Amazingly, some marketers are content with running unrelated messages on different media at different times without any overall plan or theme that ties them together. But when it comes to getting the highest ROI for your marketing dollar, nothing beats an integrated marketing plan.
An integrated marketing plan leverages the power of one unified, cohesive marketing effort with coordinated timing and consistent messaging through all media. The synergy created by an integrated marketing plan increases results dramatically. The explosion in new media combined with more traditional promotional platforms means that there are more opportunities than ever to create strategic integrated marketing plans.
Here are five steps to making integrated marketing work for you:
1. Review Your Goals
Look at the ideal end results and state those goals in reasonable, measurable terms. It’s best not to have too many goals or your plan may become unfocused. Two or three, at most, is usually ideal.
2. Choose the Right Media Mix
When choosing the right media mix, there are a myriad of traditional media options to consider: radio, television, print, outdoor and direct mail. Then there are plenty of new media options, such as online ads, streaming audio & video, social media, and SEO. With all of the media options available, it’s important to choose the right tools for the job. When considering a medium, ask yourself: How well does it reach my target audience?
Even within the same budget, different businesses may have wildly different media mixes. The more you customize your mix to suit your business’ goals, the more successful you’ll be. Your choices should always be based on two things: (1) the audience you’re trying to reach and (2) the effectiveness of various media vehicles in delivering them.
3. Consider Your Budget
Once you’ve created a “wish list” of the media mix you want to use, you need to compare them to your budget. But how much should you be spending? The way companies set their marketing budgets may vary. Some choose to allocate a percentage of sales or revenue. Others have a fixed annual budget that changes little from year to year.
4. Coordinate the Components
Allocate your budget across the media mix you’re going to use and within specific time frames. As you create your plan, it’s essential that your messages and design remain consistent to get the most synergistic benefit from integration. If you have one message and design in your traditional media, another for your online video, and a third for your online marketing, you’re going to find your efforts disjointed and less effective. At the same time, if the efforts have the same look and approach, your business will benefit from the frequency and increased brand recognition generated by the campaign.
5. Measure and Refine
All media are measurable in terms of reach and impact. However, integrating online and offline efforts gives marketers more powerful and specific tools to quantify success. Traditional media have often been measured through awareness, impressions, and other metrics, using tools like coded coupons and special telephone numbers to track responses, in addition to tracking reach and frequency of each effort.
Online analytics services can tell you which keywords customers are using to find your site, which sites or sources are directing them to yours, and how traffic patterns change across the pages of your site. It’s critical to monitor your analytics and find out what’s generating traffic and sales.
A wealth of resources allows businesses to build highly effective integrated campaigns and measure them like never before. Marketers who integrate their online and offline media, as well as measurement components that will be used to determine success, will get a clear picture of what’s working and what needs to be changed in any marketing program.
Planning and designing your campaign, testing messages, monitoring analytics, coordinating multiple advertising buys in various media, while maintaining your site’s search engine optimization can be overwhelming.
Here is an infographic which puts the 5 steps in a visual format.
Contact us to help develop an integrated marketing plan to take your company to the next level.