, each with their own individual teams.

Often falling through the cracks is the ability to carry a campaign through newer channels such as social media, Honeyman adds. The survey found that 41% of marketers are concerned with using new platforms. Thirty-six percent said channel integration would be their biggest challenge in the next five years—especially as only a third of those surveyed believe their current campaigns work across multiple channels. This siloed approach, however, is a hindrance to delivering an optimal marketing campaign, Honeyman says, adding that biases toward specific channels, paired with lower budgets, may be preventing companies from optimizing their marketing campaigns.

The survey also found that while marketers understand the importance of having an online presence, online advertising features in only 52% of marketing budgets. Less than a third (27%) include social media in their budgets and 80% of senior marketing decision-makers do not consider SEO when creating campaigns. Given that one in six people worldwide now use Google, marketers are missing a trick, according to Honeyman.

“Typically, marketers have tried something and it's worked, so they use it again for the next campaign,” Honeyman says. “Education about new channels is a big part of this. So is integration of the new channels. We, as marketers, need to be far smarter about identifying the right channels for each campaign and breaking down the self-imposed silos of the past 20 years.”

Honeyman recommends the following strategies to ensure marketing campaigns are integrated:

Plan multichannel: Companies should start by identifying a campaign that will resonate with the target audience, and then determine which channels are the right ones to deliver the campaign.

Plan together: Encourage teams to collaborate at the planning stage, so internal silos never get a chance to appear.

Tell a story: The story is what makes or breaks a campaign; the channels are just how marketers deploy the campaign. If a marketer isn't interested in what the team or agency has to say, no one else will be.

Allocate budget by needs, not by channels: Marketers should determine the budget for each channel after they determine which channels will work for a specific campaign.

Track aggregate results: Add up the cost and results of each channel for a full picture of the success of a campaign, and adjust channel usage accordingly.


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