What Integration Is, and Why You Need to Do It!

 Image depicts two hands shaking, surrounded by different elements that may be used in integration

In this blog post I walk through what integration is, common mistakes that marketers make when integrating, suggestions on how not to make these same mistakes, what goes into integration, and what integration accomplishes.

Created By: Devon Nyberg, Applied IMC, Spring 2023 

Integration is one of those things that you always hear about, always assume to understand, and is always present in your marketing journey, but what really is integration? Well to put it plainly, integration is the act of creating a cohesive message (or perhaps a piece of content), that conveys to your target market a sense of a unified vision, message, and creates a clear understanding of what you offer or are trying to communicate. In order to truly help you understand what integration is and why it is crucial to your success as a marketer, I will use the following paragraphs to explain where marketers go wrong when attempting integration, what goes into integration, and what integration accomplishes.

Integration is Common Sense Right? How Do Marketers Go Wrong?

Initially, it may seem that integrating branded content, published ads, brand elements, and marketing messages may seem to be common sense. However, marketers around the world ultimately fall short in integration because of one thing…the assumption that something is common sense or known.

As marketers, when we create an ad, or a piece of content, or a message, we assume that certain things are evident and common sense to consumers. These common sense assumptions include but are not limited to…

  • Assuming that a consumer knows that a piece of content, message, or ad is related to a product or service based solely on wording and implications.
  • The assumption that a consumer already is familiar with a slogan, logo, or brand elements.
  • The assumption that we do not have to repeat what is “evident” to us, such as the value proposition of a product or service, or why our product is superior to competitors.
  • Assuming that a consumer already is aware, and has knowledge of our company, brand, product, or service.
  • Assuming (without any research), that you know exactly who your target market is, where your target market is, and what they are seeking.

From these general assumptions (and so many more), professionals around the world fall flat in their marketing objectives and goals as these assumptions lead to lackluster content that does not help consumers understand what a brand is, what it offers, and what the message is. However, perhaps the most devasting impact of these assumptions is messages and content that is not cohesive and does not clearly communicate value to consumers. Ultimately, this all

disassociates a consumer from a brand and leads to marketing goals and objectives not being met, and consumers not aligning with a brand.

I know this all sounds daunting and can cause an uneasy feeling in those who are unfamiliar with integration, but have no fear because there are steps you can take to ensure you do not fall into this trap! The most important way to overcome this is to not assume your target market knows what you know! Just because you are very familiar with a brand, its message, value proposition, and elements, does not mean that your target market is. I suggest you look to your creative brief and really immerse yourself in your brand’s value proposition, logo, tagline, and elements such as colors and associations, and then look to your already published content to see what is, is not, and what needs to be integrated. From doing this, you can understand what you have been integrating, what you have not been, and what needs to be added to your future content to fully integrate the important elements of your brand. An example of this would be if you and your team have been producing a newsletter that already has your brand colors and fonts, but does not have your logo or tagline which you would now integrate into future versions! Ultimately, from looking at your creative brief and your already published content, you can understand what should be incorporated into future iterations of your product to fully integrate your content with your brand elements, creative brief, and associations, which will enable you to create a strong and cohesive message.

Do not make assumptions

What Actually Goes into Integration?

Now that you know where marketers go wrong when attempting integration, it is time to learn what actually goes into integration. When someone talks about integrating, what they mean is incorporating brand elements, associations, value propositions, logos, taglines, and other items, into branded content, ads, messages, and the physical products themselves.

In order to effectively understand what you need to integrate, you should do as I previously mentioned and look to your brand’s creative brief, which is where your brand elements, associations, value propositions, logos, taglines, and even your target market, marketing and communication objectives, and your targeting strategies are located.

After you have really immersed yourself in your creative brief and understand what makes up your brand, it is time to integrate. As a basic guideline to follow, I would recommend you integrate your logo, tagline, value proposition, and brand elements such as colors and fonts into products, messages, and content that you publish in the future. This being said, you want to make sure you are not just slapping these items randomly into your products and content. Instead, you want to ensure that these items are placed strategically so that they are highly visible, relevant, and communicative to your target market.

Ultimately, when attempting integration, it is important to understand what is relevant to your brand, your target market, and what elements and items will help you reach and resonate most with your target market. As always, constantly looking to and working with your creative brief will help you effectively integrate, and make sure that your integration efforts are strategic in nature.

Integrated marketing strategies

What Does Integration Actually Accomplish?

Tying everything together, we finally arrive at what integration actually accomplishes. While it may seem that the answer is hard to grasp, or needs further discussion, we have in fact already discussed what it accomplishes, which is creating a strong and cohesive message that fully communicates things such as brand elements and associations, value propositions, logos, and taglines to consumers. What this all does is ensure that your products and content raise awareness and knowledge of your brand among your target market, and helps you convey to your target market what your brand is, what it looks like, sounds like, and what it entails.

Overall, an effective, strong, cohesive, and communicative message, content, or product is what integration actually accomplishes. Which as we all know, is vital to actually resonating with consumers, and is the key to being recalled when a need or want arises.


Ultimately, integration is something that must be fully understood in order to successfully produce cohesive and strong content, messages, and products. The last thing you want is to create products, messages, and content that leave out important elements and items, which will result in consumer confusion, and a lack of preference toward your brand. Truly, Integration is incredibly important in successfully creating strong and cohesive branded content, messages, and products. All of which is massively important to your integrated marketing communication efforts.