Marketing is a lot like football. It is not a solitary pursuit.
Marketers know that the best results and the best ROI is to create integrated programs. Integrated marketing programs are specifically designed to ensure that messaging is unified across all online and offline channels and are strategically focused on creating a seamless experience for customers and prospects when they interact with the brand.
By integrating a mix of tactics that include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, content marketing, digital, events, and social media, the program works as a unified force to bring in the best results.
Many companies have a difficult time putting all the pieces together to create what we would call a rolling thunder campaign – an integrated program that creates a “surround sound effect” over a specified period of time that entices prospects to engage with your company.
It is not easy. As the saying goes…it takes a village. It takes a village operating like a closely-knit team. Let us take a closer look.
Lesson 1 - Know Thy Team
The coach puts together the team, spearheads the strategy, and determines the desired outcomes of the program while the quarterback manages the day-to-day operations of the program.
If someone asked you who is on your marketing team, what would you reply?
Would you look at the org chart and name the players? Would you include your agencies, freelancers and vendors as part of that team? How about your channel sales partners or distributed marketers located in other geographic areas?
"To be successful at integrated marketing, you need to view your entire marketing ecosystem as your marketing team."
Each member plays a role in your campaign’s success, whether it be in the planning, sourcing or in the execution. Every entity needs to understand their role, their deliverables, and the expected outcomes of the program.
A great coach will spend a good deal of time communicating to and among all the team players.
Lesson 2 - Have a Playbook
The desired outcome dictates your strategy; this is true in any game or competition. But the tactics differ depending on your market environment, competition, and desired outcome.
In football, the playbook is practically the bible for the team. It is a way to coordinate players in a fast paced, high-intensity game. In marketing, the playbook documents the strategy, KPIs, as well as the tactics that will be used to achieve the desired outcome.
"Having a well-documented playbook helps you garner internal buy-in for the program as well as helps you communicate with your extended team. It puts everyone on the same page."
Lesson 3 - Use the Huddle
Depending on the program, you may need to meet with your team daily, weekly, or monthly to track progress.
"The huddle provides ongoing clarity and progress for the team as the campaign rolls-out."
Each team player can learn firsthand of the ongoing challenges and micro-successes during the program. It gives the quarterback the opportunity to tweak the tactics. If something is working well, add more resources and alternatively if something is not working, then re-deploy the resources.
Lesson 4– Measure Everything
"As with any team sport, the statistics tell their own story."
Measuring and analyzing the performance of your campaigns and initiatives is fundamental to good marketing; it lets you know what is happening during the program, calibrate how you’re doing, learn what works and what doesn’t, and optimize your efforts for maximum impact.