Integrated Marketing & Strategy

In my years of marketing and sales I have seen time and time again a common mistake among marketers that do not understand how branding and promotions work using campaigns as a strategy.  They are not one-hit wonders, or a single ad in a local publication with hopes for instant payback.

Rather you must look at your marketing as a relationship you are trying to forge as one that must provide value to the reader, be seen in more than one location, and be consistent throughout the year.

Too often marketers (usually with non-marketing backgrounds) see marketing is something you try once or twice, and if the ROI is not sufficient, it is labeled as ineffective.  If you look at some of the most successful marketing companies in the World (Nike, Rolex) you will see that they have taken a consistent theme, spread it across many media, and have kept with a common theme.  It’s as simple as this, your bologna has a first name, and if you’re anywhere near my age, you know what that name is….O.S.C.A.R.

For marketing promotions and advertising to work for your company, I recommend the following:

  1. Believe!  America’s biggest product promoters spend over a billion dollars on their products…not because they are foolish, but they know it works.
  2. Be concise and direct.  Don’t go off on tangents in your advertising efforts.  Pick the main two or three major benefits your customers will realize with your products, and stick with them.
  3. Use testimonials.  Any time you can get a customer to tell other potential customers about your product, you get instant validation.  And the more prominent the customer (G.E., Papa John’s, etc…) the better.
  4. Plan.  Put together a year-long campaign so you know what you are going to say, to whom, how, when, and where.  Then execute!
  5. Mix your media.  Look at successful advertisers and you will see their messages in print, online, using direct mail, bill boards, radio, t.v.  Of course, your budget will dictate which media you use.  See #4!
  6. Stick with it!  Do not abandon your efforts because you can not put a given number of sales to your expenditures.  Like most other efforts in your company, results take time.
  7. If you have a sales force, don’t forget them!  Integrate your sales forces (inside and out) to follow up on leads and give you feedback from the people getting the messages.
  8. Evaluate and adjust.  If your efforts seem to be wasted in any media, or any message seems to be unclear, then make adjustments and move forward.
As corporate marketing manager for a major industrial equipment dealership I have seen the results of a consistent promotional effort.  It took the company 20 years to get to 50 million is annual sales.  When we implemented integrated campaigns, they went to 100 million in the next six, and nothing else changed about the company, except the introduction of a planned marketing and promotional approach.
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