For any business, having an integrated marketing plan really is the best way to optimize communications efforts. Without this, you could be missing out on great opportunities to reach your target audiences. Relying only upon traditional advertising outlets like radio, TV or newspaper to generate all the buzz you need, just isn’t as effective a strategy as it once was. In particular, if you have a smaller business, you might even want to skip these costly budget-busting vehicles for a while, depending on your market. Even when it comes to marketing for larger corporations, throwing everything into a splashy ad campaign is not generally the best practice. A more strategic approach is to examine all the marketing tools at hand, and take into account all the ways they might help you reach consumers.

If you are not yet working with social media, this is something that really does need to be incorporated into the mix.

As of December 2013, according to the Pew Research Center, 73% of online adults engage in social networking. Additionally, 42% are utilizing multiple platforms. If you aren’t leveraging Facebook and Twitter, at the very least, you are likely missing out on reaching a significant portion of your target audience. For niche markets, YouTube is another fantastic platform to reach very specific types of consumers.

Other considerations have to include direct marketing campaigns or promotions for consumer contests or giveaways, sponsorship opportunities, such as with local sports teams, and special events to launch new products. All are great ways to effectively get your brand out there.

Something many companies seem to take for granted are the impressions received through public relations. Having the opportunity to showcase products for free on local television programs or in specialty publications, or for the company spokesperson to be positioned as an opinion leader can be invaluable to future business successes.

The ingenuity of your campaign is only limited by the imaginations of your marketing and creative teams. And its effectiveness is not always a matter of budget, but rather of good planning and the ability to utilize a wide range of integrated marketing services that work synergistically together.