Subhakar Rao Surapaneni

Investor, Sales and Marketing Pioneer, Author, Technology Champion, Philanthropist, Leadership Mentor

Integrated Marketing: A few words

Some words are widely used but not understood well. Integrated Marketing for instance. Once casual Google search of this word will fetch you many meanings. Like: “Strategy and tactics aimed at unifying different marketing channels”, “Unified approach to brand communications” or a “Consistent marketing message across all the mediums”.  All these versions are correct in some way or the other. The general meaning you deduce is that Integrated Marketing is aligning and streamlining promotional activities / communications across all marketing channels. It could be direct marketing, mass marketing or one to one marketing. I think this approach of understanding Integrated Marketing is bit off mark as it put us on the wrong path altogether. Because the focus is entirely on what we do without taking into account why we do something in the first place.

Let me explain briefly.

As I mentioned, in all the above descriptions; we are trying to define Integrated Marketing from a process point of view. Which is rather technical way of looking at things. And don’t focus on the context well enough. Ask any marketer what is the purpose of his activities and pat reply will come: To draw the attention of the audience to the product or service he is trying to promote. Now this is a more appropriate way to understand Integrated Marketing. Because it is customer centric. It is context based. As a marketer, whatever we do is to attract the interest of the audience and nurture them before warming them up as sales leads. So the more appropriate definition for Integrated Marketing, according to me, would be something like: Integrated Marketing is co-ordinating the best of marketing tactics and strategies across all the channels and mediums to attract and warm up the audience to the desired result of the campaign. This definition is more goal oriented and customer centric.

We know technology and medium will keep changing. Customers are going to receive your marketing message in different media platforms. You need to reinforce your presence meaningfully everywhere. To a customer, it does not matter whether he is reading your email, going through your web site or watching your ad on You Tube. If the content doesn’t interest him, he is going to take off his interest elsewhere. The medium doesn’t matter much to him.

What matters is the value proposition or the experience he gets out your marketing message. So, how do you win him over with unified experience irrespective of the channel or medium is the million dollar question.

And to my mind, that is what Integrated Marketing is all about.

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