An integrated marketing campaign (IMC) is a cross-channel orchestrated strategy to deliver a cohesive message, maximize brand visibility, and drive desired business outcomes.

An integrated marketing campaign (IMC) is a cross-channel orchestrated strategy to deliver a cohesive message, maximize brand visibility, and drive desired business outcomes.

More than ever before, audiences are fragmented across numerous channels and platforms. Enterprise marketing teams face the challenge of organizing and executing integrated marketing campaigns (IMCs) that successfully cut through the noise, reaching their audience with the right message at the right time.  

Crafting an effective IMC requires a delicate balance of strategy, creativity, and meticulous coordination across various marketing channels. But if you get it right, it could lead to increased revenue, faster time-to-market, more consistent brand recognition.

Read on for a guide to IMCs, including tips on building one yourself and top-notch examples to model after. 

Marketing campaign planning best practices

What is an integrated marketing campaign (IMC)?

An integrated marketing campaign is like a well-choreographed dance. It brings together different marketing channels to send a unified message to your target audience. 

There are several key elements that go into creating an IMC strategy. Planning these campaigns should involve:

  • Bringing cross-functional teams together: To ensure you’re aligned with product vision and are delivering a smooth user experience, you should involve cross-functional teams (like product, devs, and UX researchers) in IMC planning and strategy.

  • Identifying the right channels for the right audience: If you want to reach the intended audience and maximize your impact, you have to determine which channels to use for which messages. Different channels in an IMC might include social media, PPC, email, and blog.

  • Developing a uniform, cohesive message across all touchpoints: It’s important to maintain consistency in colors, layout, wording, and tone throughout all of your campaign assets. This consistency across marketing deliverables helps enhance brand recall and resonance with your audience. 

  • Determining logistics in planning, execution, and promotion: There are a lot of components that should inform execution and promotion—details like target audience, scope, budget, goals, and timing. It’s a good idea to centralize these details to keep all stakeholders aligned and all workflows up to date. 


Why build an integrated marketing campaign? 

An integrated marketing campaign offers distinct advantages over standard campaigns. Because a standard campaign focuses on a single channel (or involves separate, disjointed elements across different channels), they’re limited when it comes to reach and impact. With an IMC you can: 

  • Reach a broader audience: Since you can leverage multiple channels simultaneously, your message reaches a larger audience than it would with a single channel. 

  • Create a consistent brand image: If you use the same branded elements like colors, logo, and messaging across a variety of channels, you’ll create a uniform brand identity that fosters brand recognition and trust.

  • Increase ROI: When you keep branding consistent across an IMC, it’s easier to repurpose assets and ideas across channels. This reuse and recycling will save you time and improve the ROI on your marketing spend.

  • Develop authority: When you deliver valuable and consistent content and engage with your audience across multiple channels, you build trust and credibility with your audience over time.

How to create an integrated marketing campaign


Putting together an IMC requires an extra level of coordination and consideration. Follow these steps to build one:

  1. Set high-level goals: Start by defining specific and measurable goals, like increasing sales by 20% or improving brand awareness with engagement metric benchmarks. Ultimately, these goals should connect to your larger marketing plan.

  2. Determine your target audience: Conduct market research and analyze customer data to understand your target audience’s demographics, behaviors, and interests. Then, tailor your messaging and channels strategically.

  3. Create a channel strategy: Evaluate various marketing channels and determine which ones align with your target audience and goals. Then develop a plan for how you’ll differentiate your campaign across different channels, taking into account their strengths and limitations.

  4. Develop content that scales across channels: Craft high-quality, engaging content that’s adaptable and that can be repurposed across multiple channels for brand consistency and efficiency. This includes creating compelling ads, blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, or any other content format that fits your goals and channels best. 

  5. Measure success and optimize: Implement tracking mechanisms and analytics tools to measure KPIs aligned with your goals. Analyze data from your marketing channels regularly to gain insights into the effectiveness of each channel, content type, and message. Use these insights to further optimize your digital strategy and make data-driven decisions throughout the campaign.

8 best practices for campaign planning

Pro tip

Airtable is an interactive relational database with data sync, so anything you edit in one place will automatically update wherever else it lives on the platform. That means if you edit a task in your content calendar, it’ll update in your linked high-level IMC roadmap in real time.


Integrated marketing campaign examples

Let’s take a look at some successful IMCs, including what worked well in each case. 

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign

The beverage company personalized its product by replacing the logo on its bottles with popular names and phrases. Coca-Cola’s goal was to increase brand awareness and reach young adults and teens. The brand implemented TV commercials, print ads, and social media posts, all with an emphasis on utilizing user-generated content by encouraging consumers to share their personalized bottles. 

The messaging revolved around the idea of sharing a personalized Coke with someone special, fostering a sense of connection and happiness. The result? Coca-Cola sales rose by 11% in the U.S. alone and 1.25 million more teens tried Coca-Cola than the previous summer.

Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign 

By leveraging television, print, and digital ads—as well as athlete endorsements—Nike designed a cohesive and compelling message that inspired consumers to push their limits and pursue their goals. 

A unifying tagline and partnerships with influential athletes like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams helped strengthen Nike’s association with sports, determination, and success. While the campaign has evolved since its launch in 1988, the messaging and branding remain steadfast.

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign 

Focused on challenging traditional beauty standards and promoting body positivity, Dove utilized TV commercials, print ads, social media, and a dedicated website to celebrate diverse women of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. 

The campaign resulted in an increased perception of the brand being feminine and a 10% increase in revenue. As the campaign continued through the years (and still runs today), the company adopted new marketing channels to consistently convey an image of authenticity and inclusivity.

Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign 

With a goal to position itself as a unique alternative to traditional accommodations, Airbnb created TV, digital marketing, social media, and user-generated content to showcase Airbnb hosts and their neighborhoods. 

The brand encouraged travelers to “live like a local,” appealing to the desire for authentic travel experiences. The integrated approach and storytelling helped Airbnb differentiate itself from competitors, increase brand awareness, and drive bookings.

How to choose a great IMC tool

An IMC tool typically encompasses several key features that help marketers plan, execute, and analyze their campaigns effectively, like: 

  • Shared data that syncs in real time: Your assets and messaging need to be consistent in an IMC. With synced data, you can be sure everyone is working with the latest information.

  • Custom views: Cross-functional teams need to reference work with a tailored dashboard specific to their needs and preferences. With a focused view, they can put a magnifying glass to what matters most to them and can take action more efficiently.

  • Metadata compatibility: Your marketing assets will need context for better organization, searchability, and analysis. Plus, metadata compatibility helps team members better understand the characteristics and relationships of the marketing elements they’re working with.

  • Project management: You need features for campaign planning and management like the ability to set goals, define target audience segments, create content calendars, and manage project timelines. 

  • Collaboration and workflow management: With so many moving parts, the right IMC tool should foster collaboration with task assignments, content approval workflows, and communication features like notifications, chat, and tagging for smooth coordination. 

  • Automation: Automation capabilities like internal notifications and task assignments will help you expand your campaign with ease.

  • Analytics: You need a central place where you can pull in data on campaign performance across multiple channels and then create reports to reflect key metrics and progress toward goals. 

  • Integration: It’s in the name—IMCs need integrations in all forms, including tool integration across different channels, your content management system, and analytics tools. If you can’t integrate cross-functionally, you’ll end up with disrupted workflows and a slower time-to-market for all campaigns.

Integrated marketing campaigns are essential for brands trying to maximize their marketing efforts and deliver a consistent message to their target audience. But leveraging multiple marketing channels and activities doesn’t have to be a headache—the right campaign management tool can make it easy to plan and execute a successful IMC.  

Airtable is an ideal campaign management tool for IMCs. Not only does it meet the mark on all the above features, but it also connects all your marketing activities and data in one platform. This connection keeps cross-functional stakeholders in-step, and helps you execute repeatable, data-driven workflows to bring your campaign to life. 

Learn more about how Airtable can help your team tackle marketing campaign management more effectively.

Marketing campaign planning best practices

About the author

Airtable's Marketing Teamseeks to inspire, guide, and support builders at every stage of their journey.

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