A few years ago we went to Disneyland, and bumped into Gaston, of animated Beauty and the Beast fame. By way of introduction, he said to us;
“Hello, pleased to meet me, aren’t you?”
Whilst the youngsters in our party found him hilariously funny at the time, it stuck with us. The reason for that is thus: when you introduce yourselves to your customers, whilst you wouldn’t actually introduce yourself in that way, what you’re aiming for is that that is exactly how you should make your customers feel. Pleased to meet you. A saviour. Font of all knowledge. Solvers of problems. Key to their success.
So, hi. We are DHP (Devilishly Handsome Productions – oh, yes we are!). Pleased to meet us, aren’t you?
Anyone who’s done any kind of marketing qualification will have had the words ‘integrated marketing’ seared into their brain. But what really is it?
“Integrated Marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.” (Source: Data and Marketing Association)
Well, there you go then. But when we start drilling down, and pulling this definition apart, what do we find? The most important part of the statement is right at the end!
The customer is always right
No doubt about it, we’ve all had those days where we don’t necessarily agree with that statement, but the customer most certainly has to be the focus of your marketing strategy. If you don’t do that, then however amazing your marketing content is, it can’t succeed because you haven’t appealed to the most important entity of all!
To complicate things further, because your customer isn’t necessarily the end user of the product or service, you have even more customers (or stakeholders) to satisfy.
For example, if your objective was to increase iPhone sales by writing a marketing strategy for Apple, Apple would be your customer but wouldn’t be the end user of the product.
Much of the focus of marketing strategy is on finding new customers, but it should never be underestimated how much value your existing customer is to you. Don’t forget to show them some love.
Marketing is multi-dimensional
So we start to understand that marketing is a complex affair – you have to focus your marketing communications on the end user for sure.
Often, this is where profitability is captive – but you have other customers to consider. If the end user isn’t your client, you need to satisfy the client too, otherwise you won’t retain their custom.
Use of media
We live in an age of endless opportunities to engage with our customers, online, offline, above the line, below the line… In this digital world there is still a place for traditional marketing methods, but there is also an exciting world out there expanding the way consumers are able to engage with brands, products, services, whatever you have to offer.
What should be the most important element of an integrated marketing strategy is that customers want and expect a consistent experience across all aspects of their interaction with a company’s products and services. Getting your integrated marketing strategy right gives you the best chance of achieving this.
The key to all of this is to know your audience, know your product, find the best ways to get your message out there from the plethora of options available.
Don’t just stick with the tried and tested. Bring some innovation, variation and adventure into your marketing. But make sure that your brand message is true and consistent, and get the best possible quality of media that you can as a marketing message, however delivered, will reflect the quality of your brand.
Want to talk further about integrated marketing, and get to know us a little better? Drop us a line and we’ll come right back to you.