Integrated marketing. We all want it, we all need it, but few do it.
Establishing a 360, integrated marketing campaign is by no means an easy objective. It is complicated, confusing and chaotic – and rightfully so. But, there is a process to simplify the madness:
- Identify your target market and audience: You should really exhaust your energy to clearly identify what market you’re approaching and who is in that market. Confidence is the key to developing your integrated strategy, and it’s difficult to be confident when you are unsure about who you are reaching. Once the market and audience are defined, you will have a clearer picture about what channels your audience utilizes, how they behave, what their buying cycles are and if they will share your information.
- Your website is the hub: When developing an integrated campaign, it is important to keep your website or microsite as the center of your efforts. Everything should point to your site and your site should point to everything from it. Why? Beyond the fact that your targets can engage further with your integrated efforts in a single environment, your site also retains extensive analytics, giving you the ability to interpret behaviors and react.
- Only play where they play: We all know new channels, especially social media channels, are popping up constantly. It’s literally analysis paralysis, unless you stick to what channels your target audience is engaged in. This comes back to your well-developed target audience identification. You have to select the best channels for the majority of your audience. Don’t fall victim to being everywhere and everything to everyone. It’s better to do the best channels well, than all the channels…okay. Finally, simply repopulating the same content, messaging or graphics on multiple channels doesn’t cut it. Each channel requires a specific approach.
- Don’t cancel out traditional media: An integrated marketing approach is not only about digital – thus being integrated. Traditional media, such as TV, radio and print can play a significant role with your integrated campaign. Remember, it’s not about what you or I think, it’s about how your target is engaging.
- Stay open for change: If there were a definite, secret sauce to marketing, everyone would be rich. The reality is, however, that markets change, audiences change, channels change, technologies change and behaviors change. What used to work may not work. What used to not work, may now work. You have to see marketing as an equally necessary component of operating a business as accounting – it will never be complete and will never go away. With that said, just like in accounting, you have to constantly review strategy, execution and results. You have to pay attention, you have to adjust and you have to react. Marketing is a dynamic function of business, not a static expense. Establish a 90-day or 6-month integrated campaign, review it, adjust and act.
What have you seen as an effective strategy for integrated marketing? What is your approach?