Integrated marketing isn't just a pretty phrase. It's a comprehensive strategy that can make a measurable difference to revenue and customer attention. See how it made all the difference for this eCommerce Retailer.

"While we are very successful with individual channels, we can be more successful in driving bigger and better results to the bottom line with an integrated strategic approach," says Adept's co-founder Danielle Walton.

Adept has been working with an e-commerce fashion retailer since 2012. A holistic marketing strategy has helped the retailer double e-commerce revenue in just two years, with even bigger growth expected in 2015.

Here's how it happened.

The retailer knew that the best way to grow e-commerce revenue was to use digital marketing. Adept agreed, coming up with a list of all the different digital marketing strategies the company could use, including pay per click, search engine optimization, web development and email marketing (all areas where Adept has teams of in-house experts).

Initially, a single channel was selected: paid search. That was a priority because the fashion retailer was in the middle of a web redesign which would be the foundation of all future digital marketing strategies.

2012: Paid Search

Adept started with paid search because it can drive immediate results and learnings about the retailer’s customer demographics. It also provided insight into what conversion rates were and what keywords and searches were driving buying traffic.

There were two main benefits from using paid search for future strategy. First, Adept and the company were able to definitively identify customer demographics. That included the discovery of a new segment, which led to product changes.

Second, analytics from the paid search strategy identified SEO keywords could be used to drive organic traffic without needing to pay media costs.

2013: SEO and Email Marketing

In 2013, Adept added email marketing to the strategy because while paid search and SEO were successfully attracting new customers, the retailer needed to connect with existing customers. As a 100-year-old company, it had a lot of those and failing to implement this best practice was leaving money on the table.

A soft start of just one or two emails a month immediately generated huge results. The email marketing strategy increased e-commerce revenue for the company by almost 50% over the 2012 figure. As a result, the company committed to increase email frequency the following year to 1-2 per week, resulting in another 68% revenue bump in 2014.

2014: The Integrated Approach

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In 2014, Adept added the final pieces of the puzzle: mobile and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Mobile was a big focus, with the fashion retailer moving from a plugin-based mobile site (which delivered a poor user experience) to a fully responsive site. As a result mobile conversions skyrocketed, with revenue from mobile shoppers increasing more than 500% between 2013 and 2014.

Adept also focused on CRO: "We realized that if we could increase the numbers who bought by even a sliver of a percentage, those were big dollars. That's almost like found money."

During the year, Adept constantly ran A/B tests using Optimizely to find ways to enhance and streamline the user experience. They combined testing with exit surveys on web pages and discovered key insights into what users were looking for.

By the last quarter of 2014, Adept and the fashion retailer were "humming on all cylinders.” That meant a strategy that included all paid channels (search, display, remarketing, social, analytics), more SEO and email marketing, improved web functionality and an improved mobile experience. As a result, after just three months of a completely integrated marketing approach, the retailer’s e-commerce revenue at the end of 2014 was double the 2012 figure.

The Future

In 2015, with a full-scale, truly integrated digital strategy ,Adept expects the company’s e-commerce revenue to almost double again. That’s the likely result of a strategy that takes advantage of the increasing overlap among digital marketing channels, rather than treating each one as a silo.

Adept is making this integrated approach a key part of future work, says Danielle: “Digital marketing is a series of tentacles intertwined with each other. You can run them separately and get results but if you take advantage of the overlap, and make them integrated, your results are so much better."