One of the most difficult aspects of integrated marketing strategies today is the ever-changing number of channels and outlets available. In social media alone, a new platform can spring up and become a major influence on people’s online behavior, changing the ways they get and share information. The proliferation and growth of these channels makes focusing on your target audience and getting that focus as narrow as possible a crucial first step in marketing to them.
But understanding the data and the demographic of an audience isn’t enough. It’s more important to figure out that audience’s behavior, specifically their content acquisition behavior. I look at where the audience gets its information, how they get it, when they get it and, most importantly, what they do with it afterward. Understanding this behavior in relation to a specific audience helps me determine what kind of content they’re most likely to respond to, where to place that content, when to place it, and how to present it.
In the changing landscape of marketing, a common mistake is to jump from goals to individual tactics. The sheer number of channels available can make this an overwhelming process where it’s easy to lose sight of the overall plan for a campaign. When I create a campaign, I want the goals to be clear and measurable, then I develop a strong, cross-channel strategy for achieving them. With an overall strategy in place, I can decide on the best tactics for reaching the targeted audience and change those tactics up as needed to get the desired results.
I also think it’s important not to view or operate a tactic on its own, but to think about them in terms of being linked to each other. People’s behavior involves going from channel to channel and getting information in different ways at different times. Tactics need to be linked to fit that behavior and to reach the audience in a variety of ways.
A well-known marketing truism says that consumers need to see a message seven different times before it sticks in their minds. I think today consumers need to see a message seven different ways before it has the desired impact.
Interested in some great training on integrated marketing or are you looking to improve your communications skills? Check out everything PRSA has to offer.