Integrated marketing is something that almost everyone struggles with.
The best performer is probably Amazon, with its immense resources and data, and its’ relentless insistent innovation. Somehow, Amazon manages to follow up on every visit, every interaction, always with something to continue or expand the customer relationship.
Yet even Bezos’ Behemoth has visibly struggled to manage the complexities or remarketing or retargeting, and may often waste time and effort on advertising to you with something you just already bought.
Few companies indeed have the luxuries of Amazon’s huge resources. For most, just the complexity of aligning their content with their brand, and driving the right traffic to the right content, is rather more elusive than expected. Trying to get different departments, or even entirely different agencies, to work together effectively can be more than merely difficult.
Why do you need integrated marketing?
In a simpler world, it would be easy to have our ads drive traffic to content that made an effective presentation, and delivered a sale. But in the real world, very few purchasing decisions are made impulsively on the spur of the moment.
Instead, what may well happen is that someone first encounters our brand while on a computer at work in their lunch break, idly searching around that idea they had the other day. Later on, they talk with their friends about what they found, getting a trusted second opinion, or at least checking they won’t be laughed at. At home, they consult their spouse, who may look a few things up themselves on that tablet they keep nearby when watching TV. Finally, they return again to make a purchase, this time on the home computer, as that laptop can be fiddly for filling in purchase forms.
Good luck being able to track that the three different devices were all one single customer, never mind being able to know just what those friends said about your product.
Many purchases are even more complex than that. A customer might select a new camera in one day, but it is highly unlikely they’ll do the same about a car, or a property, or a holiday destination. Many of those larger purchases involve dozens of searches, across months of research and comparison.
What exactly is the ‘integrated’ thing?
Unlike what many search marketing companies might tell you, being found is merely the first step. The battle to be selected, chosen as the preferred supplier, in all its complexity, is merely step two. The third step is to be referred – to be recommended to others – because that’s where the marketing effort really takes off, going viral, with exponential growth.
To be found, you need to use a diversity of media, that integrate together with a consistent message. To be chosen and selected, you need to appear at various touch-points, not be objectionable to those who influence the buyer, be impressive when they in turn look you up. And to be recommended, you need to exceed expectations on delivery.
That means a diversity of marketing messaging, integrating effectively.
Your ads will be far more effective on people who have already heard good things generally about your brand. Your messaging will be more effective on people who were referred by someone they trust. Integrated marketing is about making sure that all the right signals are out there, where they count, and where they can all come together at the point of decision.
How do you integrate marketing across different channels, departments and agencies?
There’s no point pretending it is easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it, and there’d be no huge competitive advantage in your doing it.
First, you need an overall marketing strategy, one that can cross all the many channels, touch-points, and be communicated clearly to all the stakeholders and agents involved.
Then you need to combat the instinctive need for those in marketing to be judged on their sole efforts. You need team players, and that means you need team KPIs, and recognition of multi-partner achievement. Seriously, the biggest hurdle to integrating different departments and agencies is often that the KPIs and recognitions of success, the credit and the blame, are all individual. If your measurements and management are divisive, you’ll never integrate the stakeholders.
Finally, you need to put together the teams and agents that can deliver all the parts of the holistic campaign effectively and collaboratively. This is where you need team-players and enablers. People who are happy passing the ball to someone else to score the goal. People who when they see another agent failing, help them, rather than wait for the chance to take some of their work and pay.
As I said, it is no easy thing.
However, the pay-off is incredible. A marketing machine where each part works holistically and where the whole is far, far greater than merely the sum of its parts.
The exact decisions and strategy here need to be tailored to your own needs, market, and position. Hopefully I’ve given you plenty of food for thought in creating that strategy.
However, if you’d like further help, or simply some more discussion, why not call us on 01793 766040 to talk about your specifics?