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Marketing: Is integration the key to success?

CIM Travel Group chairman Keith Cartwright highlights the ever-increasing need for integrated marketing campaigns in the travel sector.

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Marketing Magic girl on phone.jpg
Marketing Magic girl on phone.jpg
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"87% of British consumers watch television while surfing the web on a tablet, smartphone or second screen."

Thanks to the emergence of multi-channel marketing, brands today can interact with both potential and existing customers across a combination of various platforms.

 

But previously mass communications– the practice of relaying information to large segments of the population through press, television, radio, and other media– dictated how companies went about promoting themselves. It meant that marketing was a one-way feed; advertisers broadcasted their offerings and value propositions with little regard for the diverse needs, tastes, and values of consumers.

 

Join the dots

How things have changed. Today, in the age of multiple devices, the term “integrated marketing” dominates the vocabulary of the advertising community, but it can still be a tricky art to perfect.

 

Everyone loves to travel. And the digital age has given consumers the ability to search, plan and book their trips whenever they choose, now with a higher degree of choice at their fingertips. Travel has also long been one of the most intensely competitive sectors with a head-spinning array of destinations, products and services, all striving to be heard.

 

Against this background, the latest market research shows that a staggering 87% of British consumers watch television while surfing the web on a tablet, smartphone or second screen, which perfectly illustrates the importance, indeed necessity, of integrated marketing.

 

From video on demand to TV, mobile, apps and social media, and through to direct mail, content marketing, advertising and PR, companies must look beyond traditional media and use numerous channels to achieve success. In other words, they must combine data, insights and unbound creativity to get people sharing, calling, clicking and booking, more often.

Keys to campaign success

Here are the “five Cs” of integrated marketing. They outline the key concerns that need to be addressed in order to give a campaign the chance of reaching its goals:

 

  • Coherence – all communications must be logically connected.

 

  • Consistency – multiple messages must support and reinforce, not contradict or confuse.

 

  • Continuity – all communications must be aligned and constant.

 

  • Complementary – the sum of the parts must be greater than the whole. The trick is to connect the dots.

 

  • Consolidate – join up user touchpoints and attribute data to drive analysis and optimisation processes. It’s growth without the guesswork.

 

Every day, thousands of marketing messages vie for attention and it’s clear that consumers have a tough job choosing between all of the options available to them. To stay competitive, brands must engage prospective holidaymakers in conversation, pique their interest, make them curious, and connect with them in the right places, at the right times, recognising that it’s all about staying at the forefront of the customer’s mind throughout a complex and unpredictable journey.

 

If you’re dealing with a fragmented strategy or execution, it’s definitely time to get integrated.

 

 

About the author

About the author

Keith Cartwright has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and business development, mostly in the travel sector. He is senior account director at travel marketing agency Accord, and chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Travel Group.

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