However I don’t believe or understand in separating elements of the marketing mix as if they were complete strangers.
Working in advertising for the past two decades, even prior to the influx of digital marketing, I have always been perplexed at how essential elements of the marketing mix are often treated as separate entities. I have been tasked with the creation of the concept and creativity of annual campaigns yet not had the opportunity to sit in the same room with the PR agency or Production team working on that very same campaign. That just doesn’t make sense.
Whilst it may be necessary to ensure specialists implement some elements of the marketing mix, the actual marketing strategy itself should be designed as a collective process to ensure consistency across all channels. The point of this is so the consumer (the reason you are bothering to do this) is not left confused about who you are and what you actually can offer.
The way that consumers receive and filter information has changed drastically over the past 5 years.
However, many companies fail to remember that the message itself is as important (if not more) than the way in which the potential customer receives it.
A dress may look amazing at first glance but if the fabric is not of good quality, if the shoes are a mismatch or if it just doesn’t ‘fit’ with the person wearing it, the love affair may only last a night as it stretches out of shape, shows tears or creates a ‘what was I thinking’ response the morning after.
Digital marketing is an essential part of the Marketing Strategy perhaps in some cases the holy grail piece of the jigsaw puzzle that once you get the others seem to fit so nicely around. However, I have seen very few puzzles that can be finished with just one hero piece.
I agree the term integrated marketing is perhaps one of many overused marketing terms (we have a lot in our industry!!) but it is one that actually does make sense.
I have copied and pasted a definition because I couldn't explain it better than this.
“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” Belch, G. E., & Belch, M. A.
In short Integrated Marketing is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.
For business today there is a whole lot more choice and with that often comes confusion. It may help if you view all elements of the marketing mix as members of the same family. They all have their different personalities and roles to play but ultimately need to understand the ground rules and the overall direction in order to come together as a unified team.
If you need assistance, contact me!
PS It's okay and normal to make mistakes from time to time (sometimes the whites do get mixed with the colours!) After all marketing is a lot about trial and error and working towards finding the key triggers that prompt action.