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Integrated Marketing Strategy

There have never been as many excellent marketing tools available as there are now. Many of them are critical for capitalizing on the new buying process. These tools include:

  • Select Social Media Utilities

  • Leveraged Content Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Print/Broadcast

  • Misc. (tradeshows, events, contests, direct mail, etc.)

  • Marketing Software

Because of this, marketing is now a highly complex and strategic science. What hasn’t changed is that high quality copy is still the foundation of every successful marketing effort.

The New Buying Process

This process is the primary driver of today’s marketing strategy. Instead of customers going directly to a physical or virtual store or reaching out to a sales rep, prospects start with an online search for information. This has a number of implications, the most important being online positioning and the relevance and quality of a company’s overall online presence

The Increasing Importance of Strategy

Marketing strategy has always been important, but until recently, most organizations could get by with a very basic, static strategy. Today, successful marketing efforts take advantage of the continuous introduction of new marketing tools. But to avoid being overwhelmed requires a mindset shift from reliance on a few standard tools and tactics to an eagerness for exploring and strategically using promising tools.

These new marketing tools have opened up the whole area of accountability in mostly good ways. For example, now it’s almost effortless to prove the ROI of specific marketing projects. And even where ROI is lacking, marketers can catch the problem early and make changes necessary to ultimately demonstrate return.

The Integration Imperative

Search engine optimization isn’t good at uncovering options that the users didn’t know existed. Digital information (as opposed to print) doesn’t stay top of mind unless the user takes another step, i.e. printing or taking notes. The major downside of digital is that it isn’t as sticky as print. So, as important as digital is, there is still a place for complementary marketing collateral.

In fact, it’s always a good strategy to own the space that competitors have neglected, i.e. mailing postcards (which were only a bad idea when customers were inundated with them).

Today there are four basic categories of marketing tools. Knowing which tools to use and how much emphasis to place on each is the essence of strategy.

1. Digital: This category is the most important. The mistake that marketers make is relying on it to the exclusion of almost everything else. Digital tools include:

  • Website

  • SEO

  • Social: Blog, LinkedIn, YouTube, SlideShare, Scribd, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • Email

  • Leveraged Content

2. Print/Broadcast: Use the fact that most people think print media (newspapers and magazines) are dead to advantage—enter the space that everyone else has abandoned. Print tools include:

  • Newspapers

  • Trade Magazines

  • TV/Radio

  • Direct Mail

3. Other: Tradeshows aren’t dead either. Smart marketers know that nothing really becomes obsolete, it’s place in the mix just changes. Misc. marketing tools include:

  • Tradeshows

  • Events

  • Contests

4. Marketing Software: Marketing software is now where social media was 5 years ago; we all knew we should be using it, but didn’t where to start. The point is to start. It’s easier to get perspective when you’re a little above the ground—even if it’s not the perfect place to be.

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