As long ago as 1989, the American Association of Advertising Agencies defined an integrated marketing campaign as “an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other. A comprehensive communications plan combines the strategic roles of advertising, public relations and sales promotions to provide clarity, consistency, and increased impact.” Basically, integration is the application of consistent brand messaging across both traditional and nontraditional marketing channels.
Inbound Marketing: Making Integrated Marketing Easier
While social media and online marketing channels have provided opportunities to expand the definition of non-traditional marketing, the real breakthrough in effective integration has been the development of computer based, technology driven Inbound Marketing platforms. Giving new meaning to CRM, these platforms not only make consistent communication across channels easier, but provide critical reporting and measurement features in real-time to exponentially increase the effectiveness of campaigns.
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Google's recent Hummingbird algorithm and the arrival of KitKat are forcing agencies and brands to stretch their search marketing minds and strategies even further - for the better. More focus on meaningful content and mobile engagement with content translates into a need for longer-term SEO and content marketing commitments. It is clear the days of quick wins and overnight successes in SEO are indeed an era that is well behind us.
In a previous blog post, Time for a New Definition of SEO, many readers commented with their own insights and opinions about the requirement for a new definition of SEO. The following concept seems to be prevalent:
“SEO is the long-term process of enhancing a brand’s opportunity for discoverability in search and social, throughout the prospect’s buying cycle and across any device.”
Understanding searcher behavior by channel, intent by geography, and engagement by content asset throughout the buying cycle is key to a brand’s web presence reputation.
Mobile Usage is Forcing a Shift of Search Strategies
It is projected that the number of mobile devices on this planet will surpass the population of the world in the very near future. As it stands, according to data available on Wikipedia, there are 6.8 billion mobile... Read more
Affiliate programs are getting a new look as top brands witness the impact a successfully managed affiliate program can have on customer acquisition. Despite its checkered past, the affiliate marketing industry is starting to turn the corner on reducing fraud and increasing transparency. However most companies still do not have the right experience in house to manage a high quality affiliate program and many often turn to outside agencies for assistance.
Like any outsourced relationship, it’s important for merchants seeking to outsource their affiliate management to clearly outline the scope of work, particularly deliverables, metrics, tactical and strategic goals. It’s also critical to ask the right questions when screening and interviewing firms. Here are six questions that can help merchants determine if the firm they are considering has the staff, talent and best practices to create a strong, growing and profitable program.
1. What is your program to staff ratio? This is the age-old quality vs. quantity balancing act, but it surprises merchants to learn that some affiliate management agencies expect their account managers to successfully run 10-15 programs at once. Merchants that are truly committed to the success of their affiliate programs should look for a ratio no higher than 3:1.... Read more
If you’re a marketer, you hear the term customer experience a lot. It’s a convenient catch phrase for all the experiences that a consumer has with a brand from awareness to advocacy and it’s the product of user experience design (UX) work, which focuses on creating superior customer experiences.
While many people intuitively understand that customer experience is pretty important, however, they don’t always see the value of user experience design. Value is the keyword here because at some point you are probably going to have to justify an investment in UX.
For example, the ROI (return on investment) of the user experience for a website has been a comparatively easy to figure out in the digital world. You can value and compare the conversion rate before you redesign a website using UX and also afterwards. Improvements in simplicity and relevance invariably deliver better results, which can be easily measured. The calculation gets harder when a brand has to consider investing in a unified customer experience strategy and execution, however.
Since people hop from channel to channel so quickly and frequently today, a brand can’t have a good experience in one place and a lousy experience in another, especially when all it takes... Read more