Vertical Integration with Digital Tools

Question: People talk about integrated marketing. How does that apply to digital marketing for a small business?

Answer: As you may know, integrated marketing means that all marketing techniques used to promote your business, build your brand and advertise your offerings should all be in sync.

When they are in sync, you have vertically integrated your marketing initiatives. They should also connect one to each other in some way.

When someone sees your ad in the Cape Cod Times, they should see the same message in the direct mailer you send. When they see a sign in your window, they see the same image that is in Variety magazine. This is no different when you employ social media or digital marketing.

Online marketing efforts should be just as in-sync as that which is undertaken offline. In fact, smart companies will integrate their digital effort with those that occur offline. For example, the advertising in the daily paper will have a link to your website or your LinkedIn page.

The rule of using the exact logos and slogans offline applies digitally as well. The website, digital display ads, and emails should all use these. While methods will vary for each specific type of marketing, advertisements should focus on the same message. Calls-to-action should involve varying methods and sources, both digital and traditional methods.

For instance, if there’s a magazine spread, the same spread design could be used in a digital display ad format. The idea is to create the same experience and feelings for the potential audience no matter where they come in contact with a company. Consistency is key to ensuring people have the same or similar idea of what a given company stands for and what they offer. This is where a professional can come in handy. Not every business or individual can handle all aspects of vertically integrating your marketing efforts.

A customer should be able to access digital information about a company and in print marketing campaigns, like newspaper ads and fliers. They should also be able to learn about any print content (such as a magazine subscription) in that company’s digital campaigns. Bringing them together keeps customers and prospects with varied preferences connected to a particular company. Integration and familiarity give them many ways to keep up and lets them know that company’s a trusted source across the board.

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