It seems to me that the term integrated marketing solutions gets bandied around a bit too loosely nowadays. Anything with a bit of tv, radio and print is considered an integrated campaign.
In the purest sense, integrated marketing is when we create and deliver value through utilising multiple means, focussed on achieving an objective. So, with the plethora of brilliant tools at a marketers disposal, why is there still an unnecessarily large bias to these traditional methods?
We are now well and truly in the digital age, so it's crazy to think there are companies that are still pulling out the chequebook for an 'integrated marketing campaign' where you have to lick your finger, stick it in the air and wait for a hot northerly to help you pluck out a scale for measurement.
If we are going to be truly integrated in our focus, then, as marketers, we should expect our platforms and resources to be properly connected.
Many companies invest heavily in getting a robust integration for their various software applications, with accounting systems talking to warehouse management systems which talk to CRM systems with seamless fluency. So, why would they then allow for their marketing programs to be integrated by name, but not by nature.
Well, things are changing and the rise of Inbound Marketing is well and truly here.
Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound, 2015. Full report details can be found by downloading the full report at stateofinbound.com
Put simply, Inbound Marketing is about reaching the modern consumer.
Today's buyer is well informed and uses social platforms and Google to power their buyers journey, which is why modern marketing is about understanding your customers needs, challenges and objectives and then developing content that helps them.
The key here is to utilise a sytem that integrates all your marketing tools, so you get a complete picture of the interactions you prospects and customers are having with your content. It is this level of insight which allows you to truly test and measure your marketing success.
In this day and age, to think of integrated marketing solutions without putting truly integrated platforms in the frame is senseless. Sure, there is a place for traditional, above the line mediums, but when you want to create marketing that people love (and you can measure) then it's time to use the right tools.
Want to learn more about how to use an Inbound approach to transform your marketing? Then download our 2016 Guide To Attracting The Right Customers And More Of Them.