Integrated marketing (IM) is much like this proverb from the Bible, which states, “The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” The spider has integrated itself into someone else’s world, in this case, the king’s, thus, benefiting from the position the palace real estate gave her without paying a dime for it. Can you see the basic principle here? For practical purposes, let’s define integration marketing from a dictionary. Webster says that the word integration, a noun, means; the act of making entire or complete. Thesaurus.com says integration means unification. These definitions are pretty powerful when you consider what integration marketing means to the world of business especially online.
In the offline world, you have companies that piggyback one another within marketing campaigns. Nike may give you 25% off a pair of sneakers when you buy an Izod shirt at full price. Both companies have merged or integrated, for a particular marketing campaign. You may not want the sneakers but a good chance someone else will and both parties will financially benefit from the adventure. “Integration internet marketing is then the unification of marketing processes, sometimes called distribution channels, for a common or related purpose.”
All you need to do now is understand how the spider, in this case, Nike, is taking hold with her hands. How many other marketing campaigns are Nike involved with that is helping them market their 25% off sneaker sale? This is truly exponential expansion at its best.
The online world operates, or should, in exactly the same way as the offline world. Google, Adobe, Alexa, and Ask all involve themselves in online integrated marketing. If you download Adobe Acrobat, there is a good chance you will be given the opportunity to install the Alexa toolbar unless you uncheck the option. Each one of these companies is gaining online real estate presence by coat-tailing other marketing campaigns that are congruent to their own.
Major online companies who unify themselves with the marketing efforts of other companies make their own mission entire or complete as the definition above stated. They know how valuable this concept is to their business, the question is, does the solo online entrepreneur know? If you watched most marketing efforts today, the answer would be NO. Joint-Venture (JV) Partnerships are different than the completeness of integration marketing. They represent a taste of IM but not the true essence because JV Partnerships can end as fast as they start and are not always constructed to be long term as IM.
Two or more parties, usually members of the same online mastermind, create a marketing adventure where one party’s product or service will be shared across the network of the other partners. Each partner generally has a list they market to in cases like joint adventures and, of course, there are commissions made. This is called affiliate marketing. Long-term IM happens when JV partners continue to offer something from the other member in their marketing funnel. The product or service offered is always something congruent with or similar to what the customer has purchased. In other words, there must be relevance for you to have success.
The answer to this question is not as easy as saying, “One, two, and three.” Online IM is used in the following places:
Once you truly understand the concept behind online IM you will find yourself immersed in research and development. Perform due diligence in the creation of your content, its marketing and launch, because other experienced marketers will not host you in their campaigns if they think for a minute you are a charlatan. R&D involves your product or service and those who will want to integrate with it which leads us to our final point in this introduction.
The name of this game, if you want to call it that, is value. No one wins if everyone is a charlatan. The internet is as real a world as the offline world. The web hosts billions of real people who are looking for real answers from real entrepreneurs that have their act together. Integration marketing unifies experts by creating a situation where superior products and services come together in marketing to a specified target audience. The benefits experienced by all are: