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Five Steps To Creating An Integrated Marketing Campaign
In our previous episode, we discussed what an integrated marketing campaign was, the complications that may arise from them, and why you should create one for your brand.
As discussed, integrated marketing campaigns can be difficult to implement, but the results far outweigh the complications. By creating a simple strategy that can be used across multiple mediums (each of which complement another), you have the opportunity to reinforce your brand’s message and personality much more effectively then through a single media platform.
The following five steps are the basics to beginning to undertake your own integrated marketing campaign, each of which can easily be applied through everyday SEO and online marketing.
What is the problem?
What is the problem that you are trying to fix? It may seem almost too obvious, but you have to establish what problem you’re trying to fix before you can think of a solution. Try not to get the symptoms or causes confused with the overall problem, such as a decrease in sales or an increase in delayed stock.
When trying to determine what your overall problem is, look into all aspects of your brand and try to decide if there is something that is affecting it overall. A poor brand identity, or a lacklustre USP are two such examples.
When you have uncovered what problem you plan on tackling, then you can begin to discover what solution you will have to imply to receive the results you want.
Think outside of the box
Try a bit of unconventional thinking, ‘brainstorming sessions’ or even asking for ideas from professionals within this field. One of the most influential aspects of a successful integrated marketing campaign is that they’re often unique and stand out. Time and again we see these campaigns that cause us to think ‘why didn’t we think of that?’, something simple yet ingenious, which no other brand has thought to use before.
There is no point in creating a full-scale campaign across multiple platforms if they’re boring or dull. Even if you are using every available medium, if they individually fade into the background, then they’ll still be forgettable, and worse still, pointless.
Take the time and energy necessary to find an overall strategy that is unique, yet powerful, before you begin to implement the next stages of your campaign.
Determine your idea before you determine your media
Yes, an integrated marketing campaign is about utilising a range of media platforms, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take advantage of all of them. In theory, a powerful strategy would be perfectly executed across social, digital, television and print media, but more often than not, that isn’t the case. Furthermore, for many brands or businesses, money could be better spent by using less conventional and pricey mediums, as long as they have a strategy that can be tailored to fit.
By determining your big idea before you start your media buying, you can make sure not to fall into the unfortunate trap of not having enough cash to really pull off your campaign. It would be a waste of your time and resources if you decided you wanted a series of television advertisements, only to later realise that your strategy would have been better implemented online.
Always remember that the media planning and buying process should only be undertaken and influenced by the planning and idea phase, and only when the strategy has been decided.
Hire a professional
It may cost you at the time, but in the end it will more than pay off if you actively hire someone who has expertise within this field. A professional who has the ability to focus how to optimise a customer’s experience across a range of platforms will provide insight and advice into key aspects of your campaign. In the same way that you would employ a SEO expert for your business’ website, so too should you look into hiring a professional who truly understands user experience.
Test, Measure and Learn
The more you can measure and test, the more opportunities you have to learn, and improve in the future. And most importantly, to never ignore what you have learnt in the past (whether they be from positive or negative experiences). Never turn a blind eye to past results, even if you may wish you could.
Furthermore, by testing and measuring you can begin to understand what it is you need to optimise, in the same way that we do so through SEO. What is effective and ineffective? What are people reacting to? What is getting people’s attention? Metrics online, at least for the digital and social aspects of your campaign, are easy to follow and find online, and they can provide a wealth of information that will become invaluable.