Integrated Marketing

In today’s martech landscape, there are just over 5000 marketing technology companies, dubbed the ‘Martech 5000.’ The categories of martech revolve around five major themes:
  • Advertising & Promotions
  • Content & User Experience
  • Social & Relationships
  • Commerce & Sales
  • Data & Management
Industry professionals often refer to the programs used to perform daily business activities as a “stack.” This buzzword was first coined by tech companies to indicate a group of programs used to create a single web or mobile application, and the term “stack” is now used more broadly to indicate a group of programs or services that help a business unit achieve its goals. With the seemingly daunting number of options available, it can be difficult for businesses to decide which stacks are right for their business needs, especially now with teams working remotely. If your distributed teams are having a hard time collaborating effectively, it might mean that your business needs to take a look at its current marketing technology. The first step toward finding a solution may be to take inventory of what tech is working and not working for your teams, and try to categorize them into one of the five buckets. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, keep reading for some starter points on what key areas your teams can review and optimize.

Advertising & Promotions

Customers are human. They are complex and changeable and yearn to feel valued and understood. As marketers, we tend to focus exclusively on demographic characteristics to lump them into groups to target. But the wants, needs, interests and values of a customer cannot be determined...

To be a functioning professional in the digital e-commerce environment it’s important to be as present and multi-functional as possible. Mobile apps offer the perfect opportunity for business owners to connect with their target audiences. APIs or Application Programming Interfaces are what allows one piece of software to share information with another. Although invisible to the user almost everyone has interacted with and most likely benefited from an API. APIs give businesses the ability to embed maps, process payments and run different apps in conjunction with each other. Using APIs with some or all of the following applications can help better integrate your business, improve customer interactions and streamline your business operations.

In a time when over 70 million U.S. internet users are using ad-blockers, native advertising is an extremely valuable and effective alternative to traditional ads. Most major brands use it in some capacity, as 53% of consumers are more likely to look at a native ad than a banner ad. What’s more, native advertising increases purchase intent by 18% over normal display ads. With formatting designed to match the surrounding content, native ads are much less obtrusive and more educational than traditional ads that disrupt the browsing experience. Though native advertising comes in many forms, a few have proven to be more profitable and worthwhile. Below, you will find the top three types of native advertising. These strategies will give your content a prominent stage to help you reach new and existing customers.

You have the vision in your mind: what your brand stands for, its personality, what it promises to customers. But despite your best marketing efforts, sometimes brand initiatives don’t quite deliver your glorious vision. It’s probably time to re-evaluate your core brand identity, a practice you should actually do fairly often. Assess the what, why and how of your business to identify your purpose and what sets it apart from your competitors (which also requires some research of the competition). Once you’ve nailed down your objective, then you can start thinking about how best to communicate it to your target audience. These eight strategies will help you take your brand initiatives to the next level.

For B2B companies, particularly those in the services industry, deciding whether to send a gift during the holidays can be a difficult decision.  Once the precedent has been set, it’s probably necessary to make it a tradition. Deciding what to give can be a pretty challenging endeavor as well. The following are five tips for giving holiday business gifts:
  1. Decide the goal for giving a gift. Is it simply to say “thanks for your business?” Do you see it as an opportunity to reinforce or remind clients (or potential customers) about your company?  Sometimes it’s simply because all your competitors provide gifts. Whatever the reason, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Simple thank you items don’t have to be expensive or even that memorable. Something that needs to reinforce the brand should be a bit more carefully designed. [pullquote]Lotus Biscoff is a great option for delicious, edible and customizable gifts for clients.Use the code WAXMKT to get 15% off any gift purchase at ShopBiscoff.com.[/pullquote]
  2. Determine the recipients of the gift. Are you providing something for the entire office, or is this a memorable gift for an important buyer? Do you need to order 100 or 1000? Understanding the quantities that you need to deliver can help make that decision, as logistics can be tricky with heavier or fragile items, or those that need to be refrigerated. Companies that provide customized treats can often be much more convenient, especially if they handle orders for multiple recipients.

Twitter has been one of the biggest social media platforms for more than half a decade now, which means some of your potential customers are using it. 69 million people in the US are on Twitter, but what's more interesting is that nearly half use the social network every day. While this is a known fact, very few people know how to use Twitter for marketing a brand, product or service. You may have already realized that shooting out tweets about your business every five minutes brings nothing at the end of the day. But is that a reason to rule out the platform as an impracticable marketing channel? The point with Twitter is to gain influence and grow awareness but it can't be done by blatantly selling. You may have let your Twitter accounts languish in favor of Instagram or LinkedIn. But it's well worth your time to dive back in and take another look. In case you've forgotten, here is a refresher on how to use Twitter for marketing your brand and grow your influence.

Showcase your brand

Your profile is the face of your business on Twitter. It is the first thing anyone scrutinizes whenever they bump into your handle on the platform. Too many brands don't focus on the profile aspect. With so much competition on social platforms and every startup hyping their business to look like an international brand, you would have to put some effort to prompt clicks from potential customers. Users are overwhelmed with options and the decision to take further action or continue scrolling is only a glance into your profile away. Use your business logo, if you have one, and avoid adding a personal touch to it. This will add to your credibility and earn your brand respect and recognition. Your bio should be short, formal and informative and all background photos should conform to your brand concept. Try a provocative call to action with a URL attached to it and use a unique landing page to measure your results. Change this up every couple of months or so, to see what works best and what doesn't. Use hashtags in your bio as well to draw attention from like-minded users.

Above all, share interesting content

No one logs onto Twitter to look for a product to buy. On this channel, you're judged by the curation you keep. Most people who will come across your product will do it inadvertently while checking out tweets from friends and their favorite humor handles. To blend in seamlessly, use pictures and videos that users will enjoy without compromising the message in your tweet. This not only promises to capture the attention of your followers but also prompts them to share with their followers which attract views and clicks from people who are not in your follower list. Become an account that people follow as a news stream and influence will follow.

Build your own Twitter community

If you’re starting to build your online presence, consider being the first one to follow people so they can follow back. Don’t go on following random handles. Find people who hold some benefit for your business. For starters you can follow related businesses, your customers, colleagues, competitors, and relevant influencers and handles with the information you find useful. Engage with the people you follow. Don’t just share information about your brand and product. Be active, like and re-tweet other people’s tweets. Tools like Buzzsumo can help find good folks to follow and keep you up to date on trends.

Keep tweeting

PRSA ICON is an appropriate name for what has become a truly iconic event in the world of communications. For the past four years, I’ve had the honor of presenting integrated marketing concepts at the conference. Each year, I’m amazed at how rapidly communicators are embracing integration and using it to their best advantage. This year’s presentation covers a bit of theory along with some pragmatic tips. In this post, I’ll cover some of the points I'll be making here in Austin today. Here's a link to the slideshare version of the presentation as well. Some people ask me why learn integration? Frankly, I think communicators need at least an awareness of integrated marketing concepts to remain relevant. Beyond that, using an integrated mindset creates more influence for the communications department within the organization while also providing a broader toolkit for the communicator themselves. Finally, making the jump (which really won’t be a jump soon once the silos start breaking down) into a marketing leadership position can’t be done without a strong knowledge of integrated marketing. Many of us aren’t working at a strategic level yet – so how do we introduce integration into our own work?  Basically, integration doesn’t happen without alignment. I think about alignment in three ways: the message, the method and the measurements. 

Digital voice assistants are takingoffe off. From Amazon's Alexa to the Google Home, it seems like it won't be long before a digital voice assistant is going to be a crucial piece in everyone's home and office. Marketing with voice technology is not far behind. According to a study from  Pew Research Center, 46% of US adults say they use some type of voice technology to interact with devices, and that percentage is only going to grow.  With more people integrating digital assistants into their everyday lives, marketers can now leverage the technology in voice app development to raise brand awareness and create new, personalized experiences.