Monday, September 04, 2006
If you're looking to maximize the return on your marketing spend, than you need to develop an integrated marketing campaign. An integrated marketing campaign uses more than one medium to communicate a message to your audience. Integrated marketing can also mean a marketing campaign that leverages the power of different media types to move a suspect through the process of becoming a customer.
The most successful marketing campaigns begin with the media type that particular prospects use regularly. For example, generation Y is very engaged with direct mail. Studies have shown that individuals who fall within this consumer segment spend a lot of time opening and reading their mail. That being the case, you want to make sure that your first contact with generation Y prospects is aligned with their messaging preference of direct marketing.
Once you've decided where to start, you need to think about other media regularly used by your target segment. Following the example above, let's assume that the same individuals who read their mail also check email regularly. With at least two marketing mediums identified, you're ready to begin planning your next integrated marketing campaign.
Begin with the end in mind. If you are looking to sell a product, you need to think about the audience, message, offer, and timing of your campaign. Having identified the proper marketing vehicles/media you'll be using, develop marketing pieces in a consistent manner. You want the look, feel, and tone of your communications to be related across all media types if not identical. Most importantly, communicate your unique selling proposition throughout all marketing touch points.
To continue with the example above, let's assume that we're going to be selling widgets to a sub-segment of our generation Y audience. We will begin with a direct mail piece describing the needs of our audience and how our widgets are the only ones that come with a money-back guarantee. Recipients of the piece are asked to visit a special web page that provides a product demo. The same message is sent via email to the same audience- ensuring maximum exposure.
When visitors log on to our specialty web page, they enter a code to access the demo. At the conclusion of the demo, browsers are offered a discount if they place an order online and an inquiry form. Prospects wishing to delay their purchase can request additional information through the inquiry form provided.
For individuals who entered their code to access the demo but did not purchase, an email is generated with an even more aggressive offer - attempting to convert them. This can be accomplished through unique tracking URLs or codes that prospects need to be enter prior to viewing a demo. This is very similar to those marketing campaigns that take advantage of abandoned shopping carts! For those individuals requesting more information, a telesales representative would contact them, again stressing our key message points such as the money back guarantee.
This integrated campaign utilizes mail, email, a webpage, and phone. However, similar campaigns could use any additional media types that are appropriate (advertising, public relations, outdoor, etc.). The key is to produce an integrated marketing campaign with a consistent message. Once you've completed your campaign, its time to quantify results and determine what generated your greatest response. Did your direct marketing piece generate visits to your webpage? Did those users convert? How about your email? This information will be helpful when doing similar marketing campaigns in the future, providing guidance to fine tune the media used, the messaging, and/or your offer.
It is again important to stress that integrated marketing should be driven by the communication preferences of your audience. Develop a deeper understanding of how your audience makes decisions and the types of media they use to gather and analyze product information. Then be sure to put these media types at the center of your integrated marketing campaign. Never forget, "The Media Is the message."
* Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com, the Internet’s biggest source of marketing information and free marketing resources. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit Marketingscoop.com for further details, Internet marketing secrets, Marketing Blog Directory and more FREE reprint articles.