Do you want to grow your business? Incorporating an integrated marketing strategy into your next campaign may be the answer. But first, a few more questions.
WHAT? (What is "integrated marketing"?)
WHY? (Why would you use it?)
HOW? (How should you do it?)
WHEN? (When is the best time to try it?)
WHO? (Who should be on your team?)
Integrated marketing is a strategy that ensures all marketing messages received by a customer or prospect - across multiple communication methods and media - are both relevant and consistent over time and media channel. An integrated marketing campaign may contain some or all of the following: direct mail, email, social media, personalized landing pages and/or micro-sites, SMS text messaging, and mobile marketing (QR codes).
Because results matter. And when integrated, multi-channel marketing is used effectively, your campaign will achieve better results than any single channel used alone. Let's face it, we're all working with tighter budgets, shorter lead times, and increased pressure to perform. Today's consumers are pushing back against irrelevant and unwanted intrusions into their daily lives. Smart marketers are learning that an integrated strategy, using customer data to create personalized and relevant messaging (even to a smaller target) can outperform a broad "shotgun" campaign.
A better question may be "how do you want this to end". Good plans need a clear vision.
Step 1: Define your goals.
What's your desired outcome? How will you define success? How will you measure results? Take time answering these questions. You shouldn't have to guess if your campaign was successful or not. And knowing what you're aiming for will help you do some course-correction mid-campaign if you get off track.
Step 2: Gather your facts.
What do you know about your clients? Your target prospects? How do they like to be communicated to? I'll go out on a limb and say the success of your campaign rests NOT on the beauty of your design - but squarely on the quality and accuracy of your DATA. All of your decisions regarding the offer, the media channel, the timing, the response method, the design and the follow up are ALL directly tied to who your target is. Start with the data you already have about your current customers and seek to build on it with every new campaign.
Step 3: Craft your plan.
Now that you've set your desired outcome and you've gathered your data, it's time to develop your campaign plan. It doesn't need to be a novel, keep it brief and actionable. Start with these bullets:
- Target - who are you trying to reach?
- Timing - when does your campaign start and end, when is the best time to reach your desired target?
- Channel - what media channels will you use? Tip: use more than one, it's widely proven that multi-channel campaigns deliver better response rates. Consider direct mail, email, social media, personalized URLs, mobile marketing (QR codes), SMS text messaging, online storefronts.
- Message - what are you trying to say? Tip: keep your messaging consistent across all channels, and be sure your offer is relevant and compelling to your target audience.
- Response - how will you capture responses? Give your target the opportunity to respond in the manner they are most comfortable with - be it email, online, reply card, phone, or any combination.
- Measure - how will you measure your campaign results? Incorporate measurement tools into your campaign. Measure what matters most!
Step 4: Track and refine.
Today's technology allows you to measure campaign responses in real time - especially when your campaign includes an online response component. And with digital printing capabilities, you can refine your offer and your messaging "on the fly" based on your response rates. Many companies do short-run "A-B testing" of two or more offers, then roll out the full campaign based on which offer delivered the best return.
The flip answer is "always". Across all studies and research, an integrated multi-channel campaign will consistently outperform any single-channel campaign. Our experience proves that multi-channel campaigns with online response components (ie: PURL response pages) work especially well for event promotion, for feedback surveys, and for new product/service launches. A typical campaign includes personalized direct mail, follow-up email, personalized landing page (PURL), and an online executive dashboard for tracking response.
You don't need to be an expert in everything, as long as you know people who are! Key functions/players on your campaign team should include: data analytics, marketing strategists, copywriters and graphic designers, and a solution provider capable of delivering integrated multi-channel campaigns. Ideally, your provider can integrate all responses into a single database, allowing you to measure and compare all channels of your campaign in a simplified executive report.
CLICK HERE to download an integrated marketing case study from our recent PRINTEGR8 event.