As a marketer, I’m always looking for ways to reach the right audience, one that will benefit from and welcome my ad messages. I think about who my customers are and what their habits might be. Are they more likely to see my ad if I send it to their phone? Through social media? In the Newspaper? Through a text? What if my answer is “yes”, all of the above”? It’s likely that my audience, and yours, is absorbing information through a variety of media channels. If you’re asking the same questions and looking for a way to break through, the answer is integrated marketing.
To effectively reach your consumers, it’s important to integrate your ad messages through various media channels. Media plans that span multiple channels are more likely to build stronger consumer relationships which lead to increased sales for your business. The key to a successful campaign is choosing the right variety of channels, creating a strong core message and tailoring that message appropriately to each platform. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four steps to help you launch a successful integrated marketing campaign for your business.
Step 1: Identify Who Your Customers Really Are
Examining your current customer base will provide you valuable insight on the best approach for your integrated marketing campaign. You’ll want to consider the characteristics and interests of those who are walking through your doors or the demographic you’re hoping to reach. Once you identify who your customers are, you’ll use that information to develop a message that speaks directly to them and in channels where they’re likely to see it. For example, if you’re selling orthopedic shoes to ages 60+, you probably wouldn’t promote your services on a platform like Snapchat where the user age skews much younger. Here are some questions that you can answer about your own business to develop a customer profile:
- Do my customers tend to be within a particular age range?
- Where do my customers live?
- Do my customers share similar interests? If so, What are they?
- Do my customers tend to have similar beliefs? If so, what are they?
- How are my current customers learning about my business?
- Do customers seem more interested in a particular product or service that I offer?
Step 2: Identify Your Marketing Goal
Your marketing goals play a large role in determining how, when and where you execute your marketing campaign. It’s possible that you have multiple goals, but try your best to focus on one at a time (that’s right, just one!) If you have several promotions happening at once, you might be tempted to include all of them in your ad. However, doing so will only dilute your message and will actually make it more jumbled and less memorable. So, choose one goal and make sure to stick with that goal throughout your campaign. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about what’s most important:
• Create brand awareness – You want consumers to know about your business.
• Promote an event – You want to increase attendance, RSVPs or ticket sales for your event.
• Target new customers – You want to expand beyond your current geographic or demographic reach.
• Improve reputation – Maybe you had some bad publicity or bad reviews and you want to turn things around with your marketing campaign
• Launch new products or services – You’ve got something new to tell the world about.
• Increase sales – Because who doesn’t want this? You’ve always done some marketing, but you want your next campaign to show a more significant increase in sales.
Step 3: Decide on a Budget
For most of us, the cost of marketing is top of mind as we consider the best strategy for our business. According to the Small Business Administration, business owners should allocate 7 percent of gross sales on marketing. However, that’s not a realistic number for every business and if you’re not ready to allocate 7 percent of your revenue, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you need to forget about marketing altogether. To find your budget comfort zone, determine an amount that you can afford to spend annually, then break that down by month and see where you land. Keep in mind that the idea is to increase your profits through marketing, so eventually, you should get to a point where you’re earning more than you’re spending. When you campaign begins, you’ll want to track what you’ve invested and the profits you’ve gained from that investment, also known as return on investment or ROI, then adjust accordingly.
Step 4: Outline Your Integrated Marketing Plan
Now it’s time to take all the information that you’ve gathered and use that information to design the perfect integrated marketing campaign for your business. Begin by outlining each marketing channel that you’ll be using to promote your message. Make sure you choose channels that are used by your target demographic. Then, decide exactly what you want to promote to your audience and create a strong message that speaks to them. Decide how you’ll adjust that message based on the channel where it’s being served. Lastly, establish a timeline for your campaign. Will your ad messages run for three weeks or six months? With so many moving parts, it can be helpful to outline each component of your campaign in a chart.
Begin Your Next Integrated Marketing Campaign
If you’re ready to get started on your next marketing campaign, we can help. Our media experts are here to provide guidance from the ground up. If you’ve already created your idea campaign, we can help you get your message out through those various channels. As a full-service media company, we can design, place and report on your campaign to help you get the most out of your marketing. Contact us today to speak with someone about your business marketing ideas.