Integrated digital marketing: significant facts and decisive framework

Integrated digital marketing: significant facts and decisive framework

Saturday October 21, 2017,

8 min Read

Integrated digital marketing works like a well-oiled machinery. The friction diminishes between buyers and sellers because each digital marketing channel runs by combining the overall strength.

In today’s digital age, visitors become your customers through different channels. They might become aware of your brand through engagement on your social media page, then start admiring your content through search engine results, then know more about your offers after clicking your pay-per-clicking advertisements, then sign up for your email list for accessing your freebies, and become your customer after a series of email interactions.

Integrated digital marketing focuses on making the best possible impression at every interaction when your audience comes across your brand. Each time your prospects know more about your business motto — be it through a search engine, social media, email, or display ads — it is a golden opportunity for you to communicate the intention and build a strong connection.

Content is the backbone of integrated digital marketing. Acting as a team leader, it makes the best use of all the channels through the combined marketing campaign. It leads to increasing sales revenue, generating more leads, increasing website traffic, improving lead quality, improving brand awareness, and thereby generating revenue for further expansion.

Significant facts that raise the need for integrated digital marketing

Econsultancy cross-channel marketing report concluded that only five percent of the organisations believed that they are utilising the maximum potential of the integrated cross-channel marketing activities.

Marketo study revealed that marketers focus on an average of six different channels to attract customers. But, consumers use just two channels for building a connection with brands. Potential business customers use four channels to do the same.

Episerver multi-channel digital marketing report revealed that 95 percent of the marketers agree with the importance of multi-channel strategy for targeting customers. 46 percent of the organisations suffer from delivering the poor customer experience that can cause abandonment.

An integrated approach helps marketers understand whether their message, communicated on different channels, serves the purpose of engaging the audience. The process starts with the following:

  • Exploring different channels - A coordinated digital plan helps marketers explore the importance of specific strategies such as SEO, email marketing, content, paid-ads, social media from a broader perspective.
  • Selecting right channels - When marketers are clear about the whole picture, it becomes easy to invest time and effort on channels yielding the maximum output.

Another study from Econsultancy, in collaboration with IBM Marketing cloud, found out that the marketers don’t pay close attention to measuring cross-channel data. 51 percent of client-side respondents didn’t have the metrics system in place between different online channels. As a result, 75 percent of the client-side respondents and 84 percent of the agency respondents believe sales/revenue as an effective indicator for cross-channel marketing efforts.

Marketing ideas die a slow death when there is no coordination between search, email marketing, paid campaigns, and sales. The aggregation of different channels leads to the business’ exponential growth.

Hubspot’s blogging data states, “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts.” Let’s say a company starts working on their content plan after learning this data. They put in all their effort in finding their industry-specific keywords for website optimisation.

Though the consistent effort brings in a spike in traffic from search engine results, lack of integrated plan can’t engage the audience for a long time. All efforts go in vain because the company doesn't have any follow-up scheme to convert their visitors into loyal subscribers.

The same happens when the company adopts a lead generation approach without planning for the search engine optimisation. If they don’t appear higher in the search results, the purpose of list building is useless.

Customer lifecycle describes the various stages — reach, acquire, nurture, retention, and advocacy — experienced by the customer before making the final purchase.

It starts with understanding your company’s vision by increasing their awareness, considering their choices among the sea of your competitors, purchasing your product/service to meet their requirements, coming back again if your offer fulfills their needs, and ends with becoming your brand ambassador. The whole journey covers various digital touch points.

Consumers go through six or eight touch points or channels before becoming a possible sales lead. The sales cycles consist of several touch points — organic listings, display advertising, email, mobile search, social media, retargeting, to name a few. With increasing number of channels and choices, integrated digital marketing becomes a crucial component for building customer satisfaction.

Bain & Company’s survey highlighted the inconsistency among the companies in their description and belief regarding the customer experience. They found out that only eight percent of the companies described their experience as superior, but the 80 percent of the surveyed companies believed their experience as superior.

The combined approach focuses on every touch point because these prepare leads for the final stage of the buying journey. Every contact has the potential to either enhance or diminish the customer experience. The better the experience with every touch point, more chances open up for attracting paying customers.

Integrated digital marketing works like a well-oiled machinery. The friction diminishes between buyers and sellers because each digital marketing channel runs by combining the overall strength.

Decisive framework for building an integrated digital campaign

Integrated digital marketing blends all aspects of marketing communications to understand how each interaction and engagement leads to a smooth experience for consumers. Every interaction is not bound to sales. But, every interaction must push customers to move ahead in the buyer’s journey. Implement the following vital elements when creating your next digital strategy.

Discovering a defined strategy

According to SmartInsights State of Digital Marketing 2017 report, 49 percent of the surveyed companies didn’t have any defined digital marketing strategy: they were doing digital marketing with no defined strategy. Another SmartInsights research found out ‘lack of integrated strategy and plans’ as the top factor which limits the integration of digital marketing channels.

What’s the relevance of

  • estimating the effectiveness of your marketing strategy through sales without focusing on the lead generation and lead nurturing.
  • knowing your website’s organic traffic percentage without realising how much of them converted into email subscribers.
  • measuring the visitor’s average time on a landing page without making the best use of their digital footprints on your website.
  • promoting a social media campaign without analysing the post-campaign results for future improvements.
  • investing heavily in paid channels without even comparing the major traffic sources.
  • devoting quality time on content creation without cross-checking the utility of keyword selection.

Keep track of your content performance

Tracking helps marketers frame future content strategies based on the present channel outcomes. Analytics and attribution tactics determine the applicability of a digital campaign.

Let’s say you have a list of email subscribers. Email marketing doesn’t make sense when you don’t know whether list members are opening the emails or not. An email open rate is the ratio of people who have opened the email to the total number of delivered emails. The low open rate might be due to a boring subject line. If this is the case, test with multiple subject lines.

Landing page becomes useless when you don’t track the click-through rate-ratio of people clicking on a specific link to the people who have visited the page. So, proper analytics, metrics and performance tracking tools help in enhancing the engagement and conversation rate.

Develop a customer-centric view

Different customers need different attention. The purchasing journey is not a linear process. People enter the buying cycle at various stages. You need to create relevant content based on the connected experiences by using different channels such as email marketing, search, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), retargeting, online PR, social media marketing, and push notification.

Always give preference to quality over quantity. Engage with the audience at each stage of buyer journey. Align your marketing efforts with customers’ needs and wants. Build an integrated plan for adapting to the ever-changing digital marketplace and creating value for your customers.

Help prospects understand the importance of your offer. The main idea is to enrich the experience by connecting all the touch points. Use the customer insights to provide satisfactory experiences at the right time.


The proverb ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ fits perfectly with the ideology of integrated digital marketing. If you don’t bring different marketing channels together, competitors will take advantage of your silo approach.

When all the channels direct energies towards a similar end — connecting with the potential customers — it becomes difficult to defeat your holistic marketing campaigns. The unified strategy brings in better results for your business.

I invested my time and effort in compiling the facts and framework to remove all your fears and doubts related to integrated digital marketing. Now, the ball is in your court. Embrace the power of integration in your digital marketing campaigns before it's too late.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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