Integrating your marketing is fundamental – not an optional extra. If your prospect reads one thing in the newspaper, finds an alternate message on your website and is taken on another tangent when you direct mail them, don’t be surprised if confusion abounds!
On the other hand, if all three elements support one another and reinforce the customer’s buying decision, you’ve suddenly breathed life and energy into your marketing with a simple case of one and one equalling three.
Yet despite this obviously beneficial formula, why do so few businesses employ the simple principles of integration.
The issue is that, whilst the activities of integration are easy to employ, the very act of getting your communications facing the same direction requires a solid tactical plan and supporting strategy. And that, in my experience, is where businesses can fall down. Not because they are reluctant to employ a strategy but because they have no structure or intelligence to base that strategy upon.
With no clear idea of a business’s unique offering against that of your competitors, no real focus on specific target sectors, or even an agreed set of priorities, businesses have no choice but to fall back on the old favourite of ‘being all things to all men’ – and the inevitable scattergun tactics that result. Fearful of missing any opportunity, the approach has more in common with desperate ‘throw enough mud at the wall’ thinking than any sort of integration.
So, if the fuel for great marketing is integration, then the engine is solid market intelligence combined with competitive knowledge and customer feedback. Not only does this provide critical information to drive and direct the strategy and tactical plan, it also adds real energy to the process.
On its own marketing is just one of many competing disciplines businesses must master. Add the focus and direction that comes with the certainty that you are doing absolutely the right thing, the additional energy and momentum is priceless. Integration then becomes inevitable – why fragment your approach when you are 100% clear about your core messages and the right way forward?
So before you integrate, have the courage to listen, review and plan. The results will quickly follow.
Want to comment? What are your experiences of integrated marketing? Any tips you can share?
Member since: 2nd February 2012
My job is to inspire and empower business owners to fulfil their marketing potential.
I am also Business Growth Advisor for the entrepreneur's circle in Guildford and South Surrey.