Which of these describes you?
A. I know marketing is important, but it’s just not my strong suit. I think what we’re doing already is ok.
B. A better marketing campaign could be good for business, but a company our size doesn’t have the budget for that.
C. I know there are lots of ways we could market our company, but all these tools are overwhelming.
D. All of the above.
If you see yourself in any (or all) of these scenarios, you’re not alone. Effective marketing and communication strategies are tricky today, especially when you consider the sheer volume of messages vying for people’s attention. The average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, according to the American Marketing Association. Yikes!
Millions of these messages are delivered via social media, where the sheer volume of content posted daily is staggering. Every 60 seconds, 3.3 million posts are added to Facebook alone, according to Smart Insights.
Social media is just one part of the story, though. Remember the days of the Big 3 TV broadcasters (ABC, CBS and NBC) ruled the airwaves? Today, the number of television channels available to the average TV household has exploded to 205.9, according to Nielsen data shared on MediaPost.com in 2016.
In today’s over-saturated marketing environment, finding effective ways to build your brand can be daunting. The quality of your content, as well as your marketing strategy, matters more than ever. Where do you start?
Understanding integrated marketing communications
If you want to cut through the clutter and reach your target audience, it’s time to consider integrated marketing communications (IMC).
IMC is not merely doing more kinds of marketing. IMC offers a coordinated, cost-effective strategy to help you focus on your key message and share it in a consistent, compelling way through a strategic mix of marketing/communication channels. That mix may include video, digital (social media, blog posts, e-books, e-newsletters), advertising, print (newsletters, magazines, brochures, direct-mail campaigns), trade show promotions, press releases and other tools.
Integrating this cohesive strategy across various communication channels doesn’t just streamline your marketing; it helps you meet your customers and prospects where they’re at. That’s one reason the majority of consumers (72%) prefer integrated marketing campaigns, according to the annual Consumer Insights Survey.
What does IMC look like in practice? VistaComm client Mid-Iowa Cooperative shares a consistent message inspired by its mission of “good land, good people, good advice” through:
- A Facebook page to provide timely updates.
- A professional YouTube video produced by VistaComm to help people experience the Mid-Iowa story from the farmers and employees who know it best.
- A quarterly print newsletter produced by VistaComm.
But isn’t print dead?
If anyone tells you print isn’t part of effective IMC, don’t believe it.
Science is revealing that ink on paper creates a deeper impression in the human brain than something non-physical, like a digital message. A recent article in Target Marketing explains this phenomenon of “your brain on print.” According to a study from the Center for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University in Wales, the physical nature of print elicits an emotional connection in people.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers found that content delivered in paper form is more stimulating than content delivered in virtual or digital form. Apparently, our brains perceive printed items (like newsletters) as more genuine—and engaging.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Greg Larson, president of Electronic Systems, Inc. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, says:
“Our print newsletter, produced by VistaComm, is a product that—after more than 14 years—continues to work for us. VistaComm’s writers and designers always hit the mark in meeting our objective to showcase our expertise while maintaining the feel of a mid-size company that cares about, not only its customers, but its employees and suppliers, as well.”
But that’s not all. “It’s interesting, we’re in a high-tech business, but we really believe in the importance of print communication,” Larson added. “Our customers can easily ignore or delete electronic communication, but they read a good old-fashioned print newsletter—cover-to-cover. We continue to get positive comments from our customers on receiving a printed newsletter.”
Put ICM to work for you
Electronic Systems, Inc. highlights how a strategic mix of marketing tools, including print, can add tremendous value for customers. Conveying a consistent, targeted message through IMC, helps build trust, which increases loyalty, which leads to sales.
Want to see how IMC can work for you? VistaComm’s team can help you assess your current marketing activities, define your target audience, develop a strategy and integrate your marketing channels to generate more traffic, leads and sales. Call David, Laurie or Maria today at 844.453.9261 and realize your full integrated marketing potential.
- 4th Annual Consumer Insights Survey, E-tailing Group, 2011.
- American Marketing Association, Joshua Saxon, IE School of Human Sciences & Technology, 2017.
- Smart Insights, Robert Allen, 2017.
- Mediapost.com, MediaPost Communications, (Nielsen Data) 2016.
- Center for Experimental Consumer Psychology, Bangor University, Wales, 2009.