A Guide to Planning Your Integrated Advertising

Integrated marketing is about unifying your message and strategy across multiple platforms to ensure better performance and a unified brand presence. Integrated advertising is the cousin of integrated marketing, taking all the same goals and lessons and applying them to paid advertising campaigns. Unifying your messaging across channels can be a powerful boost — According to Google, marketing leaders are 1.5 times as likely as mainstream marketers to have integrated marketing and advertising strategies in place. But no initiative comes together by accident. You need careful planning, strategy, and execution to make everything work in your favor. Here’s how to get started.

The Steps

Like all successful marketing initiatives, an integrated advertising campaign requires careful planning to ensure its effectiveness. Planning will involve several steps

  1. Establish your overarching advertising goals
  2. Define your buyer personas and buyer’s journey by channel
  3. Choose your advertising channels and set goals for each one
  4. Create marketing assets and messaging
  5. Establish your plan for collecting and managing leads
  6. Launch, measure, and iterate your campaign

Establishing Goals

The beauty of integrated advertising is that by aligning your strategy and messaging across channels, you can create overarching advertising goals.

While this will vary from organization to organization, your overarching goals and associated key-performance indicators may look something like this:

  • Increased Brand Awareness
    • 20% increase in engagement on advertising channels
    • 15% increase in website traffic from advertising channels
  • Increased Lead Generation
    • 25% increase in leads generated from advertising channels
    • 15% conversion rate of all traffic generated from advertising channels
  • Efficient Advertising Spend
    • $65 average cost per lead generated from advertising channels
    • Overall campaign ROI of 300%

Based on the overall campaign objectives, you can then create specific channel goals and KPIs. Depending on the channel, you may need to get creative in establishing metrics for success. For example, if you’re running a print ad in a popular industry publication, you may need to rely on their data to determine impression share. You can measure stats like increased direct traffic or lead generation by asking your customers how they heard about your organization.

Buyer Personas & Journey Mapping

The first is knowing your customer. You can’t sell to anyone if you don’t know who you’re selling to, so taking the time to create a detailed buyer persona is well worth it. Once you develop buyer personas, you’re then able to create a journey map that will outline the path they take to becoming a customer, then align your advertising channels to different stages of their journey.

Social advertising may be excellent for targeting one persona during the awareness stage, followed by some remarketing display ads through Google to move them into the consideration phase. On the other hand, another persona might benefit most from being targeted through OTT and CTV during the awareness stage, followed by a social ad for a case study in the consideration phase. With integrated marketing, you can create a comprehensive journey using multiple channels to move them through the funnel.

Choose Your Channels

Based on the journey mapping from the previous step, you can then outline the channels that make up your integrated advertising plan. A big piece of the puzzle for this step is determining the cost of various channels compared to their expected performance toward your overarching goals. For example, if your journey mapping identified broadcast ad spots around the evening news on channels like CNN and Fox News in your journey mapping as an effective channel for one of your personas, but the cost would represent two-thirds of your overall budget, you’ll need to evaluate if that cost is worth it. If it’s not, you remove it. If it is, you include it in your channel plan. By examining the value of individual channels, you can transition the journey map into an actionable plan.

Finally, you’ll need to create marketing assets and messaging for each of the channels. Your content might range from video production to search ad copy. As you’re crafting creative for the integrated advertising campaign, you’ll want to direct it to your specific personas as well as where they’re at within their journey.

A successful campaign means having the right conversations, with the right people, at the right time.

Aligning your creative accordingly out of the gate means increased success and less time having to optimize the campaigns later on down the road.

Track Everything

The only way you’ll know if you’re meeting your goals and KPIs, enabling you to optimize accordingly, is through tracking reliable data. Each KPI and channel will have different metrics, but here’s an example of some data points you may want to pull for Google search:

  • Clicks: the number of times someone clicks on your ad
  • Cost per click: how much you spent on each click
  • Clickthrough rate: the percentage of people who see your ad that clicks on it
  • Quality score: a proprietary measurement from Google that judges the quality, relevance, and appeal of your ads, keywords, and landing pages
  • Impression share: how often your ads are displayed for a given keyword
  • Conversion rate: how often a click results in a sale. Keep in mind that conversion will only apply to that particular session, not to customers who come back and make a purchase later or on a different device.
  • Cost per conversion: how much it costs you in advertising to generate each conversion

You can track hundreds of data points for your ads, but all of them should be in service of answering one fundamental question: are they performing?

As you start to see data rolling in, you can examine the ROI that your ads generate by channel, audience, product, time of day, and even by the specific copy you put in each one. If an ad is working, amplify it! If it’s not, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and let the ad lapse. As you continue to adapt and evolve your strategy, you’ll become more and more efficient.

Final Thoughts

By integrating your advertising, you’re able to build more efficient and effective campaigns. If you’d like more help with your advertising efforts, let’s start a conversation.

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