Integrated Marketing…What is the right combination to use?

It's_time _for_a_planIntegrated marketing solutions

Corporations are increasingly asking their agencies to provide them with an integrated solution when discussing their marketing requirements. It only makes sense to develop a plan that is more holistic in nature than the traditional approach to place a newspaper or magazine ad (do people still do that?), or run an ad on TV or radio. With the increasing importance of integrating your internet strategy with your outbound and, of course, inbound efforts, the options available can become overwhelming for most traditionally trained marketing specialists.

What is the right media mix?

How should you allocate your budget between the different implementations? How does social media play into the mix? How should search engine optimization be included in the mix? These are some of the questions that must be answered during the development of the strategy. First and foremost, it is important to understand that people have a certain bias towards, or against, various media. Many people today will completely ignore any advertisements that are placed in traditional print media, such as newspapers or magazines. Additionally, there are recent studies that indicate that banner ads are losing their impact. There was a study published in 2004 by “The Chartered Institute of Marketing” that determined that we are exposed to over 1,500 advertising messages every day. Is there any reason for us to assume that number is lower today? We think not! We have all developed a mental screening of these ads now and their effectiveness is declining accordingly.

Determining which integrated marketing mix is right.

How to be the “One” that gets through is the tricky part. There are two key elements in any integrated marketing strategy: 1) Recognize that the goal is now to develop a “pull’ strategy instead of a “push” strategy. This means that it is important to incent the consumer to WANT to interact with you and not just shove the message into their face from every direction for the goal of developing brand awareness. This is where social media is increasingly used; 2) Develop a workflow that makes it easy and quick for the consumer to interact and communicate during the response phase of the process. These two strategies recognize that people don’t have enough time, or attention span, and different people will use different media in the process. Some like email, others will only interact using the telephone, and still others will only use the internet as their response mechanism of choice. Therefore, your strategy should be developed using multiple media for both deploying the message and the response to the call to action. You must make the messaging more relevant to the individual to incent them to take the time.

Once you include these elements in your strategy, you have a much better chance of succeeding at your goals. Remember, recognize that people have many options to choose from when communicating and that their time is valuable, so the communications must be relevant and add value to their lives. The options have become almost endless, but a careful evaluation and definition of how your target market communicates will increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and help you meet the goals that you set…You do set goals, don’t you? But, that is a discussion for another day!

Best of Days to You

Audrey Ferrante
Ferrante & Associates, Inc.

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