When developing a marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand how different channels and tactics work in concert to create an outcome greater than the whole of the individual parts.
The philosopher Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” What did he mean by that? Well, think of how much a house would sell for if it were sold individually by each screw, nail, window and 2-by-4. It would sell for a considerable amount less than if you were to sell the completed house.
Developing a marketing strategy is a lot like building a house. You need a strong foundational understanding of your company’s identity, your product or service and most importantly your customer. You need a dedicated team of people with individual talents that work together efficiently to develop and implement the disparate tactics. When you have an integrated strategy and your teams work together to implement it, the parts connect to form something much more valuable than if they were individually in silos.
There are numerous tactics under the umbrella of marketing, from brand strategy and messaging to search engine optimization, social media, print media, exhibitor booths, TV, radio, newspaper, podcasts, email marketing and content marketing. The list goes on.
According to Google, consumers, on average, consult more than 10 sources prior to making a purchase. The larger the purchase, the more research they do and the longer the buying process. This prolonged process gives you an opportunity to stay in front of the consumer across multiple channels. From the consumer’s initial interest to their final decision, you can position yourself to provide value and answer their questions.
Sadly, most businesses don’t have a cohesive strategy. When they do have a strategy, their teams may not be working as a connected whole. Your social team doesn’t understand how it affects the search team. Your content writers don’t understand the importance of optimizing content for search engines. Your radio ad has no tie in with your web and call-tracking analytics. It’s like pouring water through a funnel with a bunch of holes in it. Some customers are streaming in, but many are leaking through the cracks. It’s not as efficient or effective as it could be.
Make sure you know how the different channels work together to provide exponential value. When implementing this strategy, make sure you take the same approach with your staff. They need to work in conjunction toward a common goal. Encourage communication and collaboration so your team you can achieve the best possible outcome.
You will want to start by making sure you truly understand your ideal customer, their behaviors and buying process. Identify which channels your customers use in each part of the process and understand what the potential return on investment is from each channel.
To increase the effectiveness of your marketing, you need an integrated strategy. If you’re an established company, consider hiring a marketing agency that specializes in guiding you through the process. If you’re just getting started, you may not have the budget to hire an expert. You can do a lot on your own. We offer some great, free resources for download on our website. Visit our website to download them. They’ll show you how to create an ideal customer profile, introduce you to search engine optimization and help you succeed with a social media strategy.
Kevin Getch is the founder and director of digital strategy for Webfor.