In a nutshell: harmony.
In other words, a seamless flow of messaging, graphic and visual identity and user experience that is consistent across all marketing platforms. The American Marketing Association describes Integrated Marketing as “a planned process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person.”
In other words, every “touch” that your prospect or client receives is planned, consistent, and speaks with one voice. That means that your website uses images, colors and language style appropriate to your practice - and so does your email newsletter, your print ads, brochures, attorneys, paralegals, waiting room décor, receptionist, parking lot and yes, even the clothing that you wear.
If your office features a warm, Scandinavian look and feel, your website should not be dressed in colors of the southwest. Print materials – brochures, folders for client documents, mailing labels – should echo the office. This integration extends to the sentence structure and even the words on your website.
Human beings are very good at picking up cues from the world around them, even if we are not always able to articulate what we are seeing, and may not even be aware of the fact that we are being influenced by what is around us.
Here’s an example: visit any store in any large mall. The signage, music and even how items are displayed are all planned and controlled. So are the messages that you do not see. Cinnabon deliberately locates its oven near the front of the store so the smell travels out to prospective customers walking in the mall. And the stores are located inside malls and airports so that the aromas will be trapped indoors. When first offering breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks created an aroma task force to ensure that the smell of cooking food did not overwhelm the signature coffee scent.
This is what marketers do. We design environments – digital and otherwise – and make sure that everything in these environments works together to create a cohesive message/experience for your prospects and clients.
Think of integrated marketing as branding’s way smarter cousin. And if you’d like to make it work for your estate planning practice, call James at 877-352-2021 ext. 80 and we’ll be happy to make it happen for you.