How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Integrated Marketing Strategies
A small business owner has a lot of things to take care of while doing business. Since the scale of operation is very sensitive for them, they have to always make sure everything works in a coordinated manner, otherwise, one wrong move could derail the entire business plan. Hence integrated marketing can help in matters like these. In Integrated marketing, all the components of a business’s marketing plans work together in a systematic and coordinated way so that the whole plan works. After all, that’s the goal, right? To achieve higher sales revenue by way of better marketing of our product or service. Business To Business Sales is an important aspect these days and presents an untapped opportunity.
This job is easier said than done. There are a lot of moving parts and failure of one processor step would mean the failure of the entire plan. For example- Suppose you are publishing a marketing blog. You need a writer for writing the blog, then an editor to proofread, you need an SEO expert to publish it and lastly, also need a graphic designer to illustrate the article. Now suppose the SEO expert failed to rectify the keywords then the entire purpose of this marketing blog will be defeated. Since if people cannot find the article on the internet how will they know about your product? This is why integrated marketing can help your business organization achieve good results in your marketing efforts within budget.
Not only make the marketing process efficient but integrated marketing can also help your company maintain a consistent effort. For example-suppose, your online social media team is running a campaign and then your print media team is running a completely different campaign, just imagine how bad this will be. Integrated marketing can help you streamline the process and thereby maintain a consistent team effort.
Here is a compiled list of how integrated marketing can help your company:
Consistency is the Key
Many small business owners make the mistake of not having a separate digital marketing plan and an offline marketing plan. Big brands often use this tactic, they run a digital campaign that pushes the consumer towards the offline campaign, and then the consumer might be more inclined to make a purchase. Now to make all of this happen an extremely clever connection between the offline marketing team and the online marketing team needs to be there. For example- you could run a teaser digital campaign and an offline outreach campaign for your product or service and then a third email campaign that connects them both. So use an integrated marketing solution to achieve higher consistencies in our marketing efforts.
Improved Brand Awareness
Several times the public relations department in a company issues a statement and then the social media team starts a different campaign. For example- suppose you are an organic juice company. So your public relations department may issue a statement that you source your fruits and other ingredients only from originally cultivated crops. Then suppose your social media team posts a photo of some crop cultivators and it is seen that they are using pesticides in their crops. Think about how bad a message will be sent to your customers. In the world of marketing, your actions and words have a lot more power than publicity.
Manage Multiple Channels Simultaneously
In any business organization, there are more than one channel of marketing. But in the rush hour, the channels might get jumbled, and hence they may also get misunderstood by people. For example- The onsite marketing department might think of a campaign and then the digital team hired from an outside company might sense something else and then the vendor who designs the campaign might think something else too. To eliminate this problem of misunderstanding when using multiple communication channels use an integrated marketing solution. An integrated marketing solution will help you achieve greater control over the conversation flow and also help you efficiently integrate your idea with a wider audience.
Many large organizations precisely use an integrated marketing solution to save up on the long-term cost. For example- Due to a communication mishap or PR failure a company could have to pay a fortune. Things like these can easily be avoided with the usage of an integrated marketing tool. It might look too expensive today but if you think of it as an investment then in the long run it can pay you rich dividends. For example- Suppose your graphic designing team creates an image for a blog, the same image can be reused for a social media post and for other networking purposes too. It makes more sense to reuse rather than make the teamwork on the same campaign but with different graphics for different posts. A little editing and after-effects can be done but completely changing the dynamics of the graphics each time you post is an unnecessarily wasting of time and resources.
Employees after working continuously for a certain period start to feel a little bit low. And when you reach this point, even a simple 5 min job will take a good 30 mins. To eliminate this work-induced lethargy among employees try to spread the workload effectively by using an integrated marketing solution. You see employees work much better and faster once they know their work well in advance and detail. For example- Just 1 hour before their shift ends if you ask them to do a last-minute task then they will not do it as enthusiastically as if you had asked them to do that task in the morning. This is where integrated marketing can help you.
Keep Your Channels Open
A well-integrated marketing strategy enables you to keep multiple channels of marketing accessible and open. For example- suppose you took out a radio ad for your product or service and also a newspaper ad. Now your customer might or might now see the radio ad or the newspaper ad. So if you place two different advertisements in the two different mediums then your potential customers will be two different sets of people depending upon the nature of the advertisement. To eliminate this problem run the same nature of the advertisement and be open to all mediums of distribution. Run the same ad on a billboard, radio, print, online, etc.
When different teams of the marketing department connect with each other, fresh ideas get evolved. Like for example- Suppose Ron from the digital desk has an idea so he shares that with his manager who in turn shares that idea with the print marketing desk and so forth. Ideas get spread around like this and then discussions happen. Without an integrated marketing solution, Ron’s idea would have never gone beyond his team and like him, everyone else’s bright ideas would have stayed within their team without any additional input.
Keeps A Focus on the Big Picture
Why does a company market its product or service? It is for the simple reason to sell it and nothing else. So how can an effective marketing department be created when they all think differently and lack a definite focus. An integrated marketing solution does just that. It helps the various sub-departments within the marketing department to maintain their focus on long-term goals. For example- the digital desk might do a campaign based on the current trend in the industry while the print desk might do something on the classical trend. No doubt the concept is good but they both lack focus. Had they thought as a team in unity then their campaign would have been much similar and unique.
Free Flow of Ideas
When the different channels of marketing are open then the employees have an open line of communication with their peers so they can better coordinate with each other. For example- certain employees might suppress their idea because they might think it’s a bad idea nobody will like. But when they see that someone else from another marketing department is also expressing the same idea they might get the necessary confidence to speak out too. Also when the marketing departments are all integrated then you get an added advantage of quickly hashing out any negativities in anyone’s ideas. For example- someone might have an idea but with some subtle flaws. These flaws might get hashed out quickly due to the involvement of more people in it.
More Closer Customer Relationship
One of the most highly promising benefits of an integrated marketing solution is that the personal customer relationship can be more closely maintained. For example- the digital desk never gets to see the customer in real life, but the offline or print desk might. This insight can help provide the team design campaigns centered around the focus group more clearly since now they have a personal relationship with the customer. The entire marketing team can leverage this data and then design some truly amazing campaigns so that it clicks with the focus customer group. This is a problem that a lot of big businesses face since they are so big that their teams are spread around in different continents. You as a small business owner have this inherent advantage.
An integrated marketing solution helps in more than one way. You can leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to shuffle around the big data and then create a customizable marketing flow. Using this will take some significant investments on your part but in the long run, it will reap you dividends in the form of increased sales revenue and a loyal customer base.