We’re a Myanmar-based advertising agency, so integrated marketing is a topic we think about a lot. It’s a strategy that we use in all of the marketing we do. In fact, we regularly give workshops on the topic to help local marketers learn to implement these important principles in their work. We even made a short animated film to explain Myanmar integrated marketing.
In a nutshell, integrated marketing is a strategic approach that puts the consumer first in a campaign centered around one big story. And the brand’s communications about that story have to speak with one voice to create a consistent experience for those consumers, no matter where they are seeing or hearing the message. Great integrated marketing also identifies the proper channels to engage consumers on, and the right times to do so, rather than taking a reactive approach.
Integrated marketing is often confused “with 360 marketing”, but they are not quite the same. 360 is a tactical approach which emphasizes using multiple channels. Integrated marketing is more strategic than 360, since it uses the same principle, but involves the more consumer-centric approach and the single big story. For this reason, we prefer the more comprehensive term of integrated marketing.
When our agency started three years ago, our clients were mostly multinational firms which already understood the principles and importance of integrated marketing. Many local companies didn’t see the value in it, and so didn’t see a need to implement it. Just three years on, increased competition is forcing those companies to adapt or be left behind.
Many Myanmar companies see that their marketing return on investment is falling but aren’t sure what to do about it. Many of them simply try turning up the volume on the same things they’ve been doing, so more TV and radio, more print ads, more bus wraps, and of course, more billboards. The problem is that this just leads to consumer alienation through sensory overload, and isn’t engaging consumers where they are most easily found now — online.
Myanmar is a mobile-first country, meaning most people are accessing the internet through their smartphones. This means their engagement with brands often comes in the context of events and places such as buses, restaurants, at work etc. This creates an opportunity for brands to integrate tools such as experiential marketing, location-based geo targeting, and guerilla marketing into their Myanmar integrated marketing campaigns.
Myanmar’s rising middle class and its continued exposure to international marketing and media means that today, marketing that is below international standards can’t cut it anymore. Brands looking to reach sophisticated audiences must create high quality marketing that tells a consistent story across a variety of channels. They must implement effective integrated marketing campaigns.
Integrated marketing is a fairly simple concept, so it’s tempting to think that a CEO can just hand down a directive to start applying its principles. In reality, it’s not so easy. Think about all the different people involved in creating and distributing marketing materials. There are account managers, creative directors, designers, film producers and directors, media buyers, social media managers, copywriters, translators, marketing managers, and many more. Often these people are in different departments or divisions, and even different countries, and some can be on the client side while others are on the agency side. Once you realize the complexity of marketing, it’s easy to see how the best of intentions around integrated marketing can quickly be forgotten.
When we create integrated marketing campaigns at our Myanmar advertising agency, we follow a process of first understanding the client’s goals, whether those are brand awareness, market penetration, a new product launch, or anything else. We then create the big story that we’ll center the campaign around, and identify the most effective channels on which to share that story with consumers. Finally, as we create each piece of the campaign, we always ensure that it is telling the story consistently, and most important, effectively.
Any company trying to do marketing in Myanmar must follow the principles of integrated marketing. There’s so much noise out there that random or un-targeted marketing gets completely drowned out. To make a message stick, brands must ensure they’re telling their stories consistently, in the right way, and to the right people. They need to use integrated marketing.