Deborah Henken

Article Summary:

Tips on planning an integrated marketing campaign.

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

What’s a marketing professional to do? The world is filled with products, all vying for attention from your target audience. Research tells us that customers must see messages about seven times to really “see” your message. Businesses need to break through the clutter and stand out in a customer’s mind. Integrated marketing assures your message will reach your customer by using a variety of methods targeted to gain awareness, interest, demand and then to a sale...IF your integrated marketing program is based on truly understanding your target customer.

1) Truly Understand Your Customer
To do integrated marketing most effectively, you must understand your customer -- what is their day-to-day life like -- so that you can choose the most effective marketing vehicles and programs. Understand what your audience reads, sees and does each day. An urban commuter is often on public transportation and driving to work -- what do they see, read, notice. Soccer Moms are often in the car -- what are they listening to, seeing, doing? By understanding your customer, you can build effective integrated marketing programs that reach them. If you don’t understand your customer, you won’t reach them no matter how many times you send your message out.

2) Identify the Right Combination of Communication Vehicles
By understanding your customer, you can then select the combination of communication vehicles to use to get to that “seven” impressions metric. Integrated marketing means using a variety of marketing mechanisms, all which work together to deliver your message. Recently, Pitney Bowes wanted to target CEOs and change their brand perception of the company. For their integrated marketing approach to work, they needed to create a marketing program that matched the target market’s interests and lifestyle. Realizing that CEOs are often traveling, they used airport billboards as a key strategy. Understanding that CEOs want exclusive information to help their businesses grow, they arranged for a new book by a well-known business writer to be sent to their target list and invited them to exclusive meetings with the business writer. It doesn’t matter how well your marketing activities are integrated if they don’t match your prospects lifestyle.

3) Consistent Messages
You wouldn’t put the exact same communications on a billboard, radio, print ad, and email. However, each message needs to support your overall brand, position and benefits. Each communication needs to work together to provide the same compelling message that highlights your differentiation and benefits.

Action Steps to Take Now
1) Evaluate each customer segment you target -- do you understand what they do, read, see. What is their day-to-day life like?

2) Audit what you are currently doing -- What is the best way to reach each target? Are there more effective, more cost-efficient ways to reach them?

3) Are your messages consistent in each communication? The specific wording and treatment may differ, but the bottom-line position of your company must come through to create the best synergy.

Deborah Henken served as VP of Marketing at several Silicon Valley start-ups, quadrupling revenues in 18 months, and in senior marketing and channel positions at Hewlett Packard, Informix and BEA Systems. As Founder of Highland Team, she and her team brings strategic marketing thinking and rapid implementation to assure increased sales revenues and optimal ROI to both large and small companies. For more information visit Highlandteam.com

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