February 1, 2011 » Getting More Out of Your Integrated Marketing Efforts – Part I
Savvy marketers know that you get more bang for your buck by integrating your marketing efforts. Digital, TV, Print, OOH, Direct and PR all can play a unique role in a well thought out communications plan. Conversely, poor planning and minimal integration lead to an ineffective marketing campaign, frustrated partners and disappointing results. Just about anyone on the client and agency/partner side alike has dealt with a situation like this at some time in their career. Because most marketing strategies are not executed through a single channel, Compass is no stranger to coordinated marketing efforts and collaborating with other partners. Through our experience working with industry-leading clients and world-class agencies, we’ve put together six best practices to successfully integrate marketing efforts in order to achieve superior results and exceed your business objectives.
In Part I of this blog we will address the first three of these best practices, “Begin Collaboration at Initiation,” “Measure Twice, Cut Once,” and “Plan for Integration.”
1 Begin Collaboration at Initiation
By clearly defining roles and responsibilities from the start, you can head off any potential turf wars. Define each partner’s role in the marketing campaign. On the client side, a “conductor” should be appointed to own the agency relationship and be responsible for facilitating collaboration. Additionally, both core agencies (there should be only two to three agencies core to the marketing efforts) and supporting agencies should be defined. A senior-level committee comprised of the client and the core agency representatives should be formed for monthly/quarterly meetings to discuss brand issues and marketing strategies. A clear understanding of responsibilities and dependencies both upstream and downstream also helps partners work together to deliver a consistent, engaging message.
Communicate your brand position and strategy with all involved parties from the beginning. Chances are there are numerous parties involved from broadcast, print and interactive agencies to public relations, event marketing and packaging firms. It’s easy to see how without excellent collaboration, you could end up with a very disconnected message.
For a truly integrated marketing plan to be successful, all parties must have a seat at the table from day one. From there, you can weigh the strengths of each medium and leverage them to their maximum potential. The strength of each channel should be fully leveraged to achieve a sub-objective of the overall campaign’s marketing objective. E.g. the Web gives you the deepest, closest interaction with consumers. By simply repurposing a print ad for your Web presence, you dilute your opportunity to connect with the consumer.
2 Measure Twice, Cut Once
This is solid advice that has survived the test of time, but what does it really mean? Actually, this advice could be applied on multiple levels of marketing. When defining the consumer experience you’re looking to deliver through a process that flows from your business strategy, takes shape from your brand positioning statement and manifests through every touchpoint. When everyone starts off on the same page, you’re more likely to end up on the same page.
There’s no doubt each partner has a wealth of knowledge on its own area of expertise. Encourage everyone to share data and insights with all the partners. To help this process along, set up a public repository for everyone’s data or use share software. This is a critical step, although it rarely happens. Too often partners are so focused on their own deliverables that they don’t stop to consider how their research and insight could help others. Sharing data like the media buy, sales data and Web performance analytics are beneficial to all parties as it helps the team pull insight that can spark more powerful marketing efforts.
Additionally, use consumer insight when determining your strategy to ensure the consumer is always top of mind. Again, make sure this information is available to all partners.
3 Plan for Integration
First, understand what it means to have a truly integrated marketing plan. Simply tagging your Web site at the end of a TV commercial or print ad does not equal full integration. Merely having both print and interactive pieces is not full integration either. An integrated, well-planned marketing campaign requires a holistic understanding of brand strategy, includes efforts that drive the brand strategy and elements that become transformers of the business model, and is the comprehensive foundation of all marketing efforts.
As with any marketing campaign, coordination and strategic usage across all channels is crucial. This makes it much easier to understand which channels best meet each objective and execute accordingly.
In Part II of “Getting More Out of Your Integrated Marketing Efforts” we’ll discuss the need to ensure your planning is aligned with your customer’s needs, the importance of sharing ideas and benefits of ensuring alignment across projects and partners. Stay tuned!
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