Executing a Successful Integrated Marketing Campaign in 5 Steps

Utilizing new marketing channels and technology outlets, reaching an entire audience, delivering new and exciting content, and consistently keeping customers updated are just a few of the many responsibilities of a marketer. However, as these tasks are very time consuming, it can be difficult to keep up with all of them consistently.

By taking an integrated marketing approach, this process becomes much simpler. With integrated marketing, your organization can plan, build, execute, and measure all campaigns and marketing efforts in one place, using as few operational resources as possible.

Does that sounds good to you? I’m guessing that it might. To get you started, here are 5 tips to help you successfully execute your next integrated marketing campaign.

  1. IPMA_MKT_ImageKnow What Your Audience Prefers. Find ways to record and honor each contact’s preferences for receiving communications from  your company. Ask them during the initial opt-in process. Allow them to manage and update their preferences easily through future communications. If you do not have any of that data, create simple surveys from time to time that seek to gain valuable feedback from your list, but yet that rewards them at the same time.
  2. Prepare and Plan. This one is pretty much a given, but in a world where we seemingly all have to do more with less, we may be tempted to skimp on the time we invest in planning and hop right to execution. While that doesn’t always doom us to immediate failure, a lack of a plan will absolutely leave us with expectations that were not completely fulfilled. We will miss opportunities for follow-ups or for quick transitions if things need to be adjusted on-the-fly.
  3. Maintain Branding and Consistent Messages. Yes, our tone might be slightly different in a channel such as social media as opposed to print. But we must have a goal as to how we want people to feel about our company, products, and services. All of the channels that we use should aim to leave that same impression on the audience.
  4. Be Relevant. This one certainly goes along with knowing what our audience prefers. But it requires more than that. It means that we must be committed to creating multiple variations of our content (yes, they’ll have the same overall goal, but they’ll be written so as to appeal to different groups); it means investing in technology that will allow us to create and send out personalized customized communications. Yes, if our customers and prospects have taken steps to tell us what they are interested in, we must abandon the “spray and pray” approach.
  5. Track, Measure, and Analyze. Designing and executing an integrated marketing campaign can actually be kind of fun. But we must also be sure to capture every piece of data that is relevant to those actions. Analyze the data to look for trends, successes, and failures. Then, share the results with various departments in your organization.

I hope these tips help you as you plan your next integrated marketing campaign. However, don’t forget, as with most business processes in today’s highly technology-oriented landscape, taking an integrated marketing approach begins and ends with finding the right software. Having a unified software program provides many benefits for your organization, including only the need for one, centralized database, lower costs, saved time, improved relationships, a better sense of organization, and more. Contact our team to learn more about why your organization should absolutely be utilizing an integrated marketing software.

Tips for Finding Success with Warehouse and Inventory Management

interlinkONE’s team of fulfillment operations experts sat down recently and developed a quick list of useful tips for service providers who are looking to expand their warehouse, fulfillment, and inventory solutions base. It’s not enough nowadays to simply add a page to your website that says you are now offering inventory and warehouse management as a solution. So, if you’re looking to capitalize on the opportunities posed by many businesses’ difficulties with inventory and warehouse management, consider these tips:

  • It all starts with a plan. When it comes to offering services to a wide range of industries, and combating business challenges such as difficulty with order placement, it all starts with a plan.
  • Remember who your customer base is. Segmenting your warehouse and inventory offerings by industry is a key element to remember when crafting your plan as well.
  • Utilize information from friendly competitors. Before offering fulfillment services to a new market, find market leaders who have successfully offered these types of solutions in the past and that are willing to share their secrets.
  • Identify the best in class vendor suppliers who can help you. Providing quality inventory and warehouse management solutions takes partnerships and relationship building with vendors, contractors, and other suppliers who all play critical roles in your production.
  • Be conscious of any skillsets that will be needed. Before you dive in and start offering solutions to the struggling marketplace, be sure to identify any necessary skillsets you will need to run successfully.
  • Consider engaging a qualified consultant. Bringing a consultant on board who has years of experience in the order management, inventory, and warehouse operations fields can only help your business be more efficient in the long run.
  • Software is king. Lastly and arguably most important, do not take the software component to your operation lightly. Your software is a key differentiator between you and the other service providers out there.

Use these tips to give your business a head start in offering warehouse and inventory management solutions. Don’t forget to keep your end goal and end user in mind. The sales or account rep who is looking to place a simple order for one of his/her clients is looking to do just that: a routine task that should truly be simple. But, because this has become such a difficulty in today’s modern and high-tech landscape, this is your chance to capitalize on new business opportunities. Being the print, mail, or fulfillment service provider to a growing number of industries isn’t as hard as it sounds!

Oh, and one last tip! If you’re looking for more advice on tips for finding success with warehouse and inventory management, or if you’re looking to implement a new software solution for your print, mail, or fulfillment operation, that’s absolutely something we can help with. Don’t miss fulfillment expert and Vice President of interlinkONE, Karen DeWolfe, as she hosts a free, interactive webinar,Effective Warehouse and Inventory Management Tips for Success.” Click here to sign up and learn more about expanding your business operations this year.

interlinkONE Featured in TechCreative Case Study: Marketing and Mobile

Recently, I was interviewed by Boston based Semper, LLC for a case study in their TechCreative series. The case study, titled “With A Recognized Social Media Leader At Its Helm, A Marketing Solutions Provider Helps Clients Reach Mobile Customers” really focuses on the combination of two of my passions; technology and marketing.

It was an honor to share both my story, as well as the history of interlinkONE, my marketing services company Grow Socially, and interlinkONE’s QR Code generation and tracking application, QReateandTrack.com with them. They did a wonderful job with the case study, and I am very excited for everyone to have the chance to read it now that it has been published.

I invite you to read the case study, and please leave comments or share this post throughout your social media channels.

Click here to read the case studyTechCreative Logo

 

Thank you for your continued support, and thanks to Semper, LLC for showcasing both my and interlinkONE’s achievements in marketing and mobile.

March Marketing Minute: Improve Your Inbound Marketing

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Did you catch our Marketing Minute this month? If not, no worries! Read below to learn all about why your organization needs inbound marketing and learn tips from one of our marketing strategy specialists.

At the end of the day, the fact is that many organizations don’t focus enough on inbound marketing. In traditional marketing, you send your message out to the masses, consistently spending time and resources hoping that your target market responds. With inbound marketing, you lay the groundwork, and your audience comes to you. And, while it takes some work, in the end you’re left with a marketing campaign working on its own to help drive sales inquiries for your team.

Sounds good, right? So, what can you do to implement this type of strategy for your organization?

Click here to watch as Director of Marketing Strategy, Samantha Lake, shows you how you can implement a successful inbound marketing campaign, and don’t forget to read “Can Inbound and Content Marketing Replace Your Sales Force?” after.

Mobility Key to Success in 2015

Whether you market for a company or do marketing in accordance with owning your own business, are you truly getting it?

Sure, marketing is not exactly rocket science, but it does take coordination, time, effort and the ability to adjust to changing dynamics in the marketplace. Without being able to change and adjust to changes in the world of consumers, you could find yourself stuck at the train station as the train pulls away.

For many involved in marketing in 2015, mobility is and will continue to be a key.

With that in mind, are you mobile enough to take your marketing efforts to new levels this year and beyond?

Mobile_PayThings Are Changing

If you take the time to breathe in all that is going on in the marketing world these days, you’ll know the mobile marketing is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

No matter what product or service you market, albeit it home furnishings, ADT in Georgia, life insurance, legal services or hundreds of other items, you can’t be mobile enough in today’s fast-paced world.

While traditional marketing means still work in many situations, they are quickly being overtaken by the world of mobile marketing.

Mobile Marketing is Proving More Secure

Look at this following example and see what your best opportunity is to reach this customer:

You sell security systems in Atlanta and you have an interested customer (Debbie) who is interested in a system for her new salon that is opening up across town.

As part of your pitch, you send her a traditional marketing message via regular mail, you email her (with her approval of course) and you text her (again, with her approval) about some possible security system options.

In more cases than not, your traditional approach (letter in the mail) will be set aside or even discarded sooner rather than later.

You can of course try the email route, but many of those ultimately end up being read and ignored, deleted or making their way to a spam folder.

With a mobile marketing approach, however, you can instantaneously have your product and/or service on the lips of this consumer and potentially many more.

Delivery Presentation is Key

While getting your mobile message out there is obviously important, how you present it is equally if not more critical.

Make sure your mobile presentation is:

  • Short and sweet
  • Clear and easy to follow
  • Easy to view and no broken links
  • Provides point of contact

Mobile marketing should be a part of your overall marketing strategy now and for the foreseeable future.

If it isn’t, you’re marketing missed opportunities galore.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.

In-Plant Printing Isn’t Going Away

It was not that long ago that in-plant production for most larger organizations was a busy and hectic sight to see; so much so that it wasn’t uncommon to see a business need to outsource a great deal of printing at particular times of the month.  It seems the requirements at the end of the month, or the end of a quarter, were too great for most of their internal print shops to keep up with.  One company based in Cincinnati had the rights of first refusal for all projects, and they still turned away 30% of the requested print jobs which amounted to over $1 million of outsourced work.

Mag_GlassIt is estimated that in-plant printing can save an organization from 10%-30% in their print production thanks to not having to pay a tax, often not having to pay rent or utilities, and there is often a lower cost structure since profit is not the purpose of the project.  With the savings available by utilizing in-plant printing, why would anyone want to send work out?

The main reason to outsource is that some print jobs may come in as a huge chunk of data all at the same time, and customers want that data crunched and presented to them all at once.  When a fiscal quarter ends, clients want to see what their numbers were for that quarter.  Those clients don’t want to wait a week to see their numbers, so companies must often outsource many of those print jobs.

Part of the reason some in-plants are not able to keep up with printing assignments is they have not kept up with printing technology.  An example of the switch from off-set printing to digital can make the process much faster.  As an example, a company used to make an annual magazine for employees and customers.  When the company used a digital off-set it took nine days to print, often through an expensive process with several proofs and revisions until the final project was completed correctly. When they moved to a digitized process it took 1.5 days and saved a great amount of money, resources, and of course stress.

Why would a company use in-plant printing instead of outsourcing if outsourcing is more efficient?  Will the savings add up to enough?  One of the most important reasons in-plants exist is control.  An in-plant shop can print things a commercial shop would do, but they can often do them more inexpensively, and on time; that is if they are able to accept the work because they aren’t backed up.

When in-plants have made a commitment to become more digitized and more independent, the quality of the product improved more quickly, so there was less wasted material as the printers edited more content without running test prints to make a good, finished project.

As long as print is around, there will always be a market and a great opportunity for in-plant printing.  The important thing for in-plant printers to remember is to keep up with technology and recent trends to bring in more business.