Marketing strategies have always required combining different practices and media in an attempt to reach the widest range of potential customers. Today, technology innovations such as social media and database development have increased the options available to marketing teams. There are more ways to reach a potential customer, and more ways to provide an individualized message to those customers.
As noted in the chart below, people of all ages are online, not just the younger demographics.
US SOCIAL NETWORK USER PENETRATION BY AGE, SOURCE: EMARKETER, FEB 2011
Of course, all of these options can lead to confusion. Many marketing budgets have shrunk, and companies are looking for the most bang for their buck. Social media and email marketing may look like cheap alternatives to direct mail, but poor execution can alienate your potential customers. Here are three tips to help you create a successful integrated marketing strategy.
1. Know your customer. Although the tools and tactics have changed, the bottom line of marketing success is still to know your customer; know what your customer wants and where your message will be most effective. If your customer is tech savvy, they may respond more to web and email messages more so than print.
2. Create a consistent message. No matter what mechanisms you use, your message should be consistent across all of them. Keep color schemes and graphic design similar in both email and direct mail messages. Use the same tag lines in radio ads and on your website landing pages. This way your potential customers will be familiar with you when they encounter your message in different places.
3. Create cross-platform activities. Get your potential customers involved by having them move from one marketing media to another. Include a link in your email marketing to a website landing page. Use personalized URLs in your print media to get your prospects to visit your website and to opt-in to future email marketing. Use text message information in radio ads to capture mobile users.
In today’s markets, integrated marketing is no longer optional. In order to best reach your customers, a strategy that combines multiple media mechanisms is critical to achieving conversion success.