How’s your digital strategy looking these days? If not so good, there’s hope. Fortunately, creating a comprehensive digital strategic vision isn’t only possible, it’s eminently achievable. All you need to do is integrate the core aspects of your company’s client-facing machinery: your online and offline branding, your marketing efforts and your overarching strategy.
When properly aligned, these elements combine to become more than the sum of their parts. If you’re ready to build a visibility-enhancing, traffic-driving Web presence, follow these four straightforward tips for integrated marketing, branding and strategy:
1. Build And Refine Your Corporate Vision
You don’t need to start your integrated marketing drive from scratch. Some of the best-aligned campaigns simply need to tweak existing strategies, assets and brand features to produce a more comprehensive and effective plan.
No matter what shape your marketing campaign is in, it’s imperative to begin the integration process by building out a coherent corporate vision. This vision doesn’t just focus on marketing and sales goals. It should touch every major element of your corporate ecosystem, including:
- Finances: where you want your company’s earnings and revenue to be within defined time frames
- Product development: products and services slated for development, release or improvement within defined timeframes
- Customer touch points: how, when and where customers come into contact with your employees or brand – and how the experience reflects on your company
- Corporate culture: how your company is run and how it delivers value to your customers, employees, and stakeholders
Your corporate vision should also be segmented into short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. As you set up the prongs of your online branding and marketing campaigns, you can use your vision as a checklist to ensure that everything is aligned properly and effectively.
2. Conduct A Rigorous Marketing Analysis
Once you have a coherent vision that covers all three major timeframes and sets priorities for every aspect of your business, it’s time to conduct a thorough marketing analysis that sets priorities for your entire marketing operation. When this analysis is complete, you should have a clearer understanding of the marketing tactics that are likely to produce the highest ROI.
Using information from the digital strategic vision outlined in tip number one, you should also have actionable ideas about how to integrate your marketing materials and activities with your corporate brand. Put another way, you should be ready to make each distinct element of your marketing effort speak with a unified voice that forcefully supports a compelling, cohesive brand.
It’s important to remember that the online marketing space is distinct from the offline marketing space. The tactics and tones that work in the digital realm don’t always work in a non-digital space – and vice versa. While your digital marketing analysis will necessarily cover the prospects you’re seeking in the digital realm and the tactics necessary to attract and convert those prospects, you can and should think about conducting a parallel analysis to analyze your offline marketing efforts as well.
In any case, the high-ROI tactics uncovered by your analysis must be supported by brand-faithful content in both realms. A prospect that sees a TV commercial for your company and subsequently visits your website should immediately get a sense of your brand – and have confidence that he or she is doing business with a company that understands the meaning of consistency.
3. Understand Your Ideal Buyers
To better align your vision, branding, and marketing efforts, you need to understand your ideal buyers. The best way to understand your buyers is to “map” them with buyer personas – idealized versions of real buyers that you’ve created using sales data and market research. Buyer personas can be quite detailed. In many cases, they pin down the ideal buyer’s demographic profile to a narrow age range and a single professional title or niche.
With built-out buyer personas in hand, determining how and when to market to each ideal customer is a straightforward proposition. It’s simply a matter of asking how a given persona is likely to respond to a particular marketing strategy. If you have ample lead-generation, conversion, and sales data, you’ll likely be able to answer these questions with certainty.
Just as importantly, well-articulated buyer personas provide critical insights into how to construct and adjust a coherent, compelling brand that speaks directly to your ideal customers. After all, speaking directly to ideal customers is superior to the alternative: a general-purpose brand that tries to be everything to everyone – and ends up pleasing no one.
4. Develop A Compelling Value Proposition
With a strategic vision, comprehensive marketing analysis and accurate buyer personas, you’re well on your way to integrated marketing success. However, effective, fully-integrated digital campaigns have an additional aspect that’s critical not to overlook: a compelling value proposition. Your value proposition should be a punchy line or two of copy that sums up your company’s differentiators and reinforces the spirit of your brand.
A truly compelling value proposition is akin to a distant lighthouse on a stormy night. It serves to orient your company’s marketing, branding and strategy-building efforts. Ultimately, it ensures that your integrated campaign remains on the right track – and is able to adjust in the face of changing market realities.
“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time”Elon Musk / CEO of Tesla