Integrated Advertising: five things brands need to know

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Are you looking for meaning in your life?

Alasdair Peoples is digital content editor at Caliber.

Forget the self-help books and try turning to your nearest brand. In 2016 all kinds of brands will be attempting to add value to your life with a slick integrated advertising campaign. These multi-channel campaigns are all about big ideas and involving experiences that boost interaction and drive sales. So what do you need to know about them?

The ‘What’s it in it for me?’ principle

In an era of busy consumers, multiple media channels and frighteningly short attention spans, consumers want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ Gone are the days of traditional push advertising when buying more advertising space could solve all of your marketing dilemmas. Consumers want something beyond your marketing message that resonates with their lives. Concentrate on developing a big idea that has the potential to evolve across different media channels.

Avoid matching luggage

Simply bombarding the consumer with the same advert on several different media channels will get on their nerves. Everybody knows that feeling of being hounded by targeted ads. Each stage of a great integrated advertising campaign picks up where the last one left off and does something new.

Take, for example, Lidl’s #lidlsurprises campaign. You’ve got an appealing central idea that connects Lidl’s TV adverts, billboards, social media and interactive microsite together - but each element has a life of its own. One minute you could be interacting on social media with the catchy campaign hashtag (puns are gold dust!) and for dessert there’s a fun recipe generator on the campaign webpage. Stay true to your big idea with creativity and strategic thinking and you will not only achieve a consistent brand message but a fun journey for your customers.

Your ‘big idea’ shouldn’t be original

Got a wildly original idea for your integrated advertising campaign? Be wary. The best integrated campaigns are built on simple human truths like ‘Life’s too Short to say no’ or ‘keep calm and carry on’. The original thinking comes later in the process, at the strategy stage. It could be a novel mixture of media channels, an innovative viral video campaign or a celebrity holding a sandwich board.

The role of the advertising agency

With so many marketing tools, channels and techniques available for your integrated advertising campaign, it is important to have an agency on side. While the overall effect of an integrated campaign should feel like a seamless experience for the consumer, it is important to dissect and measure each individual part of the process behind the scenes. The better the data you collect, the easier it is to identify what your customers really want and how to nail your next campaign.

Brands are looking for love

No matter how big your campaign budget is, the battle for attention is getting harder and harder. Creating content that moves beyond a trite marketing message and into the realms of actual fun all sounds great but what will it achieve in the end? Successful brands hope to move beyond being perceived as a mere service and become something that their consumers love, identify with and share with friends.

For a further insight into integrated advertising take a look at our search specialist Farooq Bhatti’s latest piece in The Drum.

Alasdair Peoples is digital content editor at Caliber.