In today’s business climate it’s critical for key messages to hit home with the right audiences to drive increased revenue for a brand. At the same time, marketing budgets are getting leaner and leaner, forcing marketing professionals to think more carefully about where and how they allocate marketing spend.
Integrated marketing has the potential to help marketers achieve the seemingly impossible task of reaching customers and prospects across a range of channels—but to do it, marketers need to know how to avoid the mistakes that commonly plague integrated marketing efforts.
The integrated marketing challenge
“Integrated marketing” is a term pregnant with a variety of meanings. While some mistakenly believe it simply refers to a combination of uncoordinated online and offline marketing activities, savvy marketers understand that true integrated marketing campaigns leverage push and pull strategies in a cohesive campaign that cuts across a range of media.
By aligning message, media, and distribution channels to the granular needs of customers and prospects, first-rate integrated marketing enables marketers to extend the value of their multichannel investments, thereby delivering business outcomes in the form of improved revenue, increased customer retention, and greater ROI on marketing spend.
Common integrated marketing mistakes
Integrated marketing campaigns should feature an analytical, intuitive approach that combines various marketing components in a carefully choreographed manner. Unfortunately, many initiatives come short of delivering desired outcomes because they fall victim to a handful of common integrated marketing mistakes:
1. Neglecting the power of postal: Email offers marketers a convenient and cost-effective way to deliver messages to customers and prospects. But according to Epsilon, 50% of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail to email. So unless your integrated marketing campaign leverages both email and direct mail, you’re probably missing opportunities to connect with a large segment of your target audience.
2. Blindness to generators of online results: Web-based components are an important part of integrated marketing strategies. A Pew Internet Report found that 92% of adults regularly use search engines to locate information online. But to refine and optimize your marketing efforts, you need to understand the points of origin for search traffic and other online results. Web analytics tools provide powerful insights about visitor conversion rates and visitors that arrived at your site due to your SEO and SEM efforts.
3. Inadequate data hygiene: Bad addresses waste time and money—resources that you need to maximize the impact of your integrated marketing campaigns. According to a recent Marketing Sherpa report, 54% of B2C marketers and 53% of B2B marketers found that improving email deliverability is a significant factor in email marketing effectiveness. By leveraging data cleansing solutions, you can significantly improve the quality of your data and the impact of your integrated marketing investments.
4. Anemic or nonexistent use of modeling: Modeling is a marketer’s best friend because it eliminates the guesswork typically associated with identifying and targeting prospects. By using modeling to define and target prospects who are interested in purchasing your product or service, you can improve the ROI and bottom line effectiveness of your integrated marketing initiatives.
5. Disorganized results analysis: Your long-term marketing success hinges on your ability to thoroughly analyze the results of various marketing initiatives. Hasty, shallow results analysis won’t cut it in today’s marketing environment. Instead, you need access to expert strategists capable of interpreting results data and identifying the areas that need improvement.
Integrated marketing isn’t about blanketing the marketplace with large quantities of uncoordinated marketing messages. Carefully crafted campaigns that align messages and channels with customers, prospects, and products require more effort, but they are ultimately more effective at reaching target audiences and improving the results you capture from your marketing dollars.
Don Patrick is president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions, with more than 15 years of experience in marketing services.