Diagram source: http://www.marketingholistics.com/index.html

How To Strike the balance between Message and Metrics

In traditional advertising and sales promotion (eg. television, newspaper, radio, magazines, personal selling) each medium has a different set of objectives, which may sometimes contradict each other.  Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), according to The American Marketing Association,is

“a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”

By adapting an integrated, holistic approach, a company can direct its advertising and promotional efforts towards :

  • delivering a consistent and relevant message,
  • putting the right number of dollars towards the most effective approaches
  • to optimize both spend and ROI.

An integrated campaign allows companies to send out a clear and consistent message to its target audience, without unnecessary duplication while ensuring that all sectors are covered. All marketing tools will synergize and leverage off one other, increasing the communications effectiveness exponentially, leading to improved ROI.

In other words, an Integrated Marketing approach helps you strike the right balance between message and metrics.

The Disconnect

Unfortunately, a February, 2012 survey by Forrester Research of 99 CMOs and marketing VPs shows a serious marketing disconnect:

  • 92% agree Social Media has “fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands.”
  • Yet only 49% say Social Media is fully integrated into their brand-building strategy.
  • A little more 50% say it is still siloed from the rest of their marketing plans.

So marketers are spending lots of money testing messages to hit as many people as possible. Yet,  unless the approach is holistic, consistent and  synergistic (integrated), consumers won’t notice, understand and respond to their marketing messages and act in such a way as to provide a great return on their investment.

Content Marketing is a Game Changer

The rise of Content Marketing is changing the way that marketing is carried out. In a recent Roper Public Affairs study:

  • 80% of business-to-business decision makers polled said that they preferred content marketing to ads.
  • 90% currently use content marketing and are already spending 25% of their marketing budget on it.
Tactics are used to disseminate this valuable content to a target audience include:
  • Social media
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Personal appearances as a speaker
  • Webinars
  • Informational videos and more

Content Requires Integration

An integrated approach is vital to leveraging this content to optimize the effectiveness of the messages delivered. You still need to drive your target audience of prospects and customers to this valuable content or deliver it to them in some manner.
Some integrated marketing tactics that people have found effective include:
  • SEO
  • Direct mail
  • Outdoor advertising
  • QR codes

Once a relationship has been established the content you produce is often sought out by the information’s recipient, just as people religiously follow blogs, Twitter, and Google Plus. By adding content marketing to your integrated marketing plan for a segmented audience,  your sales could increase.

7 Ways to Balance Message and Metrics

Marketing Holistics focuses on every element which contributes to a successful marketing strategy. Consider this unique value proposition:

We have always believed that building a trusted, highly-recognized brand begins with providing high-quality products and services that make a notable difference in peoples’s lives. —Google Inc’s 2007 Form 10-K.

New Media And Marketing.com has 7 recommendations to use integrated marketing approach to establish a synergistic and effective marketing campaign:

1. ROM (Return on Message): Just getting the message to the masses is not enough. You need to know what they did as a result of your message. Know what you are trying to cause and measure it.

2. Move from Message to Conversation:  The message is important, but you should also leverage the power of the Internet to not repeat the same message over and over again. Initiate a conversation to guide consumers down the path to conversion through integrated marketing push and pull – listening and talking.

3. Don’t Rely on Focus Groups: Don’t assume that because messages tested well in focus groups they are going to actually lead to new customers.   Consumers see too many messages and they don’t believe 75% of them. Test and measure to confirm that your message is having an actual impact.

4. Solve consumers’ problems or show them how your product can make them feel better about themselves or the stress in their lives:  People buy Haagen Dazs to indulge themselves not because of the label or packaging. People by financial products because of the security they provide.

5. Create a Symphony of Touchpoints: Integrated marketing means that every brand touchpoint, from your HR department to POP displays, have to work together like a finely tuned engine to bring consumers into the brand.  By hitting consumers at various touchpoints, you intensify desire and consideration. An example: Despite having shopping lists, a vast majority of women still report being swayed by POP displays in stores. Creating a synergy of consistent and relevant touchpoints

The message is important, but the recession has changed consumer behavior and attitudes towards brands and big businesses, and the message can no longer stand on its own.

If you can’t connect your message to conversion you’re wasting money and time.  Social media conversations alone don’t pay your bills or salary. It is more important than ever to do “metrics marketing” but to strike the right balance, integrate your marketing

Snap! principle of balancing message with metrics:

Integrated Marketing approach helps you strike the right balance between message and metrics.