Take a holistic view of integrated planning. Whether you manage marketing for a major corporation or for your own small business, step back periodically and look at the big picture. Once your marketing objectives have been determined, assess your resources, and determine how you will go to market. This is your opportunity to design integration, efficiency, leverage, and, therefore, power, into your marketing effort.
Most campaigns need certain core elements such as those outlined below. The tendency is to plan and build these unique projects to address specific needs independently. There is great opportunity, however, in looking to connect these efforts. Try to concept some over-arching themes that will help you weave these elements together.
- Broad awareness and image maintenance
- Ongoing and week to week updates and promotion
- Distribution or trade or retail network support
- Promotion or sales incentives
- Community support
In developing detailed strategy and execution, you will need to choose communications elements to impact your key audiences with these programs, including the choice of marketing platform and media. This is a critical phase in the process. You must take a fresh and unique look at this marketing mix—and make you are not driven by mirroring what has been done in the past, what the accepted and usual techniques in your industry are, or what others want to see. Again, this is your opportunity to innovate and make a difference. Dare to be bold and different in your thinking.
Think of your marketing effort like a spider’s web. The more points of intersection, connected elements, and surface area you create, the more effective you will be at connecting and engaging the target. And just as the spider’s web has a beautifully organized and strong unique master design, your plan should, too.
While there is a seemingly endless matrix of rationale for choosing the palate of marketing platform and media, some broad directional considerations will help in the determination of those building blocks. To that end (and after a great deal of trial and error regarding the best way to communicate this), we have prepared the following spreadsheet to assist you in your planning efforts.
You can benefit from this content by either reviewing and selecting the marketing benefit that you wish to derive, or by choosing the marketing element and cross checking its key benefits, constraints, and relative cost. Companies with tight budgets may need to confine themselves to less-expensive tactics. Lastly, we’ve included some food for thought—starting points for the connection of integrated tactics.
(Click on the images to enlarge them!)