Utilizing Integrated Digital Marketing to Generate eCommerce Business

What is Integrated Digital Marketing?

Integrated Digital Marketing is 
an approach to executing marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels which leverages the complementary strengths of each individual tactic and channel to create a more efficient and effective, unified campaign.

A channel is the main platform or primary communication outlet where tactics will be executed. Channels can be defined in the broadest sense (e.g., Paid Advertising) or in more narrow categories (e.g., Google Ads, YouTube Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.)

A tactic is the specific process or vehicle by which you will implement your digital marketing strategy across the selected channels as well as the intended goal. In other words - what you will produce or “do” and what you expect to achieve. 

Here are some examples of the Channels and Tactics most commonly involved in an integrated digital marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses.

Channel Tactics
  • SEO
  • Content 
  • UX/UI (Feature Development)
Paid Digital Ads
  • Paid Search
  • Display/Video Ads
  • Shopping Ads
Email Marketing

  • Abandon Cart Program
  • Drip / Nurturing Campaign
  • Newsletters / Promotional
Social Media
  • Paid Ads
  • Boosted or Organic Posts
  • Influencer / Sponsored Content
Other - multiple channels
  • Review / Reputation Management
  • Loyalty / Referral / Rewards Program
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Streaming Video/Audio Ads
  • Native Content


Visit the Shaping eCommerce Channel on Youtube to watch our full eCommerce Marketing Series.

Selecting the Right Channels & Tactics for an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy for eCommerce Businesses

Tactics and channels should be selected based on how well they support or complement one another. This allows for more efficient ad spend and use of time and resources and usually results in performance that is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Step One: What have you got and what do you need?

Obviously, many factors will impact which channels and tactics are right for your integrated digital marketing strategy. Defining each of these factors is a good place to start:

  • Budget: how much do you have to spend and where do you want to spend it?
  • Time / Duration: when do you want to launch the first iteration, and how long do you have to execute this campaign? 
  • Resources: who will be producing assets and executing tactics? What tools and skills do they have or need? 
  • Starting Point: What are your current KPI benchmarks? What are you starting with as far as the size of your customer base (by channel?), brand awareness, digital presence, etc. 

Once you’ve defined these factors, rank them in order of priority or how much of an impact they have on your strategy. 

Example 1 - Limited Budget:
If you have an extremely limited budget but plenty of time and expertise on your marketing team, then Budget is probably the number 1 most important factor to consider when selecting channels and tactics. You may want to emphasize organic tactics which don’t require ad spend and instead leverage the skills of your team to develop landing pages for your website or publish content to your social media channels.

Example 2 - Limited Time:
If time and duration are more critical for your campaign, but you have a healthy budget and resources to execute, you should focus on channels and tactics which do not require lengthy ramp-up periods to gain momentum. Paid Search ads can take weeks, and often months to return optimal (efficient and cost-effective) results. But Google Shopping and Display Ads paired with a comprehensive email marketing campaign can often be more effective methods to build momentum quickly. 

Understanding the key factors which impact your marketing goals is an important first step to selecting your channels and tactics. 

Step Two: Who do you want and where will you find them?

The next step is understanding your target audience and where they are in the sales funnel. This too can be very broad or granular depending on your goals and campaign objectives. Broadly speaking, most eCommerce customers fall into one of these funnel categories:

  1. Visited the site (awareness of product or brand)
  2. Viewed a product (consideration - research/education)
  3. Added a product to their shopping cart (preference - interest)
  4. Proceeded to checkout steps (intent to buy)
  5. Completed a Purchase (converted customer)

How do I know where my customers are in the sales funnel?

When it comes to eCommerce customers, there are many tools that can help track, analyze and segment your customer base. 

For newer eCommerce businesses who have not yet collected a lot of data internally, you can lean on external tools (like SEMRush, or Moz) to understand what and how much customers are searching for your products or services, or how visible your brand is compared to your competitors. Metrics like these can tell you a lot about your potential customer base, especially if the bulk of your audience is still in the early stages of the sales funnel or maybe haven’t even entered it yet! 

For more established eCommerce stores, however, the best place to start in defining your customer base is usually with internal data sources - Google Analytics and your own site’s transaction, order, and customer data.

Take a look at the traffic sources report in your Google Analytics account - this will tell you where users are coming from / how they’re getting to your site and it can give you an idea as to whether they're actively shopping (in the sales funnel) or they’re in a more passive stage of the funnel.  

For example - if the majority of your site visitors come from the Organic channel - this likely means those customers are high up in the sales funnel. They may still be in a more passive research or awareness-building phase. They're finding your site or product in organic search results but - depending on what they’re searching for - may not necessarily be aware of or loyal to your brand yet.

  • Direct - (comparison and/or ready to buy) they're familiar with your brand and recall is strong enough. They're going straight to your site. Review conversion rates and % exit for direct customers - are they coming straight to buy or are they shopping around?
  • Referral - (passive research) they're maybe not familiar with or loyal to you but they have trust in brands, companies, or sites with which you're associated (sponsored / native ads, cross-promotions, and influencers / reviews)
  • Paid Search (non-branded) - (research - active or passive) they're actively searching for your product / service
  • Paid search (branded) - (active research) they're aware, potentially loyal, and actively searching for your specific brand and product/ service
  • Google Shopping - they are actively searching for products
  • Display - (passive) - awareness building
  • Video - (active) - awareness building or research
  • Native - (passive) - awareness building
  • Email - (active) - brand loyalty & recall building, optimize return customers, and AOV
  • Matching channels and tactics to audience and funnel position

Foundation Digital Marketing Channels for ECommerce

1. Website - UX/UI, Performance & Content:
landing pages, search/filter, upsell/cross-sell, accessibility, mobile

  • In most cases (now), this includes your mobile experience and/or your PWA or native app
  • Customers have to be aware of it, be able to find it, understand it, trust it, and use it

    • Awareness: shopping/display/youtube ads, boosted content and paid ads on social, and native content
    • Findability: paid search, organic SEO, SERP presence / dominance (video, image, GMB, knowledge panel, structured snippets, etc.)
    • Clarity: UI (design), landing page strategy & structure, navigation and architecture, accessibility
    • Credibility: security (SSL, secure checkout), reviews & ratings, accreditations /awards/endorsements, etc.
    • Usability: mobile / touch-friendly or app, search/filter, account features, checkout, accessibility
2. Paid Digital Ads - Google Shopping, paid search, display, and YouTube
3. Content creation & amplification - social, email, and native ads / sponsored posts

Designing Your Integrated Marketing Strategy

Planning your marketing spend to maximize ROI.

  • Digital Marketing is highly efficient (maximum reach per minimum investment) and highly trackable - ROI can be calculated much more accurately than with traditional advertising like print, television, or radio

Ecommerce Digital Marketing Benchmarks - How to Tell If It's Working

  • Collect benchmarks from reputable sources as well as from your own data.
  • Compare industry benchmarks from outside sources to get a sense of how your competitors perform on average and compare those KPIs to your own historical performance.
  • Where do you fall? above / below / inline with average industry performance?

Reputable Sources:

Next Steps

To make the most of your marketing initiatives and ensure a high return on ad spend (ROAS), hiring an innovative eCommerce marketing agency can help you achieve your revenue targets and company goals. From SEO to paid social to affiliate marketing, we offer a full range of custom digital marketing services tailored for eCommerce brands.

IronPlane is an eCommerce marketing agency and eCommerce Solutions Partner that provides integrated services tailored to your business goals. Schedule a free consultation today.

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