Is It Time To Revise Your Integrated Marketing Plan?
As the calendar turns it is always wise to look back at the past year and compare your business plan and goals to your actualized success. As a top web development company we feel this is also the perfect time to revise your integrated marketing plan. A new year means new opportunities with no time to waste!
Why should you revise your plan?
One proven fact of business is that having a written plan leads to success. Statistics have shown that taking the time to formulate and write down a business plan and marketing strategy equals greater long term success, partially because that written plan ends up having more thought behind it and partially because once it is written out you have blueprints to follow.
However no plan is eternally perfect. Things change from business goals and business direction to technology and more which means the smart business is one that not only crafts an initial plan, such as an integrated marketing plan, but then revises it regularly to ensure it focuses on current business needs and will be effective.
With a marketing plan some of the common items to review are:
Objectives – Any marketing plan needs to have straightforward goals and objectives. These change over time as there are many variables related to your business that can change. Since there is no end-all-be-all integrated marketing plan you need to make sure your objectives are following the SMART standards (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant or time bound) while also meeting the current business objectives.
Unmapped Messaging – Marketing plans that use multiple channels or platforms tend to stray from the primary message over time. In some ways this is a result of growth and development which is okay as long as you periodically remember to rein things in to focus on the current message as consistency is a key in multi-channel marketing.
Tips for Creating or Revising a Successful Marketing Plan
- Focus on the Target Audience – In order to develop a message that resonates with your audience first you need to identify with your audience from multiple aspects which includes attitudes, interests, demographic and behavior. This allows proper framing of messages and awareness of which channels most effectively reach them. What are your customer’s motivations? How do they like to get information? What do they read? Where do they read it and then what do they like to start conversations about or share.
- Channel Selection – You need to consider which channels your customers are using along with the strengths and weaknesses of that channel in regards to the message you are sending. It makes little sense to just pick a channel due to popularity rather than considering if the channel has the ability to meet your actual business objectives. Take the time to concentrate on the most effective channels rather than using all of them just to be on all of them.
- Consistency – Consistency on multiple levels is an important aspect of an integrated marketing plan. It is a combination of your logo, colors, graphics and even the typography that is used. You want people to look at an e-mail, a Facebook post, or a blog on your website and quickly recognize who it is from. For content, you need to develop items that can be used on multiple channels and that content needs to be clear, compelling and consistent in messaging.
- Work Together – For some companies there is one person that spearheads a campaign, for others there might be teams or individuals with different aspects of coverage. No matter how you do business, everyone involved needs to be working together and on the same page to deliver a consistent campaign that meets your brand standard.
- Make Your Messaging Integrated – Each campaign should have an ultimate target goal, for example increasing purchases or newsletter subscriptions. Whatever that ultimate goal is, each element of the campaign needs to do its part to drive traffic towards that goal. The reason for using integrated messaging in a marketing plan is to ensure that each platform is using the right keywords and phrases along with providing a consistent message that all works together towards that ultimate goal.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the New Year is a great time to revise your integrated marketing plan. Integrated plans can take advantage of multiple mediums from print to social media all to help deliver your message to your target audience, but no plan lasts forever. That is why top businesses regularly review and revise plans to ensure they are focused and effective.
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