Integrated marketing offers a variety of new ways to reach consumers and clients. However, the changing marketing landscape has created substantial challenges to seeing return on investments. If it feels like you spent 2013 chasing a moving target you’re not alone. Many B2B and B2C companies struggle to implement a unified brand identity across multiple mediums, while others are just trying keep current efforts competitive and responsive.
To help you overcome some of the complexities of the ever-changing landscape AP42 has compiled 10 tips that will help B2B and B2C companies optimize their integrated marketing strategies for increased ROI. We’ve even created an infographic to help you strategize.
1. Define ROI
B2B and B2C companies struggle to see a return on investment for their integrated marketing efforts because they implement strategies before setting realistic, data driven objectives. Prior to diving in, determine whether you are trying to attract, convert, retain and/or engage customers. Inventory brand assets and weaknesses related to audience opportunities and determine where investments will make the biggest impact. Get specific with objectives that signify ROI:
Objective 1: Increase brand visibility in _________ market within _________ age bracket by _____% for your product in 2014.
Objectives should have measurement criteria in place to assess how both objectives will be met.
Objective 2: Achieve ____% increase in sales of your product based on previous year.
2. Build Your Audience Organically
Integrated marketing doesn’t work if you don’t have an engaged audience. Resist the temptation to pay for Fans or Followers and invest in integrating networks from various communication and advertising channels, departments and events. Unifying fragmented parts of your network creates a quality, engaged audience that sets the stage for critical sales and conversion funnels.
3. Target Using Social Ads
Facebook and Twitter’s simplified ad offerings and amplified targeting capabilities are proving to be game changers in lead generation and sales. Facebook allows advertisers to target customers by interests or by the Pages they’ve liked. Advertisers can even target current customers, users similar to customers or visitors to a website. On Twitter advertisers can collect names and emails of potential leads or mailing list subscribers. Both Facebook and Twitter offer conversion tracking, allowing for greater social media advertising ROI clarity.
4. Talk About the Client/Customer
Nothing sells a product or service more than potential customers or clients seeing the positive results from a third party. Every company has the ability to make the conversation about their client/customer through experiential advertising, social media, customer service and PR.
5. Add Value
If your company must self promote, make sure it adds value. Value requires authenticity and relevance. Don’t be afraid to connect on a human level; explore successes, challenges, inspirations and utter failures. Start small and see what happens when you turn a shallow shout out into need-to-know product feedback.
6. Word of Mouth
Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful form of influence. It just so happens it works best and travels fastest digitally. Leverage social networks, advertising and product to capture word-of-mouth buzz once it starts to swell. An Instagram account for product reviews is an easy way to tap into the magic happening around your brand that you won’t want to miss.
7. Diversify Social Media
We’re not suggesting your brand should be on every social site but your company should invest in a social presence where your audience is. Even if you’re painfully late to setting up a presence, do it if your demographics are there. Pinterest alone drives more traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined, making the reward well worth the work. Compare usage trends with the comprehensive research from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s data on social media demographics to pinpoint where your social audience is and optimize for it. And when we say optimize we mean optimize the experience with the audience needs and wants.
8. Invest in Creative
We can’t stress this enough. B2C and B2B companies are missing the opportunity to connect with customers aesthetically, especially since we’re a visual society. When making this investment, think outside the box. Transform reports into viral infographics or photo essays (with numbers, of course). Or experiment with smartphone video editing app like PicFrame ($0.99 on iTunes) to create a collage of your marketing team in action.
9. Social Customization
Once you’ve invested in creative, customizing your Page on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter will seem like the next logical step in integration. Customizing a social page capitalizes on an opportunity to influence decisions and drive behavior across communication channels. Take advantage of cover photos to unify calls-to-actions, publicize launches, promote Fan-only content and produce new leads.
10. Evolve with Consumption
Be mindful of how people consume content and how content travels beyond screens, across social media and throughout culture. Once that becomes the primary context for how you view integrated marketing strategies, all of the previous steps should fall into place.