Running a dynamic business calls for dynamic marketing strategies. There is a vast array of strategic options out there for businesses large and small and finding one that is effective is key to achieving real results.
When it comes to effective marketing, adopting an integrated approach can be the best bet. You don’t need to be a big brand with money to spend on bespoke apps or TV ads.
Integrated marketing can be as simple as following up direct marketing with a phone call, or creating an event with a supportive social media strategy.
Whatever scale campaign you have in mind, here are some steps to help you ensure that the campaign is effective, memorable and a true representation of your key messages.
1. Create the story
Integrated marketing is about telling a story. You need to create the journey for consumers and allow them to access that from several different entry points. Once you capture their attention you need to reassure consumers that this is the path for them. So involve them in a strong story with meaning, purpose and direction. Know what you want to say about your brand and then invite them on a well-planned journey.
2. Develop the idea
Allow time and space to think about different ways to approach the idea and tell the story. All too often we see experiences that were obviously a great idea in the boardroom, and got everyone in the marketing team excited, but then when live, the campaign actually lacked depth and true understanding of the purpose or the target audience.
3. Choose your points of interaction
We have a host of tools at our fingertips these days. There are dozens of social media options, dozens of ways to talk to consumers, dozens of places to be seen and heard. Integrated marketing is not about casting the net out wide and hoping for the best. It is about selecting relevant, well-timed touch points that work together to engage consumers with the brand.
4. Do the planning
Integration is the act of combining or adding parts to make a unified whole. Yes when we talk about integrated marketing we are broadly referring to the use of several marketing tactics to set the scene for consumers, but actually a truly integrated campaign is about creating something that works seamlessly across different platforms. Think about logistics, presentation, staff training, where you need to invest and where you can cut back on costs.
5. Do the deed
Once you have a plan, the materials, the understanding of what you want to say and what you want people to talk about, then it’s time to go for it. There is always an element of risk in marketing, but provided you’ve done your homework and crafted every element of your campaign, then you stand a real chance of getting noticed and achieving your goals. Remember that creativity is often 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration – so how you deliver your idea on the ground can make all the difference.
6. Join in the conversation
In order to get people talking these days you have to join the conversation. Integrated marketing is not about sitting back and letting the consumers find you, it’s about taking the conversation to them and encouraging them to enter into a dialogue. This can help form relationships that will extend beyond the limits of the campaign. Whether online or off, make sure you are joining in and championing fans.
7. Review the results and listen to feedback
Yes, you’ve heard it all before: evaluation is vital. But it’s not just about gathering data for a Powerpoint presentation or feeding into annual reports. Robust evaluation is the first step in planning your next campaign. It allows you to spot where money can be saved or where more funds need to be invested in future. When you use an integrated campaign to get people talking, make sure you listen. What they say can help you understand more about them and your brand, and help you bring the two even closer together going forwards.
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