How is integrated marketing different?
Integrated marketing is a plan to create seamless communications across multiple mediums. I know what your thinking, sounds like a lot of work and sounds expensive, but it’s not. Integrated marketing is more about changing the norms about how you approach your marketing and how you communicate with your customers. Integrated marketing programs can improve your current promotional efforts by taking into consideration what action your advertising is asking clients to do, where it directs them and how they interact with your brand.
What does your marketing do for you?
If your running your own small business my guess is your marketing mix is well not all that diverse, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The key factor that many businesses tend to overlook is their ability to do more performance tracking of their advertising efforts, to quantify their marketing beyond the actual cost of placing an ad. As with most small to even mid-sized businesses a structured, dynamic, cohesive marketing plan is usually pretty far down the priority list because staffs are lean and budgets are tight. So what can you do to quickly and easily improve your marketing mix?
Focus on who you need to reach and where they are
Sounds simple enough right? But you would be surprised at how many businesses are not taking the time to really think about this. Just ask the questions: Who are your customers? How do they communicate? What are their common interests? Knowing more about your customers and their preferences and habits will paint a very clear picture of where your business will need to be in order to be accessible to them.
Assess your medium choices: Are your choices expensive non-accountable mediums like newspaper advertising and banner ads on web sites? Are their more cost effective and accountable marketing programs available to you such as Social Media Marketing, Google Adwords, or even something as simple as making presentations at your local chamber of commerce. When you really sit down and think about your current marketing mix, how much of your advertising can you really track back and apply to actual foot traffic in your store or web traffic on your ecommerce site? Can you attribute a value on that advertising to an actual sale?
One of the biggest reasons a lot of businesses hate spending money on marketing is they can never accurately account for performance quality and results of spending. Using trackable marketing programs also will provide you feedback data that will allow you to make future program enhancements based on actual performance data making it much easier to justify changes to your process.
So how do I get started?
Something simple I would recommend to any small business right now that has an active website is to consider running some Google Adwords campaigns and create dedicated landing pages for all your campaigns. Google Adwords is a very affordable, easy to set up, and fully trackable. Even if you don’t know how to install all the tracking codes and measurement tools into your current website finding a professional to do that for you (like me). I would also recommend connecting your website to Google Analytics if you haven’t already. Google Analytics is very easy to use and is FREE, and once set up, costs you nothing to use on a monthly basis. Putting these two tools together will allow you to run advertising in a focused geographic region at a daily budget rate that you are comfortable with, and will provide you the ability to directly track your inbound advertising traffic to sales, leads, downloads, or whatever action you may be targeting for your customers and prospects.
This is just one simple example of how you can utilize some very robust yet inexpensive technology to help you get more out of your marketing. I have been planning, designing, and executing these programs for businesses for over 5 years now, all of which have been met with great success. Every business is different, has unique customer demographics and products, and requires individual care and optimization to ensure ongoing success with their marketing programs. If this is something that sounds like your business could benefit from please contact me today.
Good luck with your marketing planning for 2009!