Select Page

Don Draper and his team had limited choices when marketing brands. When they were working on the Marlboro Man, they could use advertising, public relations, sales promotion and possibly some forms of direct mail. It was a much simpler time, and it was a simpler process when it came to integrated marketing communications. The creative campaign could easily utilize the available channels. The integration of marketing efforts was simple.

It is a vastly different landscape today. The notion of integrated marketing communications was just beginning to take shape as agencies crafted plans for the brands they were supporting.

What exactly is integrated marketing? Integrated marketing is the holistic approach to communication in marketing.  CMO’s and brand managers must develop a compelling, consistent voice for a brand and extend that into every aspect of a brands persona.

Marketers must look at integrated marketing communications as a disciplined process that takes time and considerable effort to execute correctly. It is easy to develop creative and simply tweak it to fit multiple channels like TV, radio, outdoor or social media.  The mistake some make is to focus on one main area and then bolt on the others as if they were add-ons. It doesn’t work.

Understanding your brands target audience and their media consumption habits will allow you to construct a more effective campaign across multiple channels.

Here are just a few of the key areas you should consider in the planning stage:

  • Customers are not passive anymore.

Your mass media work should look very different than your social and digital work. You can use social and digital to engage them in ways you can’t on TV and radio.

  • Outbound Marketing versus Inbound Marketing

The traditional forms of outbound marketing push the message out. These would include email, advertising, trade shows among a few. Inbound marketing creates a path for consumers to find you and your brand. This is vastly different and will require a different approach to your creative and messaging efforts.

  • Creative Execution

Be disciplined and treat each channel as unique based on its own merits. There are even sub channel considerations as well. The creative you develop for radio should be different for play on a hip-hop station versus a country station. In much the same way, your messaging and creative should be different if your planning leads you to Pinterest (with a heavy gender skew) or leads you to Instagram (with a heavy age skew). 


Consider what integrated marketing looks like with one of the world’s big brands. You can see below how the team have approached integrated marketing.



Female skew with creative that is high energy targeted to a younger consumer. One recent spot featured a young woman on an airplane where life got better and a guy got better looking with trendy music from Boom! Bap! Pow!


  • Brand sponsorship of Taylor Swift Tour with various types of promotional overlays
  • Academy Awards Promo: Tweet winners to win sleek new chrystalized bottle

Social Media

  • Facebook focus on women with lifestyle messaging
  • Pinterest focus on mom’s with content on family activities, food and design
  • You Tube video with Brad Goreski, Celebrity Stylist and E! Fashion Police Host featuring
  • Brad Goreski’s Style Tips

You can clearly see from this small sample the multifaceted approach from the Diet Coke brand team. Their integrated marketing communications plan is not a one size fits all. They are very targeted by consumer audience and by specific channel and have a distinct strategy for each.

Companies and marketers should follow a very disciplined approach to ensure they have an effective integrated marketing communications plan in order to be successful in today’s ever changing media landscape. Don Draper would find it the ultimate challenge.