Integrated digital marketing: more than just a buzzword

Written by Hannah Ward: Managing director.
· 4 minute read

The phrase “integrated digital marketing agency” seems to have replaced “compelling content” as the buzz-phrase of choice when it comes to discussing digital marketing these days. But while the ‘integrated approach’ may seem like a relatively recent concept, digital agencies such as RUN2 have been employing this way of working for longer than you may think.

When RUN2 started out as an agency 9 years ago, our focus was primarily on SEO. However, we soon began to offer web design and development services too, as we knew that integrating SEO with a well-designed website achieves better results.

Fast forward 9 years and we do it all: SEO, PPC, social media, branding, UX, design, web development, and CRO, all delivered by a team who are experts in their field. This is because a digital strategy will have the most impact when all these elements come together.

What makes a true “integrated” digital agency?

An integrated digital agency has distinct skill sets that can be combined to produce better, and more efficient, results for clients. Let’s use an email marketing campaign as an example…

An integrated email campaign may require the following:

+  a UX designer to create a template
+  a designer to apply the visual design
+  a developer to code the email
+  a content writer to create the copy
+ a digital marketer to create email lists, send the email, and to analyse open rates, click through rates, unsubscribes, etc. 

It’s much easier if all those people are under one roof and working together towards a common goal!

If an agency is truly integrated, then you’ll tend to find that their work is balanced across all disciplines: they’ll have case studies which cover all elements of what they do, and awards for different areas of expertise.

When it comes to the team, the headcount will usually be fairly even between the disciplines inside the agency: for example, at RUN2 we have 3 developers, 3 designers, 4 content writers, 5 digital marketers… there isn’t one area that’s particularly heavily-staffed over another. It’s important to have this balance and not just build up skills in one area because when it comes to an integrated approach, if one area is weak it can affect the whole strategy.

The integrated approach also means that each department informs the next, with departments working closely together to drive success for clients. For example, the results we see from PPC campaigns can help inform SEO strategy. Similarly, analysing user behaviour on site can influence UX design in a way that boosts conversions.

Being integrated means less outsourcing

Integrated digital agencies tend to have SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media marketing, web design and development, UX, and CRO covered all under one roof. This means they can take care of everything in house, without the need for outsourcing. At RUN2 it’s really important to us that every project we undertake is tackled by us and us alone: we have the relationships with our clients, and we know the brief better than anyone, so it’s only right we do the work ourselves. Plus, we’re pleased to say that it delivers the best results!

How the integrated approach gets results

RUN2 were recently shortlisted for Best Integrated Strategy at the Drum Search Awards for our work on client Carole Nash Insurance. The results we achieved show what is possible when key elements of a digital strategy work together cohesively.
We used an integrated approach comprising of:
Content Marketing
Social Media
Web Design
Web Development

The strategy resulted  in new levels of rankings, traffic and revenue. We also pushed 3 of the client’s high volume search terms from page 4/5 onto page 1.

When it came to the design and development of the new site, our main aim was improving UX and Conversions. The designs were all informed by the data we’d gleaned from working on the client’s Search strategy for the previous 12 months. When the new website launched in December 2017 we saw an almost immediate improvement in site performance and rankings.

A digital strategy should grow your business.

There’s no one defining thing that makes a successful digital strategy; it’s a multitude of different yet connecting parts. And integrated digital agency will put them together to create one cohesive and coherent service, always with your goals in mind.  

Buzzwords can be confusing, so when you’re choosing an agency focus on what they bring in terms of skills, resources, and proven success. For more help with choosing your agency, here’s a quick guide on how to find the best agency for you. And to help even further, here are some of the questions clients frequently ask us before coming on board with us.