Isn't Integrated Marketing Old News?
Marketers spend far too much time trying to decide which communications strategy is best. Using research studies, statistics, and the results of personal experience, marketers tend to focus their efforts on only one or two strategies that seem to be most effective and ignore the rest. However, the key to successful marketing does not lie in a single communication channel.
The key is to listen to your customers and integrate your channels which will accelerate the pace in which you reach your goals.
Integrated Marketing is neither a new term nor a new idea; however, recent advancements in marketing technology have enabled marketers to develop and execute integrated marketing campaigns and accurately measure them against a set of goals.
Integrating multiple marketing channels allows you to maximize marketing’s influence on customers and prospects by casting a wider net until there is an understanding of their preferred communications channel. For example, while studies by the Sloan School of Management at MIT have shown inbound marketing to offer an increased ROI when comparing pre and post-results on web traffic and lead conversion, outbound marketing strategies still reach consumers that inbound marketing may miss. In addition, even though inbound marketing techniques may resonate more with a larger number of consumers, some consumers will still respond more favorably to traditional outbound strategies.
The key is to leverage outbound with a call to action when and where it makes sense to do so, then transition those who engage to a digital medium so that they can be easily nurtured.
5 Components of Successful Campaigns
- Inbound Marketing targets the prospects who are most likely to convert to customers, encourages them to participate in two-way communication with your company, and provides them with valuable content to keep them engaged. Inbound marketing tactics typically include PPC, SEO, SEM blogging, and social media engagement.
- Outbound Marketing reaches out to the masses using more traditional techniques, such as cold calling, banner ads, email blasts, mailings, commercials, events, and tradeshows. Outbound marketing is the bread and butter for many seasoned marketing professionals; however, the desire of CMOs to prove ROI and provide “Closed Loop Marketing” analytics has put pressure on Outbound. Utilizing Outbound as a method to control the marketing message and reach the masses will continue to be a tool in the toolbox for years to come.
- Marketing Automation reduces the amount of resources required to reach a single consumer, thus allowing you to reach more people with less investment. Today’s automation practices allow for mass customization to ensure the tone and message of communications are highly targeted based on personalized database intelligence. Marketing Automation allows marketers to set up a multi-step campaign which can have high degrees of variability based on user-driven activities.
- Quality Content increases the likelihood that consumers will convert to customers and/or share your materials with others. Ensuring that your content is optimized to the needs of your target persona should drive connections to qualified visitors.
- Marketing Analytics involves keeping track of important statistics, such as website traffic, to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. For many years, tools like Google Analytics and WebTrends (an early web analytics innovator) assisted eBusiness professionals in tracking web utilization. The issue with early versions of these tools is that they simply tracked how users were engaging with digital assets within the enterprise. They failed to facilitate a method of engaging visitors in a dynamic fashion such that you could react and present more relevant offers and content to web visitors as you learned more about them with each marketing touch.
To effectively Unlock the ROI on Analytics, you must first gain visibility to all of your marketing activities within a consolidated platform such as Salesforce.com. Once you have a consolidated view, you can analyze each element of your marketing campaign, determine which strategies are most successful, and make changes when necessary. Making changes to the digital segment of your campaign can be fast and dynamic. Platforms such as HubSpot, Pardot, or the Exact Target Marketing Cloud give the ability to receive real-time feedback from marketing activities and empower marketers to be increasingly responsive to prospects, leads, and customer interactions.
In summary, you must resist the urge to focus your efforts on only one or two of these components. Instead, combine them all together to create an efficient, effective marketing strategy that delights current customers, generates new leads and ultimately converts leads into sales.
It's easy to become focused on the latest marketing trends and ignore your tried-and-true marketing know-how. The best practice is to blend the best aspects of the latest and greatest with the marketing resources you've honed over time with a keen focus on delivering information that resonates with your target audience.
If you want help revitalizing your marketing program consider Inbound Marketing as a strategy to get on the right track.