Few things will turn off potential customers faster than disjointed marketing. Whether you’re the smallest startup in your industry or the enterprise-level “big player” on the block, integrated marketing is essential. However, aligning all of your outbound messaging can be tricky. And if you’re not looking for gaps — and closing them when they become apparent — your lead generation, reputation management, and buyer retention rates can plummet.
What makes unifying all your marketing strategies and collateral so complex? For one, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. When you’re trying to drive a particular goal, you can wind up missing the broader mark. For instance, in your zeal to drive performance on a specific channel, you may end up sending mixed signals in terms of your bigger campaign. The result is consumers that don’t feel like your brand delivers a consistent experience, which is a surefire way to confuse.
Another reason that marketing integration falters at companies of all sizes is that marketers forget to set clear, attainable metrics to ensure unification is happening. Without metrics, it’s tough to determine if a brand’s appearance and voice are working in tandem across all platforms.
You need to get integrated marketing right and ensure it works consistently. When you reach “the sweet spot,” your organization can punch above your weight class, grab the attention of wider relevant audiences, and enjoy an improved ROI thanks to your expanded reach. Over time, and with each marketing channel bolstering the others, your integrated, unified marketing will act as a “force multiplier” for your marketing dollars.
Making Sure Your Marketing Is Lined Up
Of course, even the most compelling integrated marketing strategy can veer off-track occasionally. To spot any anomalies or inconsistencies before they become more significant problems, put the following backup measures in place. They’ll help you stay on top of your unification efforts and reduce the risk of losing marketing and branding momentum needlessly.
1. Set up customer surveys.
Customer surveys are the fastest litmus test to give you valuable feedback. For this reason, you’ll want to periodically deploy surveys in some form or another across every promotional and advertising channel you use.
Having a consistent source of up-to-date, accurate customer survey data will allow you to answer some key questions: Are consumers hearing your message in the way you intended? Are you seeing any confusion about your products or services that you didn’t anticipate? Being able to pinpoint consumer messaging “disconnects” gives you a chance to make alterations that re-align your marketing.
2. Keep up with industry trends.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to succeed with your marketing efforts, and it’s more cost-effective if you don’t. For instance, you can learn a lot by examining what your competitors are doing and where they’re succeeding or failing. Ask yourself: Can you do it better? Could you do it differently? What can you learn from their mistakes? Use this advanced knowledge to course-correct and avoid the same fate.
Even if you have the healthiest marketing budget in the world, you don’t want to waste a single dollar. By keeping a watchful eye on what everyone else is doing well and where gaps exist, you’ll eliminate risks while further integrating your marketing initiatives.
3. Review your analytics.
Remember those KPIs we discussed earlier? Stay on top of them. Routinely reviewing your hard data, such as sign-ups and engagement markers, will tell you if you’re progressing toward your goals.
If your analytics tell a story you don’t like, use it as an opportunity to optimize. Data can put a welcome spotlight on major chasms in your integrated marketing strategy that can tell you where to apply your efforts for the most effect. The sooner you create a smooth and consistent experience for your customers, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards.
Integrated marketing involves juggling a lot of moving parts. It’s not an exact science nor a one-size-fits-all task. Nevertheless, integrated marketing remains one of the most reliable ways to ensure that you steward your marketing funds, bring in the most leads to your sales funnel, and drive up customer loyalty. Don’t wait to start seeing results.
About the Author
Jeff Snyder is the founder and chief inspiration officer at Inspira Marketing Group, a purpose-driven, brand activation agency headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with offices in New York City and California. With more than 20 years of experience, Snyder leads his agency’s growth by focusing on building genuine relationships through client development and audience engagement.