Topic: 10 tips for a successful integrated online & offline strategy

To celebrate Red Door’s 10th anniversary this year (double digits!), we would like to share our personality, core values, and overall excitement through a series of “top 10” blog posts on the 10th each month. Our Business Planning and Optimization team took the time to compile these 10 key tips for successful integrated marketing strategies. Cooking up an integrated strategy destined to please the palate requires just the right ingredients and preparation. It’s an undertaking that’s not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever tuned into the Food Network, you’ll agree: the more cooks in the kitchen, the more complicated things become. And integrated marketing plans, by definition, mean that plenty of white hats are vying for their recipe to land on the plate. With that in mind, Red Door offers a few tips to help slice and dice the experience, making it a little bit easier to serve up, and perhaps to digest. Have a look at these integrated marketing tips designed to help you make them most of your next integrated marketing effort.

1.  Be Collaborative

  • Share information freely and encourage teamwork.
Department-specific siloes put constraints on the knowledge transfer that’s necessary to optimize marketing programs. In order to achieve the best results possible, everyone on the team must be in alignment on shared goals, performance metrics and actionable insights. This includes transparency and harmonious relationships between all agency partners. Moments of serendipity will quickly follow suit and produce the breakthrough ideas that propel brands forward.
2.  Be Educated
  • Stay in the know, even if it may seem like a fad.
You can’t possibly utilize new channels or develop new strategies if you aren’t aware of what’s out there. Try out new channels, even if you just sign up for a personal account to “check it out.” Don’t be afraid to run small beta tests to see how something would suit your brand and goals. And don’t forget—you don’t have to try everything yourself to learn from it. Conferences and networking events can be a great opportunity to hear what other companies are doing, discuss your challenges and learn from the experiences of others.
3.  Be Aligned
  • Align incentives to ensure integrated success.
Companies often offer incentive programs as a motivational tool. However, where incentives are channel-specific, and fail to take into account overall business success, this can hurt integration of cross-channel initiatives. Channel-specific incentives may lead marketing managers incentivized for driving traffic to focus on solely that, without consideration of conversion of that traffic. It may result in channels “stealing” from the other, by shifting customers to their channel, but without an overall business benefit. While it’s important to take into account individual performance, you can’t forget to tie an individual’s goal, success and incentives to the company’s overall performance.
4.  Be Brave
  • Ask questions as a Brand Manager, Marketing Director or an Agency.
As part of a rebranding effort, Rubio’s Restaurants was prepping to relaunch their world famous fish taco. Red Door had inquired in previous months about the sustainability of their fish supply, and this was clearly a tough topic to tackle. What percentage was indeed sustainable? And how might consumers react? Following an RDI SWOT analysis and an invaluable push from their newly retained traditional agency, Rubio’s did the hard work and found that their resources were in fact eighty percent sustainable. The message went live on the digital and in store menu, and the response has been positive all the way. Although it took some guts and persistence in the beginning, asking the tough questions was the first step in a positive direction.
5.  Be Open to Test (& Fail)
  • How will you know what will work if you don’t try?
Remember, YOU are not your customer. Testing different channels, marketing messages, and engagement approaches allows your customers to “vote” on what works for them. However, a testing program can’t be successful if you’re not willing to accept failure. A new idea can result in wild success or terrible failure, and testing is the way to find out. Sometimes your tests will reveal nothing at all… but this shouldn’t discourage you either. Even if your new idea doesn’t perform better or worse than current, that fact alone can give you valuable insight by telling you what doesn’t matter.
6.  Be Resourceful
  • Do what it takes to have agreement amongst key stakeholders.
When it comes to problem solving and looking to make the most of an integrated marketing plan, getting buy-in across the board is paramount. Sometimes it’s analytics, other times a surprise in a brainstorm. But more often than not it means asking those who are involved at the grass roots, thirty-thousand foot and every level in between. What the heck, you may even want to talk with your customers. Formulating a plan that can get the nod across multiple stakeholders will improve your likelihood for success.
7.  Be Measurable
  • Invest time in establishing goals and setting up correct tracking to prove results.
At Red Door, we focus our clients’ attention on the Return on Objective and measurable marketing behavior. With Big Data getting bigger every second of every day, we will find a way to measure and maximize every dollar of your marketing spend in a way that will impress the CMO and the CFO.
8.  Be Clandestine
  • Walk in the consumer’s shoes to understand their experience and response to your campaign. Test it out in the real world, then refine before launching.
The field-experienced Red Door team has put feet on the ground and clicks on the web to observe consumers in their natural environment, and has gone undercover to experience our clients’ products and services first-hand. If it means ordering everything on the menu or testing every product in the catalog, we will uncover insights that are often missed without first-hand knowledge.
9.  Be Consistent
  • From the packaging to the to the cart confirmation page, the experience should look and feel the same throughout.
Marketers can often be heard talking about how to leverage their offline strategies to bring customers online and vice versa. While this can be a good approach in special cases, it is more important to keep a consistent brand experience across all channels. This will keep consumers engaged from the point that they are introduced to a product or service, to the time they end up purchasing.
10.  Be Specific
  • Your audience is made up of individuals with individual needs. Treat them as such.
Observe and learn everything you can about the people you need to speak to. What is their temperament? Are they formal and businesslike, or enthusiastic and playful? What are their goals and aspirations? Help them achieve those. What are their frustrations? Remove those. Help them feel smart, capable, and happy. Learn how they think—their understanding of your business or products, the language they use in discussing it—and speak in a way that will connect with them. When people feel like you "get" them, and offer something that supports them, they will be more inclined to do business with you, feel related, and share things about you with their friends. Keep these concepts in mind, mix in a good portion of persistence, add a pinch of luck and you can send out the order with confidence. And while your customers indulge themselves to their heart’s delight, all those behind-the-scenes can be satisfied that they’ve all pitched in to provide the perfect plate!

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