A successful business is a sure sign that the marketing you are doing is generating consistent business. But do you know if you are getting the most value out of every dollar spent? By developing and following a marketing plan that integrates all of a company’s marketing efforts – you are sure to maximize the results achieved.
In fact, many companies using an integrated marketing plan increased revenue by 15-20% compared to when they executed marketing campaigns in a more ad hoc fashion. So now is the time to get started!
An Overview of Marketing
Marketing is about getting as close to the target audience as possible, truly understanding their needs and providing a product or service that meets those needs. This is highlighted by the four P’s of marketing:
- Product (or Service): Identify how the product or service meets customers’ needs and is different / better than the competitions- including features, benefits, quality, design, and more.
- Place: Determine the vehicle(s) used to deliver the product or service to customers- including direct sales, online sales or selling through a sales channel.
- Promotion: Select the methods used for getting the word out about the products or services- such as advertising, PR, online marketing, telemarketing, direct mail, events, and more.
- Price: Establish a price that compliments the value of the product or service and is at a price point that customers are willing to pay.
Often business owners find their strength lies in identifying the products or services to sell, determining how to sell them and establishing a good price for those products or services. The challenge lies in promoting the business—such as knowing what to say, who to say it to, where to say it and how often to repeat it. Promotion is a critical component of success in marketing.
What Effective Marketing Involves
The four P’s, when used all together, will help to effectively attract new customers and increase sales from existing customers. They are powerful concepts that should be consistently incorporated across all avenues used to market a business—including advertising, direct and online marketing, public relations, events and more. To maximize the effectiveness of marketing, it is important to incorporate all of the Four P’s in marketing efforts and the best way to do this is through an integrated marketing plan.
How Integrated Marketing Plans Increase Marketing Effectiveness
An integrated marketing plan blends research, marketing and communication strategies together to ensure that every aspect of marketing your business is executed in a cohesive fashion. In addition, where a company has multiple target audiences with different needs, an integrated plan will ensure cohesiveness amongst all marketing efforts. This is critical because the messages and marketing activities geared to each audience will be unique.
For example, if a marketing communications plan calls for print advertising, the same theme for the print ads should be reflected on the web site or in direct mail campaigns, etc. Or, if advertisements are being run in multiple magazines geared at different audiences, the overall branding of each piece should be consistent even though the messages would be tailored to each audience.
As you can see, if a prospective customer receives the same message and visual clues in multiple places, they are much more likely to comprehend and retain the marketing message. By doing this, a company will build brand awareness with that customer so they will remember the products or services when they are ready to buy.
What An Integrated Marketing Plan Contains
An integrated marketing plan outlines the marketing activities that will deliver the greatest impact on the target audience and produce the maximum return on the marketing investment. The core components include:
- Marketing Research Summary: Clearly defines target audience(s), highlights how companies can differentiate their business from competition and details the messages that resonate with each audience.
- Marketing Roadmap: Keeps companies on track for success with a detailed timeline of campaigns to generate leads.
- Detailed Budget: Outlines the resources and expenditures needed for each campaign throughout the year to ensure the marketing budget will be utilized effectively.
Why You Should Monitor Marketing Results
Once executed, measuring the success of campaigns within an integrated marketing plan is a final but important step that will help to plan future programs with more accuracy. The more quantifiable the objectives are in the beginning, the more tangible the results.
If a program is successful, one should be able to answer “yes” to these questions:
- Did you gain qualified leads?
- Did you increase your sales or projected sales?
- Can you estimate future revenues from your marketing efforts?
- Was your program cost-effective?
In addition, it is important to keep the momentum of the marketing cycle going by:
- Continually monitoring your marketing plan so you can make needed adjustments
- Gathering data along the way that will help you predict how the marketing plan is going before the campaign is over
- Revisiting your objectives and strategy at the end to determine what went well, what you would do differently next time, etc.
With careful planning and evaluation, companies can maximize the effectiveness of marketing and generate even more revenue opportunities for the business.
Would you like to maximize the value of every dollar spent on marketing? Would you like to increase your company’s revenue and profits? If so, contact Launch Marketing today to discuss how we can put our marketing expertise to work for you!