The terms “integrated” and “holistic” have been bandied about until they are almost meaningless. Initially used to describe the pursuit of consistency of look (logo, typeface, etc.) across the company, agencies of all types now call themselves “integrated.”
Forgive us for being skeptical, but it’s comical when a direct marketing firm termed itself integrated because it coordinated one direct mailing with another. Or when a hotshot creative ad agency viewed getting publicity about its ad campaign (and the agency) as evidence of it being an integrated agency.
Nimble Strategies views integrated marketing as making sure all of your touch points with prospective and existing customers (and employees and suppliers, for that matter) align with your objectives so that all of your marketing activities are strategically sound and collectively create a stronger whole with a seamless experience for prospective and existing customers.
That means knowing when to use—and not to use—a particular communication tool rather than proposing one type because it’s how the agency earns its biggest profits or feeds the egos of the agency’s principals.
Integrated marketing must be, first and foremost, strategic. Otherwise, all the coordination is for naught (“We’re integrated in going off a cliff”).
That is why we begin with making sure you have a sound marketing strategy that is customer-centric and attentive to the rapidly changing nuances of your industry and the decision-making behavior of your customers.
With that framework forged, our neutrality toward marketing disciplines and tools enables us to be ideally positioned to compose and conduct (under your ultimate authority) a mix of marketing activities that build on one another. The result is powerful marketing focused on helping you reach your objectives.
The four steps to strategic integrated marketing
1. Conduct a 360-degree audit of your company’s place in the marketplace as well as the competitive environment to determine how you are honestly perceived and where you should focus. Details about the value of the audit and how it is conducted follow.
2. Segment and target your market to make sure you are pursuing the most profitable types of customers to reach your goals.
3. Define a guiding strategic direction and positioning that conveys the uniqueness of your company so that everyone “gets it.”
4. Develop the optimal marketing mix of coordinated marketing activities (advertising, PR, pricing, etc.) so that each builds on one another to achieve your sales and profit goals. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Attribution and engagement mapping are complicated and still at an early stage of development. But there are some key ways to apply data analytics and general experience (plus a good dose of common sense by approaching the problem from the customer’s point of view) to improve your mix in fundamental ways with smart connection planning.
By applying this framework, a company can rapidly and successfully tackle new markets, competitors and environmental considerations without spending a fortune. It requires discipline, honesty and creativity, but the potential rewards are tremendous.