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Integrated Marketing vs 360 Degree Marketing

integrated marketing

Marketing landscape is changing with the rapid advances in technology.  Some of the media that we currently use or the strategies deployed may not have been heard off a two decade ago. Long ago, Marketing meant identifying a need, developing a product, marketing through mass media, setting up distributor channels and achieving sales targets.

The concept of marketing has gone a sea change and now with big data, data mining capabilities and analysis tools at the disposal of the marketer. Market segmentation and targeting have become easier, developing customized solutions for different price points have also become easier.

Along with changes in technology, new communication media and innovative approach being adopted several new terms have evolved reflecting the strategies inherent in it. Two key strategies in marketing that have emerged – Integrated Marketing and 360 degree marketing. There could be grey areas where both the strategies overlap and essentially they cannot be bottled into water tight compartments.

Integrated Marketing Vs 360 degree marketing Infographics

Below infographics on Integrated Marketing vs 360 degree marketing,throws light on major points of differences between the two.

integrated marketing vs 360 degree communication infographics

Let’s  assume that a particular need has been identified for the kitchen which will help home makers finish cooking faster. Chopping vegetables to fine pieces, grating coconuts, onions chillies may be a cumbersome process in the kitchen especially for working people strapped for time. Morphy Richards comes up with a solution called Kitchen Chopper. Thus the first two processes are complete-identifying a need, developing a product, and now it needs to be promoted.

They have the option to use the television, trade fairs, existing distributor network and online marketing channels. The objective of integrated marketing is to manage and optimize the various channels to achieve the brand’s objective of reaching out to the maximum possible people in the targeted group. Integrated marketing also works in industries that have entry, normal and premium categories of the same product.

Maruti Suzuki, the leading automobile manufacturer in India, introduced a separate sales outlet called Nexa for selling premium cars which will not be available on their nation-wide network of dealers who  sell entry level or budget cars to mid segment or upto C-class. Thus their premium cars which failed to make headway in the market when sold along with budget cars, began to get noticed by upmarket customers looking for a different branding and value. Thus SX4 became S-Cross, Baleno was relaunched as a hatchback and automobile connoisseurs got a taste of its remade Vitara under a new surname Brezza.

Integrated marketing enables companies to expand their offerings by filling gaps existing for a particular product category- for example, small, affordable cars. Nano was the answer from Tata Motors for a large for a market that was looking for cheap cars and also found a huge export market in emerging market economies.

It is said that by altering the marketing mix and targeting integrated marketing, a marketer can touch each and every segment of the population. This is achieved by changing the product and price. Integrated marketing is a broader marketing function that begins from identifying a need, creating a product, naming and developing the brand, achieving channel sales, getting feedback and  come up with improved offerings.

Advantages of Integrated Marketing

  • Holistic approach

Integrated marketing sees the whole aspect of a brand from identifying the need or solution in a particular consumer or business segment, developing the product and branding, marketing promotion and communication activities, achieving sales and feedback as an integrated marketing activity and that applies to development of new sub categories with in a product or brand. This approach should help any company achieve better brand building and promotion, more sales and market share compared to competition. It is about developing the product and finding the appropriate communication strategies to reach the target audience.

  • Consumer in focus

 The integrated marketing begins with identifying the need or solution and doesn’t end with development of the product and sales. It continues with the feedback received, innovations made or new products developed. The focus on consumer is an essential feature of integrated marketing communications

  • Selective changes in activity changes market offering

In an integrated marketing approach, selective changes made in marketing activity can change the market offering in terms of providing a better, price, quality or features. Increasing sales force, concentration on push than pull, increasing marketing budgets, achieving cost effectiveness can provide better pricing for customers thus ensuring a higher market share.

  • Fills gaps in the market

Often some companies develop a product and believes in ‘one size fits all’ theory. However, customer taste, preferences, income, desires and satisfaction levels differ.  There could always be demand for smaller LED Tvs as much as premium TVs, just as watches with smart features will have a market while plain vanilla offerings also cater to entry level consumers. By altering the marketing mix, the marketer can touch each and every segment of the population-this has been successfully implemented by Unilever in emerging markets. For example, cooking oil and shampoos in sachets.

  • 360 degree marketing and its relevance

There are two ways of approaching marketing- one, focusing on the brand and its merits and the other  is to have the consumer at the center stage and then develop products that appeal to them, then devise appropriate communication strategies to achieve the objective. The integrated marketing is all encompassing identifying the needs of the customer, developing the product for him or her, developing the communication strategy to reach them and throughout the process the consumer is at center stage.

Now imagine a situation where the product has been developed, branding, marketing and selling has to take place. In such a scenario, the 360 degree marketing strategist has an arsenal of media for their disposal-print media, television, social media, public relations, email marketing, websites, tele marketing, events and trade fairs.

The goal of 360 degree marketing is to ensure that the message is consistent across the channels which is necessary to keep consumers engaged with the product and understand the brand better.

Advantages of 360 Degree marketing

  • Communication holds the key

If there is a product and distribution channel but no communication either linear or interactive taking place, the best of products can fail. In 360 degree marketing, a special emphasis is on keeping touch with consumers from the beginning of the journey – from discovering the product to purchase at different touch points, across multiple devices.

In any product promotion identifying the communication channels to deliver the message is very important to achieve success. Once print media held the center stage but now electronic media (radio and TV), social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest), blogging, websites, events, public relations, email marketing , direct customer interactions, Pay Per Click Advertising,  Inbound lead nurturing,getting customer feedback through various channels are all essential part of 360 degree marketing.

  • Combines the best of integrated marketing and web

The prime advantage of 360 degree marketing is the focus on the consumer for its communication which is also at the heart of integrated marketing communications and delivering a consistent message across touch points. It is a powerful strategy as it combine print, web, social media and mobile advertising and market promotion. Truly quite holistic.

  • Capable of being utilized across industries

Oil company Shell in association with Ferrari, KFC, Australian tourism industry, and a variety of other consumer, business industries. Tourism Australia has come up with There’s Nothing like Australia campaign that uses virtual reality (VR), to showcase country’s aquatic and coastal experiences. The seventeen films cover ride over the 12 Apostles, sailing the Whitsundays, swimming with sea lions and dolphins in Australia, cruising Sydney Harbour, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef among others.

  • Creativity is at the heart of 360 degree

According to DC Priyan, who has worked earlier with Ogilvy & Mather, creativity is at the heart of 360 degree marketing. Ideas will continue to drive execution, but pervasive creativity will define the success of the campaign and the brand in the market plae.

  • 360 degree for crisis management and control

It is not just for market promotion that 360 degree strategy would be appropriate. When a product or brand runs into trouble as in the case of Volkswagen in many countries for its pollution control issue, Maggi for its content that was seen to be carcinogenic, or automobile makers like Toyota who had to recall cars in ten thousands, appropriate 360 degree strategy can be deployed to create a favorable image among the consumers and general public. Maggi could have use the print media with advertisements on what was their version of the issue and web platform could have been deployed to reach the target audience- children and youth.

Likewise, there was no attempt on the part of Volkswagen to assuage customers of the pollution control measures and its claims about the product that were being questioned in the courts.

Even in times of crisis such as the Chennai floods that ravaged for weeks submerging the city, Ola cabs reached out to a larger community by deploying boats to ferry people in distress. The resultant coverage in the press and social media likes and shares will contribute to its brand building in the long run which no mass media coverage would have done.

Conclusion: Which is the best strategy?

Both Integrated marketing and 360 degree marketing have their advantages and it is not easily comparable to the other. In many industries, it will be better to use a mix of integrated marketing and 360 degree marketing activities, according to experts and analysts.

From the task of identifying a need and developing the product, pricing, and promotion, integrated marketing approach requires the use of latest technology and new paradigm shifts that are taking place in business. Big data until recently a hype has now begun to be used to understand customer behavior, spending patterns, differences and tastes which can be used to develop new products or services. Big data will have a larger role in developing new products, innovating on existing ones and define new uses for existing products or services.

For most purposes, integrated marketing and 360 degree marketing cannot be put into water tight compartments as there are some gray areas that overlap into each other. The communication part is one of them, so is the data or database on which new ideas or target audience is worked out.

The role a 360 degree marketing can play in crisis situation for the brand as well as  a general situation shows the value of this strategy in business promotion activity in the digital era.

The 360 degree has also enlarged the scope of brand building beyond the traditional media channels capitalizing on the plethora of opportunities in web, social media, virtual reality. The internet has become an integral part of the marketing strategy thus the digital and mobile platform has become an inevitable medium for marketers.

Even as there are plethora of opportunities to communicate with the consumers and target groups, each industry can choose what is relevant within the scope of integrated marketing efforts. For localized business, print media and BTL (Below the line) campaigns that involve distribution of leaflets, putting up banners and hoardings and local TV campaigns may be appropriate while a consumer product sold across geographies need to have a comprehensive use of all the media.

Both 360 degree and integrated marketing efforts can’t be run by a single department or a small group of individuals but require the expertise of data science, advertising, content, marketing, public relations and creative teams to deliver better results.

In tune with the blending of various disciplines into integrated marketing, a few universities across the globe have started offering courses in integrated marketing at undergraduate and post graduate levels. They combine advertising, public relations, marketing and content management streams and the natural connections between them. Perhaps, such training can create leaders in integrated marketing who can build a team of differing talents.

A decade ago, the American Association of Advertising Agencies had identified integrated marketing as the future for success of any brand. From being a media planning tool, 360 degree has expanded to embrace the entire process of communicating with customers and prospects.

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Integrated Marketing vs 360 Degree Marketing


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