Your target audience no longer consumes information in silos. A chunk of your messaging reaches it via the one-way bullhorn of traditional media – think print, broadcast and roadside billboards. The rest makes it via digital channels – social media, e-mail blasts, online advertising, and mobile apps. So, how do you decide what to spend the next hundred, thousand or ten thousand dirhams of your marketing budget on? With the media spectrum fanning out the way it is, it’s no longer feasible to run your outreach program on just one channel. Instead, an integrated marketing campaign offers a cross-channel approach while amplifying ROI. If you’re looking to optimize your marketing activities, an integrated campaign is the way to go.

And if you’re looking to do so in the UAE, here are five key steps to follow:

Step 1: Know your audience

When drawing up an integrated marketing campaign, you’ll have to go beyond the perfunctory mapping out of your target audience’s demographics. Instead, you’ll have to concentrate on its psychographics – we’re talking attitudes, interests, values, opinions and, above all, how it consumes media. For instance, the number of Facebook users in the UAE tripled during 2010 and 2014 – a 200% growth –, which led companies to scale up their presence on the channel. But a recent social media study indicated that during this period, the number of Facebook users under 30 significantly declined as they started shifting to Snapchat and Instagram. Therefore, it is important to know your audience, as well as how to reach them. Creating a segmented customer database can prove quite useful and so can keeping tabs on changing consumer habits.

Step 2: Begin with the end in mind

Establish a baseline of what you hope to achieve through the campaign. There’s the obvious, overall objective of course. For instance, if you’re the new kid on the block, you might be looking to scale up awareness. If you’re an old hand, you might be looking to maintain top-of-the-mind awareness. However, when launching an integrated marketing campaign, it is also crucial to define segmented KPIs. If you’re advertising on three different digital channels, define the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve via each.

Step 3: Don’t reinvent the content wheel

If years’ worth of marketing research is to be believed, then it takes five impressions for a consumer to remember a brand and its message. In today’s multimedia landscape, it is highly unlikely that all five impressions are delivered via the same channel. As such, consistency gains importance. Every piece of content you develop – be it interviews, case studies or videos – should be easily adapted or repurposed to suit different media channels. Coming up with new content to feed different outlets can quickly get overwhelming. Ideally, all content should also be search engine optimized from the start.

Step 4: Track your campaign

The most important aspect of any marketing campaign is putting the proper analytics and attribution methods in place. This allows you to really understand how you’re achieving results – be they good, bad or downright ugly. The best thing about an integrated marketing campaign is that you can track every dirham spent and the sort of ROI it has generated. When it comes to digital marketing, free platforms such as Google Analytics can be used to monitor your campaign. It can often be helpful to have analysts in place, in order to extract meaning and value out of the analytics being generated. Otherwise, you might be left swimming in data.

Step 5: Consider hiring an agency

Some agencies specialize in digital marketing, while some focus their efforts solely on traditional PR. However, an integrated marketing communications solutions agency will have the capacity, resources and know-how to implement a range of different marketing strategies in one cohesive effort. These agencies generally boast a team of professionals with bulging toolkits, diverse expertise and heavy-duty local experience. Given the competitive environment, any integrated marketing agency worth its salt will offer PR, advertising, digital marketing, social media management, design and copywriting all under one roof, within a reasonable budget.

Guest post by Layth Dajani, Founder and CEO, The Content Factory

Layth Dajani has over fifteen years in the media industry under his belt. He has worked on all sides of the media game and gained cross disciplinary experience on a global scale. He started his career as an economic and political journalist in Palestine, writing in both English and Arabic, and freelanced for international news agencies such as Reuters, Associated Press (AP) and Bloomberg. Following on, Layth joined Microsoft Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean (GEM) as public relations manager, and left in 2002 to start up THECONTENT|FACTORY (The Content Factory), which today offers integrated marketing service to a select range of clients, built on a solid digital foundation.

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