Through the Spyglass

IDENTIFYING TRENDS, ANTICIPATING CHANGES, CHARTING NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE DIGITAL SPACE.


The Case for Integrated Digital Marketing

Image Credit: Syed Ikhwan Image Credit: Syed Ikhwan

At Spyglass Digital, we believe in integrated digital marketing. That’s why, as an Internet marketing company, we offer the services that we do, including coaching, so that different marketing strategies and tactics can work together smoothly. What is integrated digital marketing? 

Integrated digital marketing is a combination of marketing tactics and tools working in conjunction to accomplish your goals. (Tweet This)

Any one marketing tactic will not achieve everything you need for building your business. Instead each marketing tactic has its strengths as well as weaknesses. So to cover your bases and reach customers at every stage of the sales cycle, it’s important to work hard to combine a variety of approaches.

Big or small, your company needs to integrate its marketing.

I’ve worked with businesses large and small and no size of business categorically gets this right. You might think big businesses have lots of resources so they can throw money at the challenge, using every marketing tactic possible and having lots of meetings so that everyone is on the same page. But the reality is that big companies also have many stakeholders who often have different agendas and opinions. And the bigger the company, the more siloed each department, and one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

In smaller companies, you have smaller budgets, fewer team members, and often one person wears many hats. As a result, the company cannot pursue every marketing tactic available, or perhaps it begins a few different tactics but eventually some get neglected.

What I want readers to remember is that while most companies can’t pursue every tactic or use every tool (especially because new tactics and tools are constantly being created!), you can focus on your specific sales cycle and reaching your prospective customers at each of the steps in their decision journey. Identifying the stages of your sales cycle, utilizing specific language, and communicating clearly to the customer at each stage, all while maintaining a consistent message throughout, is the gold standard for successful integrated digital marketing.

Charting Your Sales Cycle

Have you plotted out the different touch points a customer has with your business? This is an essential business practice, and once you identify these touch points you can begin to hone in on the right marketing tactics appropriate for each individual touch point.

For example, perhaps you are a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce company that attends trade shows. At these trade shows, you gather business cards and set up meetings for the future. Some examples of marketing tactics following this situation would be to enter the contacts into a customer resource management (CRM) system, add them to your email contact list, and send prompts to your sales people for follow up calls.

Suppose the sales people convert the contact into a customer for a six-month contract. How are you going to keep that customer around? Perhaps you host webinars and send out e-books to keep them learning about and interested in your product or service. When the contract comes up for renewal, they will feel connected and engaged with your company, and confident that by renewing, they are making a wise business decision.

Keeping Everyone in the Loop

Now let’s say you’ve identified the different touch points and have appropriate marketing tactics for each touch point, but the various team members handling each touch point aren’t in communication. Using the B2B e-commerce company as an example again, let’s imagine a sales person talks to a new contact and then afterward the contact receives an email saying, “Nice to meet you at the event! A salesperson will be in touch with you shortly.” This would leave an impression that your company is a little disconnected and you may lose a little trust in the product or service you are offering.

Next, what if someone finds your company through a paid search advertisement? Then they separately look you up on Facebook. From there they decide to follow your business on Facebook hoping to be notified about special offers in the future. But your email department that sends out the promotions doesn’t loop in your social media person about the offers coming up. As a result, that individual waiting for promotions on Facebook will miss out and your business might miss a sale.

In my third and worst-case-scenario example, perhaps you have different promotions announced through different marketing channels. Unfortunately, you are probably in effect working against yourself. If one channel encourages audiences to wait until next month for a sale, while a different channel says buy now for 30% off, won’t you confuse audiences more than build trust through clarity?

In short, integrated marketing is important to reach each customer at every stage of the sales cycle. You want to have the right marketing tactics in place to move the customer through the sales process. And you want each of your marketing tactics working together, not against each other, ensuring a consistent brand message throughout, ultimately leading to more sales and repeat customers.

How does your company balance each of your marketing tactics to ensure integration?