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Gini Dietrich

Four Step Process to Create an Integrated Marketing Campaign

By: Gini Dietrich | June 13, 2012 | 
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I’ve been reflecting recently on the changes that have happened to the public relations industry in the past few years.

We’ve seen more technological advances in the past five years than we’ve seen in the last 50 combined. It used to be all we had to worry about was advertising, public relations, and direct marketing. Then we added websites and email marketing.

Now we’re told our websites are about our customers, not about us, so the content has to be revised. Websites can’t tell our story, but we can use the Facebook Timeline for that purpose. It’s OK to be self-serving there, as long as we’re also engaging and providing valuable content.

Then we have to figure out Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Path, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, content, search engine optimization, inbound marketing, infographics, webinars, videos, email, search engine marketing, gamification, mobile marketing, oh my!

And, of course, in this “new economy,” we’re all doing more with less.

It’s no wonder we have no idea how to integrate the marketing disciplines, what to measure, or when to use which tools (or if at all).

Looking at everything available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Where do you start? How will you staff? Where do you get the resources? What should you include? How will you measure it all?

The answer is: Not all at once.

Just like we do as we grow up, we learn to crawl before we walk. Then we learn to run. Then we grow up, navigate high school and college, and further our skills and talents with a job. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight…ever.

In Marketing in the Round, Geoff Livingston and I talk about how to do exactly this with your marketing program: Crawl, walk, run, and fly.

Crawl.

More than likely, you already have a digital monitoring and listening program in place (you do, don’t you??). If you don’t, buy a social media book (such as Groundswell) and learn how to set one up. It’s easy with free tools, such as Google Alerts. It’s impossible to integrate your marketing program without monitoring what is being said about you, your industry, and your competitors online.

This is the phase where you establish your infrastructure. What resources do you have available internally? Do you have several people working on marketing, or is it just you?

Take a look at where your team has strengths, and where you have weaknesses. Based on your strengths, as a team, you want to figure out which approaches (direct, groundswell, top-down, or flanking) make the most sense.

Assign roles, decide on your first priority, and create a 90-day plan. It takes 75-90 days to figure out if a program is working, from a measurement standpoint, so give yourself that amount of time during the crawl phase to make sure what you’re doing is working.

Walk.

You’ve tested a few things, you’ve created benchmarks, you have a dashboard that gives you the business information you need to understand whether or not your program is reaching company goals, and you have confidence about what works and what doesn’t.

Now leverage that knowledge: Use technology to your benefit, produce content, participate in the conversations, use multiple platforms for communication, and measure your results.

Run.

At this point, you’re working efficiently. You’re measuring results. You’re refining and improving. Now it’s time to begin engaging, responding multiple times each day, and leveraging employees from other departments.

To get other employees involved, ask the following questions:

  • How can HR use social networks to recruit candidates?
  • How can customer service use a chat feature on the website, the social networks, the telephone, and email to provide immediate response?
  • How can sales network with customers and prospects before they attend a trade show or travel to a new city?
  • How can R&D use focus groups, crowdsourcing, and market research to innovate and develop new products?
  • How can legal keep the policies and employee code of conduct current?
  • How can the executive team get in front of customers on a daily basis, with the use of technology?
  • How can you reach beyond your own team to produce content and develop an owned media program?
  • How can customers help create content?
  • How can you support all of these needs in the most efficient way?

Fly.

Now you’re at the point you can fly. You will scale and integrate marketing into all business functions. You may do it by using Google analytics, customer relationship management software (such as Salesforce with Radian6), and your website. Or you may use a program such as Infusionsoft to help you manage it all.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with new things coming at us all the time. But, if you start small and add slowly, you’ll be able to integrate all of the marketing disciplines in a very efficient, and measurable, way.

A version of this first appeared on the DivvyHQ blog. If you don’t know DivvyHQ and you are charged with editorial calendars and content management, I recommend you check them out!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

39 comments
jeanniecw
jeanniecw

This is a great post. It's like how you get mad at me when I don't blog enough. Just doing it is moving forward, which is a lesson I continue to learn. Well done.

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

Such a good post, Gini. It's true -- I've seen so many companies scramble to be in the "right" place that they just rush headlong into it and aren't successful. It's important to slow down, see where your energy would be best spent (if we can do this for ourselves personally most of the time, why can't a company do it?), and figure out how to get the most out of that one platform. Thanks! 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@JenClark113 You're getting good at this Twitter thing!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@TaraGeissinger You're always so good to me. Thank you.

JohnTingle
JohnTingle

So true, Gini. I've worked primarily in the B2B environment and with several industrial companies over the past decade. I typically find "them" to be the most intimidated or uncertain about leveraging these channels. The crazy thing is that they tend to be doing a lot of this already, perhaps in more traditional ways, but the nature of their businesses requires some of these approaches with technical service, R&D, and networking. They also tend to have an abundance of relevant content. Unfortunately, the environment--and perhaps all the volatile, spin-sucking "rules" you mention in your opening--scares the integration out of them.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@SociallyGenius Your comment yesterday made me laugh. Out loud.

TonyBennett
TonyBennett

Right on guys, Gini is showing off her metaphorical wizardry with this post. It goes beyond marketing because I've experienced the same dilemmas and I'm not even a business yet. Kudos Gini, great post.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I agree with @KenMueller great post with actionable processes. Also he was very nice and paid for @bdorman264 's beer and hotdogs yesterday at the Mets-Rays game,

 

I think the biggest obstacle for small businesses is time. Some of this stuff is really easy like Google Alerts. Setting up a dashboard or using Salesforce.com can be very labor intensive depending on what your skills and tools you have. In fact if you do direct sales just inputting the data needed to make salesforce.com give a pay back could easily take 10-20% of your time each week. Just for data entry and CRM! And for a small business they often get to the meat of things and already are maxed out. Even Google Alerts for some businesses can be time consuming. If you monitor competitors and your industry you could easily have 20 to 100 links to click and read every day.

 

My advice is to trim stuff down and if possible assign chunks to different people if there is more than one person in the business. Anyone can be trained to report the listening. Certain forms of data management can be shared for input and updating. I also suggest creating a A, B, C list. With A the most important to set up and maintain. Then as resources are available move on to your wish list.

 

lauraclick
lauraclick

Love this analogy - great way to break it down into bite-size chunks. I think part of the reason so many businesses struggle with this is because A) they don't take the time to build a strategy first and B) they bite off way more than they can chew. Start small - master one or two things first and then you can add more later if it makes sense. The process is far less overwhelming if you don't spread yourself too thin from the beginning!

 

Sage advice!

JenClark113
JenClark113

@ginidietrich Very slowly, but surely!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @JohnTingle We also work in B2B and it's interesting to continually hear, "We need to get on Facebook and Twitter." Um, why? That's why a listening program is so important. If you can't afford to pay for a monitoring service, Google alerts work really well. Find out where people are talking about your company, the industry, your competition. That's where you should participate...and it's usually not Twitter or Facebook for B2B organizations.

SociallyGenius
SociallyGenius

@ginidietrich yeah, today's tweet wasn't as good but I can't talk about shiznit everyday :)

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @HowieSPM I agree with you about time and would add that it is important not to operate from a place of fear. I have seen more than a couple of businesses run around like chickens with their heads cut off because they let fear of failure drive their decision making process.

Latest blog post: The Value of Fatherly Advice

bdorman264
bdorman264

 @HowieSPM And those $9 beers were very tasty a la @KenMueller ; too bad the Rays stunk the place up.

 

 @lauraclick and @ginidietrich are correct in that looking at it from the outside in it can appear very overwhelming and you almost don't know where to start. However, if you take it in little chunks and follow the advice from http://marketingintheround.com/ then it can be very manageable and effective. Or so they say.....:)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @lauraclick It's funny. When I speak, people will say to me, "But you're everywhere!" Yes, I am. But I started five years ago with just the blog. Then I added Twitter. It's been slow growth and, to @skypulsemedia point, everyone in the office is devoted to one thing. It makes it a lot easier to make it seem like you're everywhere.

TonyBennett
TonyBennett

@ginidietrich Ummm, you say that like it's a bad thing. That's going to win me some sort of prize!

lauraclick
lauraclick

 @ginidietrich  @skypulsemedia I look forward to the day I have an office of people to help me be everywhere!!! ;) It's tough wearing all the hats - I'm sure you remember!

KenMueller
KenMueller

 @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  @skypulsemedia The other thing is that for those of us who have been doing this for any length of time, we've learned how to pick and choose when new things come along. We don't just jump on everything. I might sign up for accounts to investigate things, but only so I can figure out if it's worthwhile. We probably don't even see 90%+ of the new "social" platforms that come on line. The other small percentage, we look at with a critical eye, and make informed decisions. 

 

And we have to remember, when someones says "You're everywhere", everywhere to them is only about 5 or so platforms. I mean, look at this list of what Wikipedia describes as "major active social" sites. We've never heard of most of these, and even then, we're only active on a few of the ones that we have heard about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

SociallyGenius
SociallyGenius

@ginidietrich well Duh, that's what makes it so cool!

lauraclick
lauraclick

 @KenMueller  @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich That's my approach too, Ken. I think outsourcing is great to help build a strategy and then be their training wheels when they get started. After awhile, they should be able to ride the bike on their own. :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

 @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @skypulsemedia SO true. Ironically, I wrote about this on my blog today. That's why businesses should hire consultants. :) It's our job to stay abreast of what's happening in the digital space (and test to see what works) so they're not wasting their time jumping on every platform that comes along.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @lauraclick  I think smaller businesses don't realize they can outsource marketing the easiest of really any business function and they should until thy can afford a part time for full time on the books employee.

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