An integrated marketing plan is the holy grail of just about any business and the goal of every marketing professional. Just what is such a plan, and how is it put together? Essentially, it is a comprehensive strategy in terms of marketing that incorporates the best of online and offline media, making them reinforce each other as much as possible. Integrated marketing frequently—and commendably—puts a company’s website as the central focus of the broader marketing plan, with most if not all marketing material explicitly mentioning and promoting the website. Here we’ll go over some ideas for putting together an effective integrated marketing plan without going deeply into the details.
The internet is the new Nirvana for marketing campaigns, not only because of the broad dissemination online material experiences, but because of the extremely low costs associated with most online marketing work. In fact, the single most expensive aspect of creating an online presence for your company and product is designing your website. That in itself can be pricey if you use glitzy templates and hire pricey pros; but it does not need to be. Beyond that, most online marketing work is very affordable and promises to bring good returns on investment if implemented properly.
Staying within your budget is important, and it doesn’t have to be overly complicated when you develop an intelligent integrated marketing plan. One idea that is really worth considering is outsourcing a good chunk of the more tedious, less strategic marketing work you may have. Outsourcing like this can reduce costs drastically, and will leave you funds to put into other fronts of your broader plan. Another idea is to narrow down your target audience as much as possible: marketing to half the country is costly and difficult, whereas marketing to a niche is cheaper and more effective, as you will be able to make your message heard more often. And, as statistics show, your message has to be heard somewhere between six and eight times for the average person to be convinced of the worthiness of your brand and product.
In keeping with the idea of staying within your budget, try to make your offline marketing material more or less a “teaser” version of the full-shebang available on your site. To elaborate a bit on the idea, try to keep print or radio/TV spots short and sweet, provoking people into visiting your website. There, you can add all the testimonials, market analysis reports, and page long descriptions you want, on a cheap platform.
The blog is one of the most important components of an integrated marketing plan, as it can enormously increase the popularity and awareness of your site. A blog is a perfect place to put a personal face on your business operation, and it is the perfect venue for interacting with your customer base—through comments and queries on your entries. Furthermore, blogs are the perfect complement to a SEO marketing strategy, as blogs pull in traffic from search engines much more effectively than do ordinary sites.