We get it. It can be confusing. You know there’s public relations, marketing, advertising, communications, and lead generation, but what does it all mean and what is the difference?
With the rise of digital usage and reliance on our devices, the way people consume information, learn about products and brands and make purchases online there truly isn’t much difference. This means that awareness is not solely gained through news mentions, and lead generation (sales) is not solely managed through your website or SEO efforts; it requires multiple touchpoints, commonly known as “integrated communications.”
Let’s take a step back for a moment. Think about the days when you had to go to the pharmacy for your prescription, the market for produce, the toy store for gifts, the mall for clothing, and the electronics store for technology. We were all over the place! Enter Amazon. You can now do it all in one place.
Integrated communications is the same idea, bringing it all together to reach the consumer in a way that best serves them and their needs. Meeting them where they are.
Determining the Mix
This, in my opinion, is where the magic starts. Are you feeling pressure from competitors? Have you struggled with customer retention & loyalty and/or acquisition? Have your sales declined, impacting revenue and staff? Are your loyal customers looking elsewhere? Are investors breathing down your neck? Has your market share declined? Are you struggling with brand awareness or positive reputation building?
These are all challenges that can be solved through the right, consistent mix of integrated communication tactics.
Reaching various audiences can be challenging, and takes more time than it used to. Sending one newsletter per month or quarter is no longer enough to keep them engaged. It requires multiple channels to be activated to get their attention and, most importantly, keep it. Now, not everyone consumes information in the same way or through the same channels. This is where variety is key. You have to know your audience and put them at the center of everything you do.
Who are you talking to? Of those consumers, who is the most valuable to your organization? Who are you wanting more of? Answering these questions is a great next step. It allows the opportunity to craft different messages and campaigns that can be disseminated through different channels at different times. Maybe the right mix is a blog post, email newsletter, and social media post. Or maybe it’s a digital ad, TikTok video, and podcast episode.
That is for your communications partner to determine, but the right recipe is key. As is consistency across each channel in how you are visually presenting yourself as well as how you are talking to your audiences.
Don’t just land on needing more media mentions because you’re not reaching enough people – think about how all of the touchpoints available through your channels can achieve the same goal but in a more effective and efficient way.
We are all about efficiency, but value results even more. So next time you’re thinking about whether you need PR, marketing, or advertising support, shift the narrative to be about identifying the right mix of integrated communications, no matter the channel, to reach your goal(s).
Ready to dive in? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org