The thing about Integrated Marketing is that you don’t have to choose between one marketing platform versus another. In fact, you shouldn’t have to choose. Success comes into play when you use one advertising medium to optimize another in an effort to create a marketing campaign that works together to generate a positive brand image.
I have just recently become involved in LinkedIn discussion forums in my field of work and cannot help but notice the number of questions related to choosing between two or three communicative channels to distribute a promotional message. Many questions ask which advertising platform performs better on the whole, which is best suited to a particular industry, which brings in the most sales leads, or which has the highest return on investment (ROI).
These are very vague questions that elicit very vague responses. The fact of the matter is, each advertising platform has merit in its own right. One marketing channel should not be discredited for not performing up to par with the rest. What makes this world interesting is that you cannot find two people alike, meaning that no two people respond to different media channels in the exact same manner. The key to attaining optimal results is to promote your brand, product, or service across a host of different channels that work together cohesively to get your message across.
Let’s do a comparison of two very viable advertising platforms: Email Marketing and Google Ad Words. The question should not be, “Which performs better?” but rather, “What is the difference between them?” Email marketing is effective in terms of building your brand name, generating exposure of your products and services, and driving traffic to your website. You are peaking the interests of those who may not have heard of you, but are willing to hear about your offers. Your email advertisements have potential to reach hundreds of thousands of new customers on a national or international scale, depending on your budget and business objectives. With Google Ad Words, you are reaching an audience that is already interested in you. Consumers are actively looking in search engines for products or services that are needed at that moment, and are more compelled to make immediate purchasing decisions.
Rather than choosing between these two mediums, it would be wise to use both of them to your advantage. First make your customers aware of you through email marketing as one of the first consumer touch points to your brand. It may take multiple email deployments to the same individuals to achieve the brand recognition that is highly sought after for start-up companies. Once you begin to build brand equity through this communicative platform, it’s time to bring a different marketing tool to the mix. Utilize Google Ad Words to optimize your search results so that your website is consistently ranked high in the most popular search engines based on certain keywords. When consumers that received your promotional emails are ready to buy your products or services, your search engine listing will likely be the first link clicked.
Don’t underestimate the power of advertising. While you may not experience a drastic bump in sales the minute you begin advertising, know that your message is being seen, read, and heard. The “Coca Cola” brand wasn’t born overnight, but it took decades to achieve the brand image and recognition so apparent today.