Marketers are always trying to utilize new channels, reach their entire audience, and deliver content that people want. However, that’s not always easy to do.
To reach those goals and objectives, many companies are striving to deliver integrated marketing solutions.
Wikipedia defines integrated marketing communications as “the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost”.
Does that sound good to you? I’m betting that it might.
Here are five steps to successfully accomplish that:
Know What Your Audience Prefers
Find ways to record and honor each contact’s preferences for receiving communications from your company. Ask them during the initial opt-in process. Allow them to manage and update their preferences easily through future communications. If you do not have any of that data, create simple surveys from time to time that seek to gain valuable feedback from your list, but yet that rewards them at the same time.
Prepare & Plan
This one is pretty much a given considering words in the definition (“coordination”, “program”)… but in a world where we seemingly all have to do more with less, we may be tempted to skimp on the time we invest in planning and hop right to execution. While that doesn’t always doom us to immediate failure, a lack of a plan will absolutely leave us with expectations that were not completely fulfilled. We will miss opportunities for follow-ups or for quick transitions if things need to be adjusted on-the-fly.
Maintain Branding & Consistent Messages
Yes, our tone might be slightly different in a channel such as social media as opposed to print. But we must have a goal as to how we want people to feel about our company, products, and services. All of the channels that we use should aim to leave that same impression on the audience.
This one certainly goes along with knowing what our audience prefers. But it requires more than that. It means that we must be committed to creating multiple variations of our content (yes, they’ll have the same overall goal, but they’ll be written so as to appeal to different groups); it means investing in technology that will allow us to create and send out personalized customized communications. Yes, if our customers and prospects have taken steps to tell us what they are interested in, we must abandon the “spray and pray” approach.
Track, Measure, & Analyze
Designing and executing an integrated marketing campaign can actually be kind of fun (“I’m using everything at my disposal!”). But we must also be sure to capture every piece of data that is relevant to those actions. Analyze the data to look for trends, successes, and failures. Then, share the results with various departments in your organization.