Is “Integrated Marketing” the Next Big Thing?



By Randy Strong
January 2, 2015

“Integrated marketing” is not a new concept. It is a fundamental strategy that business students study and experienced marketers practice intuitively. But it seems to us like there has been a lot more buzz about the term lately.

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All the pieces of your marketing puzzle should work together.

Integrated marketing is a term I have used since the early ‘90’s when selling Major League Baseball programs and it always amazed me that even big business did not implement this strategy with greater frequency.

Let’s remind ourselves of what the term means. “Integrated marketing” is defined by BusinessDictionary.com as a “Strategy aimed at unifying different marketing methods such as mass marketing, one-to-one marketing, and direct marketing. Its objective is to complement and reinforce the market impact of each method, and to employ the market data generated by these efforts in product development, pricing, distribution, customer service, etc.”

For the marketer, “integrated marketing” works when you have a single brand identity that is so strong that it remains consistent and recognizable regardless of the medium. The biggest, most powerful brands in the world are great at this. Think Starbucks, McDonalds, Target.

Back in 2012, the May issue of BusinessWeek included an article called “Integrated Marketing: If You Knew It, You’d Do It” in which fragmentation is described as “public enemy No. 1” in today’s marketing environment. The proliferation of marketing platforms has certainly contributed to this fragmentation, with social media being the primary culprit.

If you are going to use all of the marketing channels available to you, you’re going to need help, and that can mean multiple people working in different mediums. Developing and sticking to a single brand identity across platforms can be very challenging.

Now that the bloom on the rose of social media is starting to fade, we see marketers taking a fresh look at traditional media and asking themselves how they make all their new tools work with the old ones.

We believe that marketing success comes not from focusing on any specific marketing platform and not from trying to use all of them.

Know Your Brand

For any marketing program to work, first and foremost you have to know your brand. What is the image you want to present to the world?

Know Your Market

Second, you need to know who it is you want to reach. Who is your target market?

Evaluate Platforms Based on Potential ROI

Now you’re ready to evaluate which platforms will help you best reach your target markets and prioritize them based on potential ROI.

Different platforms call for a different tone. On Facebook you want to be fun and friendly, magazine ads must be visually gripping, print publications give you a chance to present a longer, more informative message.

But you must have a consistent voice across all platforms as if one person was in many places at one time, reinforcing your connection to a specific customer each time you come in contact with him or her.

Regardless of your budget, you can and should ask how you can diversity the marketing platforms you are using while maintaining and reinforcing a strong brand identity.

 

Put the Party in Your Business, Non-Profit or Agency Marketing Efforts



Put the Party in Your Business, Non-Profit or Agency Marketing Efforts

Written by Nancy Mayerson

The life of the party takes on new meaning when putting special events in your marketing mix. Events are a powerful way to reach your target audience by engaging them in a memorable way to create a personal relationship with you.

Grand opening receptions, anniversary celebrations, professional development seminars and charity event sponsorships are just a few examples of events that serve an important role in the marketing plan.

In addition to the opportunity to build a relationship with your targets, events provide multiple opportunities for reaching your audience with your message. Invitations, both printed and electronic, can be memorable and clever while carrying information about your event. Equally important, it should reflect your marketing messages in a manner appropriate for the occasion.

Depending upon your business and your marketing objectives, consider designing your event to be newsworthy so you can receive media coverage. Include a guest speaker or honoree, and host a meet-and-greet before or after the event for your VIPs to interact with you and the speaker or honoree. Shoot for pre-event publicity as well as news coverage of the event, which should lead to post-event news coverage too.

Some examples of how to make your event newsworthy includes featuring a high-profile speaker or honoree, launching a revolutionary new product or, if the event is more along the lines of an anniversary celebration, share a poignant story about the company’s humble beginnings, how it’s made a positive difference in the lives of long-time employees or highlight your history of community engagement and philanthropy.

If you are at a loss for event content and lack the staff or budget for proper planning and execution, consider sponsoring an event being held by a nonprofit organization. This can be an extremely effective marketing approach that allows you to use your marketing and advertising budget in a way that not only gets your message to your target audience, but helps build a better community and supports a worthwhile cause.

Many high-profile nonprofits hold high-visibility events for which they need sponsors. Find the cause that aligns with your company’s image and messaging, and that shares your target audience. Work closely with the organization on the event planning and scripting to create the visibility you need for your sponsorship.

Exposure on invitations, programs, banners and publicity materials plus a role during the event can provide the bang for your buck that you need. What’s more, you will be helping a cause that shares your corporate values and serves the greater good.

We are available to assist you in meeting your public relations goals.  For further information, contact us through Vision Economics at 805-987-7322, or contact Nancy Mayerson directly at 805-373-1100.