The exact number of impressions it takes for a marketing message to “click” with a consumer varies depending on whom you ask. Nevertheless, all agree that an effective creative marketing campaign needs to hit a consumer multiple times through multiple media.
Back in the Mad Men days, creative marketing lived on just three channels: print, radio and television. But as the number of platforms has increased to include traditional, non-traditional and new media, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep campaigns integrated. What’s more, technology itself has fragmented audiences and attention spans, making it even more difficult for a message to stick. What works to reach one segment may be an epic fail for another.
It’s all about identity
Integration means more than simply a single tagline or a common color palette. Indeed, trying to use a message best-suited for one medium in another medium will often feel forced. A radio spot, for example, requires a very different message style from an online banner ad.
The key to effective integration begins and ends with your identity. And identity must form the foundation of everything you do, not simply your marketing. If your marketing says one thing, but your customer service doesn’t deliver on that identity, prepare for customer backlash.
Let us give you an example. Pet food maker Purina has many different sub-brands for dogs and cats, and each sub-brand has its own look and feel. The company’s tagline, though, is “Your Pet, Our Passion,” and Purina goes to great lengths to prove that it is passionate about pets.
During the 2013 Super Bowl, as the Seattle Seahawks were pummeling the Denver Broncos, one of our writers tweeted a picture of her dog sleeping. The dog had on a Seahawks collar, and she wrote, “Even my dog knows this game is over!” Within minutes, Purina tweeted her a picture of a foam “Go team!” mitt on a dog’s paw and wrote, “Looks like the #big game was entertaining for your pet, Lesley! Watching #football is #BetterWithPets.”
Your brand’s identity needs to shine through, regardless of the creative marketing medium. An identity that is consistent will transcend colors or fonts or taglines. In other words, an identity must be lived. Only when you have that will your marketing click with your audience.