Eight Steps to a Successful Integrated Marketing Program
Learn how to integrate new marketing programs into your company so they succeed
You have a new product that is ready to launch, a new service, a new ad campaign, or a new website…at what point do you promote it internally? Do you make the effort to inform employees in your organization of your marketing efforts? What is the purpose of this internal communication? Is it to get people excited, or to make your marketing program a success?
Integrated marketing is the process of including the entire organization in the marketing effort from inception, through launch, and follow-up. Over communicate the plan once it is complete, but more importantly, include other departments in your planning process so that the implementation will be a success. Understand their needs and concerns and let them be part of the process.
Here are Eight Steps to a Successful Integrated Marketing Program:
Step One: Define the value your new project will bring to your customers vs. what is currently offered by your company and by your competition. Be sure to document this in great detail because you will use it to communicate your internal marketing strategy. You need to bring your organization together by teaching them about the perceived value, so in turn, they can be a part of making it real.
Step Two: Meet individually with each department in your company to map out the customer experience, as it exists today vs. what it needs to be once you launch. Be VERY specific starting with a customer need, their first phone call or visit, each step of the purchase or service performed, how orders are placed, how it is produced, who touches the product or order in your company, packaging, shipping, lead-times, time required for each step…the full service/purchase experience.
Step Three: Create a visual presentation that takes employees through the logic of step one and step two of this process. Present it to all managers and supervisors in your organization at the same time. Have them ask questions and become well versed on the process. Arm them with a presentation to take to their employees and set objectives for the message to be spread. For those managers uncomfortable with the process, offer to present to their employees along with them.
Step Four: Each department manager/supervisor should come up with his or her own implementation plan to hold their group accountable for the marketing program. Developing short-term or year-end bonus objectives linked to the success of the product/service launch is a great way to support this.
Step Five: A pre-launch customer experience check should take place; the process flow should be timed and documented. Making a video of the process is a good option so you can share the footage as a training tool for best practice learning. In this step you become the customer. Make the phone call, monitor the response, follow the internal process. Make any corrections or improvements during this step.
Step Six: A countdown should be publicized internally via a newsletter, email, or bulletin posting…or all of the above. This builds up the excitement and team atmosphere in your organization.
Step Seven: Launch, Monitor & Adjust.
Step Eight: Share Feedback with your entire organization on the results of the marketing launch, along with thanks to everyone for their efforts in its success. Make sure you create a messaging system for others in your company to report any feedback to you as well. Continue to monitor and adjust your process to ensure success.
Why is all of this important? Too often marketing efforts stay in marketing until the implementation stage, and fail when they go live. By including the entire company in the marketing effort from the beginning, ideas are better vetted, process flows start off working efficiently, and everyone takes ownership in making it a success.
Integrated marketing means your customer is not buying a product or service…instead, they are doing business with your entire company, building loyalty and profits.
After publishing this story a reader asked where sales plays a role in this process? It is a very good question and should be addressed. My assumption is that sales was part of the process from the beginning, establishing the market need and working hand in hand with marketing to develop the solution. Integrating the marketing effort, for the purpose of this story, is to align the rest of the organization to support the launch; making the sales and marketing effort real. Too often sales people are left to make promises they can’t keep because the rest of the organization does not back them. By marketing taking the lead to establish an integrated and supportive infrastructure, the sales team can do what they do best, build the business and not be held back by bureaucracy and confusion.
I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life. Test out these concepts and share your results with us. Others can benefit from your experiences. Good luck!
Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of ManagingAmericans.com
Lisa is a dynamic business leader & author located in Western New York with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she partners with business leaders to understand their vision, identify internal and external roadblocks, define a practical strategic path forward and guide a successful transformation. This work includes strategy definition & goal setting, organizational design, facilitating team buy-in, establishing visual metrics, internal and external research studies, business feasibility assessments, and investor insight into organizational strength, weakness & strategic opportunity. She helps business leaders drive growth & increase profits.
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