The Benefits of Integrated Marketing Planning
February 13, 2023
We all know prospective customers need multiple exposures to a brand or product before they consider buying. Exactly how many exposures is up for debate and depends on many variables.
To ensure you’re targeting the right audience with these exposures – and that your message is hitting the mark – you need a Strategic Marketing Plan. This allows you to detail the process used to sell products and services and ensures customers are satisfied.
An Integrated (cross-channel) Marketing Plan complements the strategic plan and details the channels, tools, timing, budgets and approaches used to communicate a consistent message across all platforms. Even if your project has a short timeframe, you’ll still benefit from mapping out the strategy so nothing is overlooked.
There are a lot of touches to keep track of, and a clear and cohesive strategy allows you to make the most of each opportunity and guides you in promoting your product or service to the right person, at the right time, using the right media.
In return, you’ll have confidence knowing that your marketing messages are synched across all channels and that your value propositions are aligned for each audience segment. This can get tricky if you have multiple audience segments and value propositions that need to be highlighted independently. For example:
Product A has appeal to many audience segments.
- Age 50+ likes it because it’s affordable and easy to use
- Age 35-49 likes it because it’s economical and reusable
- Age 22-34 likes it because it’s sustainable and offers a low carbon footprint
Instead of one campaign featuring a generic message, your Integrated Marketing Plan can reduce the complexity of coordinating unique value propositions to different audience segments – putting emphasis on the channels that are best suited for each.
The spreadsheet below illustrates what a three-month product might look like. Your executive team will also appreciate knowing the projected monthly spend. And this piece can plug directly into your company’s larger Strategic Marketing Plan.
To start, gather the following information:
- Target audience segment/demographics/psychographics
- Geographic reach
- Duration of campaign
- Key messages and call to action
- Target conversion goals
Once you have these details in front of you, you evaluate channels to determine which will be most effective in driving leads. Media channels can be divided into several categories such as print, broadcast, digital, social and out-of-home (billboards, sponsorships, trade shows). The media channels you choose for your Integrated Marketing Plan depend on your ultimate goals.
For example, if you’re an established B2C business entering a new market and need to generate wide consumer brand awareness, you’ll choose broader channels and higher frequency than an established B2B company with a very narrow target audience.
- A B2C company will probably choose TV/OTT, radio, social and chat.
- A B2B company will probably choose email, direct mail, trade shows, sponsorships and chat.
When you’re considering your targeting, make sure you’re being selective. You don’t need to reach every consumer or every manager in every company, so be very specific when defining who you need to reach. Then invest in your budget where it will touch the most qualified prospects and generate the most measurable results.
When each element is working together, your product or service will shine. And you’ll have the benefit of the highest possible return on your investment for your marketing dollars.