What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing… It’s a term used more often in business these days but what is it? Running a business is time consuming, budgets are tight and there is never enough time to get things done – let alone marketing. Add Social Media to the mix and time becomes even more limited. Most small to medium businesses have irregular marketing because of this, lets face it who has time to post on Facebook? Twitter – really? A marketing message in 140 characters? Maybe the occasional print advert? In the ‘busyness’ of day to day business your messaging is inconsistent and in turn your brand has no momentum or traction, especially if you are operating on the tight budget that most businesses are.
Enter Integrated Marketing – a CONSISTENT marketing message across all the channels your customers use. You know you need more customers for your business to grow, so where do you start? Having had a number of small and not so small businesses, my experience has taught that it all starts with you, and three main questions.
First, why are you in business? What makes YOU so special or different from every other business out there in your market niche? What do know more about or excel in, over your competitors? Now … put that into a sentence – a unique selling proposition (U.S.P.) or the point of difference you have over your competition.
Secondly, who are your customers? According to SocialMediaToday “Successful marketing strategies start and end with customers.” Where do they shop? How do they shop? What do they want to know from you? When a customer replies to an email or clicks on your website they want a seamless hassle free experience, answering their question and fulfilling their need. Does your business meet their needs?
Thirdly, you have a set amount of time in a day and a certain amount of money in the bank. So, how do you get your marketing to work for you? It begins with integrated marketing and a consistent message. This requires a uniform company brand, a consistent U.S.P and a particular ‘voice’ in which you talk to your customers. From this point, you begin to leverage your time and money.
You start a weekly blog on your website based on tips, ideas and information on your product or service. Using the social media platforms chosen for your business, you promote these blog posts either in their entirety as links or as snippets posted on a daily basis. Certain posts can even be converted to video and uploaded on the company YouTube channel. Once a month the blog posts are then compiled and sent out to your customers in a monthly email newsletter.
During your peak or busy periods, your company can run print, online and radio ads, while in the quieter months, special offers and promotions. Once or twice a year you can then publish a survey and report or a Press Release to generate free media coverage in newspapers and magazines.
Suddenly your business is offering your customers a CONSISTENT marketing message across every marketing channel they find you. With each platform working together your message becomes stronger and in turn starts to reach more customers. With the ongoing consistency comes trust with your customers and you start to build a relationship.
The relationship with your customers begins to resonate with other people. You start building fans on Facebook, subscribers on YouTube, followers on Twitter and people start interacting and commenting on your blog posts in your website. It is these customers that become your brand ambassadors and advocates who start to influence the purchasing decisions of their friends and family to your benefit as your audience grows. Start your integrated marketing plan today an be amazed at how quickly it will grow your business.
Want to learn more or still not certain how to start? Let Marketing Leap structure your integrated marketing plan and for a fixed monthly fee work with you to grow your business.