If you’ve ever had difficulty explaining why your brand launch is not driving the revenue you expected, or if your quarterly brand health report reveals that your customer audiences don’t feel your products are well-suited to their industry, you’re experiencing one of the biggest challenges in marketing: marketing mix integration. When this fails, all efforts and resources become less valuable to overall brand equity, and growth slows down. But when done right, the kinetic forces of your campaign can lead to endless impact and become deeply engrained in our minds (think Barbie and its immaculate execution that sparked a cultural and emotional phenomenon, or Sephora and TikTok’s partnership on bridging the world of beauty and diversity in storytelling on TikTok).
Let’s explore some of the hurdles and get practical to navigate and plus-up your marketing plan:
Challenge 1: Cross-Channel Communications
As Aristotle once remarked, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Similarly, the key to achieving greater brand and campaign results lies in developing well-planned and integrated networked experiences. Many campaigns lack seamless marketing communication integration when each touchpoint is operated in a silo, resulting in an inconsistent brand message that leaves customers disinterested. In fact, over 48% of marketing professionals cite “creating an effective strategy” as their greatest challenge, and many integration efforts are merely matching luggage outputs that contribute low or none to improving brand goals. This siloed experience is especially exasperating for enterprise businesses that aim to show cultural competencies to reflect their understanding of the fast-evolving generations. However, businesses fail to create spaces and experiences that allow modern audiences’ different values and cultural norms to find joy and trust.
Start moving beyond generic omnichannel approaches and carefully consider each channel's role—tailor strategies to suit the unique strengths of each track, aligning them with the overall brand message.
With a purposeful definition of the objectives for each marketing touchpoint, marketers can connect fragmented pieces of the brand experience to impact overall brand perception.
Challenge 2: Platinum Rule Personalization
Personalized experiences often fail when marketers do not understand their customers well. In fact, only 14% of organizations have achieved a 360-degree view of their customer. In traditional marketing, the golden rule dictates treating others the way you want to be treated, thus turning customer-centered marketing to be held to the marketer’s subjective standards. The platinum rule, however, focuses on treating others how they would like to be treated. For today’s markets, it’s important to strategize channel experiences that cater to constantly shifting standards, behaviors, and values.
Consider developing a data strategy that employs explicit and implicit data to drive personalization for each marketing channel. Explicit data is information that is directly provided, whereas implicit data is not directly provided; instead, it is information that can be inferred or deduced from other available data about your audience. With these data points, your brand is aligned with the consumer motivation in the moment, a leading form of personalization that many marketers can agree on. Above all, personalization shouldn’t be a mere algorithm; it is about interpreting information to establish what we know to be true about our audiences rather than making assumptions about how people feel or their actions.
Challenge 3: Audience-Inspired Execution
When marketers plan and evaluate omnichannel experiences solely to generate record impressions and a positive return on investment, they risk losing touch with consumers and missing the human element, especially how to inspire potential customers. The resolution lies in authenticity, which is essential in inspiring trust and building a genuine connection with your audience.
Authentic storytelling goes both ways. While your brand can communicate its story, mission, and values, it should allow space for your audience's unique circumstances that must be highlighted through the creative you put in the market. Involve your audience in campaigns by encouraging them to share their experiences, stories, or creative content related to your brand, and let your channels elevate that content. Ultimately, this drives more consumer-led touchpoints and raises the value of your integrated marketing plan, inspiring more audiences.
An integration strategy is most successful when positive outcomes are achieved. By following these guidelines, marketers unlock powerful brand experiences and ensure the human touch is present throughout all channels with minimal friction. This network effect creates more powerful brands and accelerates business impact. To summarize:
- Intentionally align each channel with the overall brand positioning and mission.
- Utilize implicit and explicit data in your marketing and customer journey strategies.
- Elevate the stories of your brand, prospects, and customers.
The unpredictable future of marketing has never shied away to challenge us. As industry expert Rishad Tobaccowala puts it, “What enrages powers the algorithms that are built on what engages”. With an integration strategy that combines heart and mind, our work can foresee a more optimistic and engaging future while reminding us that what we do is pride worthy.