Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Integrated Marketing Defined - think broad media mix

Integrated Marketing Communication is the cohesive execution of all your online and offline media efforts. Audiences today are increasingly fragmented, and multiple media are needed to reach them. A marketing platform should include print, direct mail, interactive, web advertising, and social media providing a constant flow of the message from sender to receiver.

Capturing data and information from your integrated marketing strategy is critical to developing leads. More and more customers have the expectation that they can anonymously get information online. It's just one more reason companies should be thinking about a broad media mix. Companies need multiple means to identify and collect sales lead data.

Integrated campaigns typically center around a strong web presence — usually a website or a blog, sometimes a microsite — but should also include print, direct mail, email, television, radio and social media to support and publicize that web presence.

Direct Mail and Print is the "welcomed intruder" and is still considered to be the most effective tool in lead generation. Coupled with the current CASS and NCOA requirements, your mailing list is pretty much guaranteed to be up to date. And the post office will forward mail if an address update is identified after the piece reaches the post office.

Email is a great follow-up tool, although there are still some major delivery issues when using it to acquire leads and prospects (scoring in at 10% below direct mail as reported by an Target Marketing study in January 2008 of 340 direct marketers) . Email is considered effective and efficient in communicating with existing customers for retention purposes.

Developing microsites is a great way for your direct mail campaign to assist with your email campaign and help you keep your email list clean and track the results of both online and offline campaigns.

Ultimately this is the "age of accountability" for the marketing profession. Breaking down the silos between online and offline media campaigns is the solution. Now is the time to crack the code for measuring integrated, cross platform media efforts.

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