22 December 2011 - 9:13What is Integrated Marketing
By Bob Grant
Integrated marketing is a strategic business process to bring all forms of communication together into one concise campaign. Advertising, sales, direct marketing, interactive, and digital marketing, etc. All work together in a cohesive approach for a united goal. It includes planning, execution, and a means for measuring the results of the campaign or corporate branding.
A very important first step of any integrated marketing strategy is the situation analysis. Situation analysis researches the potential of the industry and markets. Starting within the company, determine your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Situation analysis takes into account the market environment and any foreseeable trends in the market such as size and potential for growth to which the company is positioning itself. Budgets, strategies, objectives are all part of the evaluation process.
Evaluating the major competitors, the market share and the comparison of the products are part of this strategy. Finding out a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, their market shares and sales trends help to inform a company’s position in the market.
Researching the needs and behaviors of the target audience is also part of the situation analysis. Who are you targeting and what is their buyer persona? How will your company reach this target audience? Survey customers, and research the media to understand how to reach each type of buyer persona and to create specific brand messages that influence them to make a buying decision. In today’s B2B market, the media is more expansive. You need to reach online and offline trade publications including bloggers who talk about your market or your prospects market, and online B2B directories, social media networks; etc.
First and foremost in order for your integrated marketing communications to be effective you need develop a solid brand strategy on which your integrated marketing communications plan can be built.