Anyone who has ever waited with anticipation to see what rewards appear at the bottom of their drugstore receipt knows firsthand the simple beauty of an integrated marketing management program. Was it a $5 discount coupon for your next visit, or $1 off your favorite mouthwash? Either way, the customer experience was enhanced, and chances are you left the checkout aisle feeling more connected to the store, as though the people there know a little something about what you like and what you need.
Every company should be interested in building those kinds of customized relationships with customers, and thanks to today’s technology, marketers now have countless ways to understand (and respond to) the consumer: her needs, shopping habits, preferences, maybe even the ages and birthdates of her children. The challenge moving forward is to create an Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) approach to combine the best of both worlds: an enhanced experience for customers and prospects, plus improved marketing efficiency and accountability.
How can you establish the right balance and use all the marketing arrows in your quiver?
First off, you must realize the consumer is in control. Consumers today expect a more relevant brand experience, and even though digital channels are proliferating like never before, you need to know how best to reach your customers and prospects. One segment may open your direct mail. Perhaps others prefer to respond through digital channels such as email, mobile coupons, Tweets, or pins on Pinterest.
Recent advances in marketing automation means there are plenty of ways to capture information on channel preferences, levels of engagement and buying behaviors. Then, Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) helps you extract the most relevant information from the big data pool and analyze it scientifically. An effective IMM solution empowers you with metrics and benchmarks that form the basis for any modern marketing program. They can tell you what you are doing right and where to make changes if results are less than optimal.
In addition, IMM improves collaboration, helping to ensure all internal stakeholders are on the same page, along with external service providers (print shops, ad agencies, etc.).
In short, the goal of marketing is now to give customers and prospects what they want, when they want it. Offers must be timely, messages must be relevant, channels must be integrated and all personalization must be based on behavioral or buying history gleaned from data.
Let me illustrate my point by using three stages to describe how IMM can be used to tie together analytics, creative development and campaign execution to create a valuable customer experience.
I. Marketing Analysis Phase
Here’s where you analyze every data point so you can better understand customer behavior and:
- What was purchased and when
- What channel was used
- Were incentives a factor
- How much was the discount
- What items were purchased together
- How purchaser behavior can influence recommendations to others
- Store placement, demographics, geography
II. Planning and Operational Phase
Once you have analyzed customer data, you can plan your next campaign. IMM will help you determine:
- The number of campaigns for the year
- The best formats: email, direct mail, mobile or a combination
- Optimal channels
- Segments to be targeted
- Budget, graphics, agency involvement
- Role of social media in the mix
III. Execution Phase
In this final phase, you are ready to reach out to your customer. IMM can help you plan what integrated automation tools you’ll want to use. This will help you:
- Deliver personalized messages and relevant offers.
- Assure timely delivery so you don’t miss holiday sales or special offers.
- Track responses to measure success or redirect an under-performing campaign.
- Allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of a customer and continue to build that relationship.
The Next Step
In marketing today, the more automated and coordinated your approach, the better chance you have for engaging your customer—and making the sale. By coordinating analytics, planning and execution with an IMM solution, you know that every marketing move you make can be defended and analyzed, which ultimately, satisfies the customer, the C-suite and your bottom line.
To learn more about how forward-thinking companies – such as Aprimo customer International Speedway Corporation – are using IMM, check out the full white paper on our website.