7 mistakes marketers make with integrated digital marketing

As consumer journeys become more complex, integrated digital marketing is key for reaching prospects across multiple channels and touchpoints. Integrated strategies also help marketers combine the strengths of different channels like SEO and PPC and nurture leads along the funnel. However, integrating multiple channels into a single strategy is challenging – both strategically and technically – so we often see marketers making the same mistakes.

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What is integrated digital marketing?

Integrated digital marketing incorporates multiple channels into one strategy with a clearly defined goal. Let’s say your goal is to drive online product sales from your website. You might incorporate social media and organic search to build awareness and increase traffic while using PPC to target high-intent visitors and conversions. Next, you might implement a customer service and email marketing system designed to maximise repeat purchases from existing customers.

Here’s a quick look at the main benefits of integrated digital marketing:

  • Clarity: Setting clear goals gives your integrated campaigns more clarity by pulling them together towards a single target.
  • Integration: Implementing multiple channels into one strategy allows you to leverage the strengths of each channel and compensate for others’ weaknesses.
  • Coverage: Done properly, integrated digital marketing gives you a presence, visibility and influence across all the channels that matter to your target audience – across the whole funnel.
  • Reach: By integrating the right selection of channels, you can maximise reach throughout the consumer journey.
  • Awareness: By covering the right channels and maximising reach, integrated marketing significantly boosts brand awareness.
  • Consistency: Integrated marketing gives your brand a consistent voice and messaging across every channel.
  • Lead nurturing: Integrated marketing allows you to nurture leads from the early stages of the customer cycle to the next – from the first interaction, through to conversions and repeat purchases.

Integrated marketing carefully selects the most effective combination of channels in order to achieve the goal. This isn’t limited to online channels, either. You might implement TV ads, print media, in-store promotions, events and any other combination of channels – whatever gives your campaigns the best chance of success.

Mistakes to avoid when you create an integrated digital marketing strategy

Integrated marketing requires a completely different approach to managing individual channels. You have to reshape the entire culture around multichannel marketing – from the top of management, all the way to day-to-day operations.

1. Channel-level thinking

Structure matters and you want to plan everything at the strategy level. This starts with abandoning channel-level thinking with SEO, PPC, social, etc. as separate entities. You have to integrate all of these channels into a single, cohesive strategy that prioritises top-level marketing goals over any individual channel.

Companies with internal marketing teams often struggle to transition away from channel-level thinking. You might have an SEO team pulling in one direction with a social team pulling in the other and a PPC department trying to take the lead.

Marketing managers need to drive a cultural shift away from thinking of channels as competing elements. Instead, you want a culture that puts marketing goals above all else, bringing different channels together as complementary elements that work best together.

A common example of this is doubling impressions with organic and paid placements.

Google results for samsung TV

This increases visibility on the same results page, which improves your chances of winning the click and also increases brand recall. To learn more about integrating SEO and PPC for better results, take a look at the following articles:

2. Vague or unrealistic goals

Marketing goals set specific targets for everyone to work towards. Setting clear, realistic goals for multiple teams might seem more challenging than individual channels, but this isn’t the case – not if you’re doing it properly.

Forget about individual channels for the moment and focus on aligning your marketing goals with those of the business. What is the company trying to achieve this year: increase profits by 25%, reduce customer churn by 15% or maybe increase average transaction values by 35%?

All of your marketing goals should contribute to those of the business. What can you contribute towards the 25% increase in profit and how are you going to deliver? Run the numbers and work with other departments to get realistic projections, so you can set specific marketing goals.

For example, you might determine that three channels (SEO, PPC and social) alone will boost profit by 10% by doubling traffic and increasing conversion rates by 50% before the end of Q2. That gives you two specific and realistic marketing goals to start with.

3. Integrating the wrong channels

The key to integrated marketing is getting the best results out of every channel available to you. This starts with choosing the right channels to integrate and, then, identifying which channels to prioritise.

Let’s go back to our goals of doubling traffic and increasing conversion rates by 50%. Insights might tell you Google Ads is the fastest channel for doubling traffic and its high-intent traffic is more suitable for conversion optimisation. So, this might be your priority channel for hitting targets by the end of Q2.

However, once you hit this target, maintaining ad spend can make PPC an expensive channel. Besides that, the traffic (and conversions) stop dead as soon as you stop winning ad auctions. This is where it pays to have a strong organic search presence that keeps generating traffic, no matter what happens. All of your PPC and CRO insights can help you get better results from organic traffic, too, but diversifying channels means you’re not overly reliant on paid traffic.

4. Gaps in funnel coverage

One of integrated marketing’s biggest benefits is its ability to cover the whole consumer journey, across every channel, device and session. The only downside is it’s increasingly difficult to cover this journey as the number of channels continues to grow. If your strategy leaves gaps in the wrong places, leads will slip through the cracks and your chances of converting diminish.

To minimise this, you’ll need to analyse the whole customer journey and identify every touchpoint that matters: searches, website visits, social engagement, etc. You’ll never cover every single possible interaction, but you can plug the biggest gaps, secure the most important ones and reduce the chance of valuable leads slipping away.

Take a look at our article on end-to-end funnel optimisation for more info.

How the customer funnel has changed from being linear to circular


5. Inconsistent messaging between channels

Integrated marketing quickly falls apart if messaging isn’t consistent across every channel. Let’s say one of your campaigns drives organic and paid traffic with messaging focused around a seasonal promotion. Well, this campaign is going to grind to a halt if you direct this traffic to generic product pages, instead of relevant landing pages promoting the same message.

This concept applies to the whole consumer cycle. Your integrated marketing strategy is capturing leads at one stage of the funnel and nurturing them through the remaining steps of the customer journey, so messaging needs to be consistent each step of the way – across every channel, touchpoint, etc.

6. Gaps in multichannel reporting

Integrated marketing simply doesn’t work without a quality multichannel reporting system. You need a complete overview of performance across every channel from one place, not insights split across multiple reporting tools.

Without this kind of reporting system, you’re not going to develop an integrated marketing strategy that covers the whole consumer journey. Beyond this, you won’t have the insights you need to optimise multichannel strategies and get the best performance out of them all.

7. Fumbling multichannel optimisation

Multichannel optimisation is one of the most challenging aspects of integrated marketing. Even with the right reporting system, you have to monitor results at multiple levels to compare channel performance and identify opportunities to improve results.

Initially, you’ll track performance at the campaign level, analysing the contribution of every channel. The first thing to look for is which channels are hitting projections or overachieving and – more importantly – which ones are underperforming.

From here, you can investigate any unexpected results and determine your next steps. For example, you might channel more budget into the top-performing channels to maximise ROI while A/B testing assets on underperforming channels to improve results.

Over time, you’ll develop historical insights that reveal the strengths and weaknesses of individual channels for specific goals and campaign types. These insights will also help predictive analytics forecast more accurate predictions while developing future strategies and setting more ambitious marketing goals.

Struggling to integrate multiple marketing channels?

If you’re not getting the best out of every marketing channel available to you, our team can help. We use advanced analytics technology to identify the best marketing opportunities and the right mix of marketing channels to achieve your goals. Call us on 023 9283 0281 or send us your details and we’ll be in touch. You can also check out our range of digital marketing services here.

Lee Wilson profile picture
Lee Wilson

Lee has been working in the online arena, leading digital departments since the early 2000s, and oversees all our delivery services at Vertical Leap, having joined back in 2010. Lee joined our company Operations Team in May 2019. Before working at Vertical Leap, Lee completed a degree in Business Management & Communications at Winchester University, headed up the online development and direct marketing department for an international financial services company for ~7 years, and set up/run a limited company providing website design, development and digital marketing solutions. Lee had his first solely authored industry book (Tactical SEO) published in 2016, with 2 further industry books being published in 2019, and can be seen regularly expert contributing to industry websites including State of Digital, Search Engine Journal, The Drum, plus many others. Lee has a passion for management in the digital industry and loves to see the progression of others through personal learning, training and development. Outside the office he looks to help others while challenging himself, having skydived, bungie jumped and abseiled (despite a fear of heights) with many more fundraising and voluntary events completed and on the horizon. As a husband and dad, Lee loves to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies include exercising, trying new experiences, eating out, playing countless team sports, as well as watching films (Gangster movies in particular – “forget about it”).

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