As a busy entrepreneur, you have been conditioned to consume an overwhelming amount of information by feverishly scrolling and swiping your way through hundreds of brief news updates and 140-character industry tidbits, so reading actual books from cover to cover has become somewhat of a luxury that many of us can only fit into our […]
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Let's face it; integrated marketing is not a new concept. However, the meaning of integrated marketing seems to be ever changing. While many companies more or less k
Fortunately, with a little bit of effort and a better understanding it's actually not that hard to create an integrated marketing strategy and reap the benefits of this age-old idea. As the web continues to change, the sooner you can get started, the better.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
There are really two different ways to look at integrated marketing, both of which are significant in their own right.
First, integrated marketing is all about meshing the different departments and aspects of a business together to create something significant (whatever that may be) for a company. I once explained here that it's one of those "the whole benefits the individual" type of mentalities, and that still holds true today.
Second, integrated marketing can be seen as a way to keep consistent brand messaging across traditional and non-traditional marketing channels. This means everything from ads in a newspaper, to local pages online, to videos uploaded to YouTube. Anything and everything needs to be consistent and connected, or integrated, within that same solid message.
In other words, integrated marketing is both about the people and the jobs in a company as well as the messages you are putting out to the public. Everyone needs to be integrated with one another, and everything needs to be integrated with everything else regarding your brand.
How Integrated Marketing Has Changed Over the Years
Part of understanding integrated marketing is not only realizing what it is, but what actually makes it what it is. In the introduction I talked about how integrated marketing has changed over the years. It's not necessarily that the what has changed so much as the how. To put it simply, integrated marketing has always been the idea that different marketing channels and aspects worked together for a common goal, but those marketing channels and aspects have changed.
Years ago this concept applied typically to public relations, advertisers, and customer service. Now we have different online channels to think about including social media, mobile shopping and apps, reviews, images and video, and much more. All of this in addition to the older and more traditional roles of marketing has made integrated marketing more complicated and hard to implement. Its not that the idea has changed, just the way you need to go about it.
So of course the next question is simple: How do you actually make sure you're practicing integrated marketing with your business?
5 Step Integrated Marketing Plan
There are a few different steps you can take to start implementing an integrated marketing strategy that will really last:
- Set business goals and create a targeted message. This is first and foremost. You have to integrate your staff and your messages into something that is solid, and that needs to be your message (in fact, having business goals set from the start is essentially for just about anything you're trying to do in a company).
- Communicate with staff. Educate your staff on integrated marketing and on your business goals and message.
- Create a plan. Your advertising should build on your content strategy, your SEO should help drive your email marketing, your PPC campaigns should help drive conversion testing, your customer service should lean on the content you just published, etc. Figure out how each department can really work together and make that clear. The possibilities here are endless.
- Hold weekly meetings between different departments. Make sure your departments are meeting with each other regularly and understand the overall plan for each to work together. When they meet, there should be an agenda.
- Manage performance. Your analytics should help you see the impact of integration, so pay close attention so you can see where your company may need more work.
So how is integrated marketing different than branding? You might have realized that many of the lessons of this mentality are very similar to when people use the word branding. On a basic level they can mean the same thing and you will still see success. If you want to dig deeper into it, branding refers more to the message you're putting out to the public as opposed to how you're going to make sure that the message is consistent.
Creator of Duct Tap Marketing John Jantsch called this "Clarity" in one of his articles, and explained that a company that really gets it starts with a simple unified strategy. He said:
Clarity goes beyond some of the traditional definitions of marketing strategy as it suggests that an organization understand the one thing above all that they want to be known as and they use that as the filter for everything they do.
He went on to say that oftentimes this underlying message has nothing to do with your specific product or service, but rather rests on things like purpose and community. I couldnt have said it better myself; I feel that this sums up integrated marketing perfectly. Take this message with you and talk with your company to create something that will last amidst all of the changes that will continue to come with marketing options.
Has your company created a solid integrated marketing mentality? Let us know what you think about the concept and your personal stories in the comment section below.
Post from: Search Engine People SEO BlogHow to Put an Integrated Marketing Plan Into Action
Written by Amanda DiSilvestro, Higher Visibility blog
The post How to Put an Integrated Marketing Plan Into Action appeared first on Search Engine People Blog.
IBM recently added Silverpop to its portfolio of marketing assets. This is another sign that marketing automation and mass personalization has become a crucial part of today's marketing arsenal.
Recently I had the chance to demo Silverpop Engage and inevitably, I found myself comparing it to Hubspot, which I've been primarily using thi
Silverpop has visual, drag and drop workflows (similar to Eloqua). The capability is quite extensive and it's flexible in developing very specific and custom workflows (more so than Hubspot).
A neat feature of Silverpop's workflows is that you can add a step to send direct mail. This step will automatically email instructions to a printer to print a customized mailing label for a contact in the database. I assumed (before I did some research), that direct mail was a mostly dead marketing tactic. Blame Generation Y thinking here, but it turns out this feature may be in use for a little while yet. According to this Huffington Post article: "A study done by the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate for direct mail to an existing customer averages 3.4 percent, compared to 0.12 percent for email."
As I mentioned in my previous post on Eloqua vs. Hubspot, Hubspot workflows consist of a list of steps, a trigger, and a goal, which I find is not the most intuitive way to plan out a campaign.
Silverpop emails have a send time optimization feature. Based on a history of user opens, emails will be sent at a time the contact is most likely to open them. This is a great feature (and lacking in Hubspot) since I find there's a constant debate over the best time to send out an email blast (there really isn't ONE good time).
Hubspot has a built-in email testing feature (powered by Litmus) which provides you with the ability to preview an email on multiple devices before sending it. There is a similar paid add-on in Silverpop, but I do think that by now this should be a built-in feature since responsive design and optimizing for mobile are more important than ever.
Reporting & Dashboards
Based on the Silverpop demo of their reporting feature, it seems that the capabilities are about the same as Hubspot but the Silverpop UI is extremely dated. I found that reports are not as visually appealing in Silverpop as they are in Hubspot, nor did the interface seem as user friendly.
Silverpop also allows you to alter widgets on the home screen for a look at stats at a glance. You can add widgets to view scheduled emails, top forms, and top sources. This is a bit more detailed than Hubspot's dashboard, which does not have as many options for personalization and is more focused on visits, leads and customers.
I found that Silverpop offers more extensive email and landing page A/B testing. You can create up to four test versions simultaneously vs Hubspot's two. This type of multivariate testing is great for testing numerous elements simultaneously but requires a lot more traffic to produce statistically significant results.
Silverpop queries allow for a very granular level of segmentation. For example, you can segment all the contacts who clicked on a specific link within a specific email. Hubspot's segmentation abilities cover most cases but are definitely not as specific.
Silverpop allows you to send text messages. Hubspot doesn't do this, but I don't feel that this is a crucial feature.
Silverpop doesn't have a blogging tool. Hubspot on the other hand provides a platform that puts every aspect of your marketing in one place (including a blogging tool).
Silverpop automatically adds your preferred device as a field into the contact database (based on common devices you've used to access emails). You can then segment your contacts based on that field. I see this being useful in a situation where you wanted to perhaps encourage the use of mobile with specific offers or rewards.
UI & Usability
This is my biggest complaint when it comes to Silverpop. The interface just reminds me a lot of Eloqua 9. I find the Silverpop UI to be very dated and it's definitely not as intuitive as Hubspot from a usability standpoint.
In my opinion, Silverpop is very similar to Hubspot in terms of its capabilities, aside from a few minor nice-to-have features. A major flaw in my opinion is the UI and usability of Silverpop – I think that a visual, modern UI is something we all expect from any software, especially one aimed at marketers.
If you've used both platforms, let us know which you prefer in the comments below.
- Compare Hubspot vs. Eloqua
Post from: Search Engine People SEO BlogHubspot vs Silverpop: Battle of the Marketing Automation Systems
Written by Sumayya Sattar,
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