Integrated Marketing is such a buzzy marketing term. At its essence is how to make smart and efficient marketing choices around content and channels. The Union Marketing Group had a chance to speak with over 100 marketers and entrepreneurs at a regional Marketing Roundtable. It was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 22.
Here is a quick recap of our Q&A session:
Q: What is key to effectively integrating marketing efforts?
A: The top tip we give marketers on integrated marketing is to frame out their strategy as a two-dimension matrix, using the customer journey and communication channels. Very often, integrated marketing is misunderstood as managing multiple communication channels. It is much more than that. It is understanding how best to engage customers at certain points in the journey, using insights and responsive data to choose channels, content, the messenger and the frequency of engagement.
Q: What are the key marketing channels for my business goals?
A: If your business goals are related to upper funnel activity such as brand awareness and lead generation, then look at where your audience is naturally congregating. Piggyback on those channels to engage them, and do so authentically. If your business goals are lower in the sales funnel, such as retaining customers or growing their share of wallet, explore ways to enrich the current ways your customers like to engage with you. It is perfectly okay to have an email- or direct mail-based marketing strategy in these instances rather than trying to chase the next big marketing idea.
Q: Where should you be spending time and money with marketing?
A: When thinking about your marketing mix, decide whether you’ll be content-driven or event-driven. We talk about this as “creating your islands” to attract people to. For companies that regularly launch new products or are featured at conferences and trade shows, we recommend using those calendars to anchor marketing efforts. For companies who do not have these types of activities occurring naturally in the course of their business, we work with them to create key content themes to tap into the social pulse and trigger interest in the brand.
Q: How do I know my marketing is working?
A: Picking the right measures of a return on your investment matters. There are so many metrics at our disposal today. The quickest answer to this question is to make sure you’re tracking a couple of things that tie directly to your business goals. While it is okay to get excited about lead and lag indicators of marketing effort, at the end of the day, your CEO is interested in how you’ve helped drive business goals. Generally, a marketer’s job is to create market demand. Choose measures that show your work here.
Q: What software/tools are best for me to integrate my marketing efforts?
A: There are many tools available but in our experience, the marketplace is still not a integrated as we’d like it to be. Leading the races are the big campaign management tools by SalesForce, IBM and Adobe. But it’s pricey and may not be suitable if your needs are simple. A quick poll at the Marketing Roundtable event revealed that only a few businesses have adopted large scale software tools but are aware of their benefits. Many attendees had two or three dominant channels in their marketing mix and felt they were adequately covered. It may seem obvious but we advise customers to first define their integrated marketing strategy clearly before investing in software and tools to support it. Too many companies do the opposite.
Disclaimer: This is our own (positive) opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the brands mentioned.
@smunthree | The Union Marketing Group | www.theunionmarketing.com
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