3 Reasons Why You Should Integrate Demand & Media

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It’s difficult to name two aspects of marketing more prone to silos than media and demand generation. If media is the church, then demand gen is the state: Most marketers are trained to think they should be separate on principle.

But how does a separate media and demand generation strategy work in the modern buyer’s journey? Media is no longer top-of-funnel only, and wise marketers should take immediate action to integrate these two channels in order to create the most cohesive experience for their consumers. 

Let’s break down three arguments (with tips!) for why and how you should start integrating demand and media in today’s evolving world.

The Integrated Marketing Trifecta: Paid, Owned, & Earned Media

Why integrate paid, owned, and earned media ASAP? And what does integration really even mean? It comes down to understanding the buyer’s journey, and why integrated marketing (not traditional marketing) is the only approach to fully meet your buyer’s needs at every step along the way. 

Defining the buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey simply refers to delivering what the customer needs throughout their decision-making process in order to persuade them to purchase your product or service. While it can be modeled in many forms, it’s important to note that the evolving buyer’s journey is increasingly cyclical. 

The buyer’s journey usually looks something like this: 

  • Trigger (awareness)
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Loyalty loop
  • Repeat for lifetime value of customer 

What is integrated marketing?

So how does integrated marketing relate to the buyer’s journey? Integrated marketing exists to eliminate the disparities a customer may experience when interacting with your brand. 

In practice, that means shutting down the silos your marketing strategy may have that create confusing or unclear messages across the buyer’s journey. Because the buyer’s journey is increasingly digital and across multiple channels, integrated marketing is the only way to create a cohesive message. A true, omnichannel, buyer-centric marketing strategy requires that media be tightly integrated with demand marketing, pipeline acceleration, and retention.

In short? Separating media contradicts the buyer’s journey. The first actionable step you can take to integrate media and demand is by aligning your strategy around the buyer’s journey — not the marketing org chart.

Finding the True Value of Spend Requires Measuring Media & Demand Together

The United States is the largest advertising market in the world, with digital advertising and media spend increasing every year. Some forecasts predict that total ad spend across 16 media platforms will reach $173 billion in 2022. It should come as no surprise then, that measurement is on the forefront of every marketer’s mind in the coming year.

With some enterprise companies spending nearly a third of the marketing budget on media spend, a big challenge remains: Proving the value of your media spend down to the last cent. Accountability is the name of the game.

The old ways of measuring media don’t make sense for the digital world of today. Impressions and reach only tell you so much. More and more, marketers are looking for true, measurable conversion from their media spend. One way to get there? Integrated demand and media strategy, with integrated metrics.

According to the Harvard Business Review, marketers can provide more value by interpreting spend in holistic terms. 

“The more holistically companies see spend as driving some form of performance, the better. The key is to focus less on each individual line of spend and more on the predictive and collective value of them in combination.”

Keeping Media Separate Delays Activation

Too often, marketing strategy and activation exist in completely separate areas of the marketing organization. This leads to understandable confusion and frustration among team members — if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, how can the two work together at all? 

When these segmented marketing teams inevitably end up working on two completely unrelated activities, it can spell disaster for the buyer’s journey. One of the most important reasons why demand and media should become integrated across your marketing efforts is that without integration, marketing will never be more than the sum of its parts. In fact, it’s impossible to activate an integrated strategy if marketing silos persist. 

Developing integrated marketing reporting and incorporating the martech necessary for a holistic view of demand and media can be intimidating, but isn’t impossible with the right agency or partner. The first and hardest step is to adjust your existing paradigm. The next is taking action to change.

At Inverta, we help brands resolve marketing silos by providing operational consulting across the buyer’s journey, infrastructure, and reporting to ensure your strategy and activation fully align. Learn more here.