There is more and more integrated marketing happening between some messaging channels of campaigns today. But it’s still a challenge for most marketers to create an integrated marketing campaign where integration is happening between ALL the messaging channels. We’re seeing progress but campaigns are often missing one particular component that keeps a multi-channel marketing campaign from being a true integrated marketing initiative. That component is alignment.
The familiarity principle and alignment
Achieving alignment is not that hard to do when you understand why integration demands it. Alignment within integration helps create what’s known as the “mere exposure effect,” or the familiarity principle. The familiarity principle is the tendency for human beings to develop a preference for things (people, products, ideas etc.) which they see more often. In other words, mere exposure to something tends to make it more attractive. It’s part of consumer psychology, and explains the popularity of certain celebrities, brands or even political candidates. Lack of exposure makes others scratch their heads when it comes to the stickiness of the Kardashians, Red Bull or of course our current president.
Frequency in advertising is somewhat based on the familiarity principle. Marketers used to say that you needed to see a message seven times before it would “stick.” The ability to independently curate information based on preferences, and the proliferation of messaging channels has made it really hard to hammer home a message in one particular medium enough to achieve familiarity. Instead of seeing something seven different times, within integration we focus on our target audience seeing it seven (or more) different ways. What’s challenging is that the message must still fit each independent medium. That’s where alignment comes in.
To increase the results of an integrated marketing campaign, familiarity is bred through alignment. I’ve written plenty about targeting and marketing to audience behavior. Hopefully by now you understand how to message based on a target audience’s curation preferences. Let’s look at ways to gain alignment within those chosen channels to boost the results of an integrated marketing campaign.
Four points of alignment to pursue in an integrated marketing campaign
- Common visual assets. Photos or other visual assets don’t need to be exactly the same. But establishing a tone or even a specific model or set of models from stock photos can be very helpful in creating alignment across every messaging channel. Gathering a set of visual assets as a standard for use across every messaging channel helps keep the look familiar to an audience. Too many marketers feel that the visuals need to be different based on the medium. Even more active inbound and outbound marketing campaigns should try to incorporate common visuals beyond just brand positioning. This goes for video as well. A friend of mine uses a zebra in all of her messaging channels and it’s become an iconic, very familiar piece of her messaging. At first her audience thought it was strange to use a wild animal in her marketing campaigns. Now that they’ve seen it a Go to the full article.