Is everyone on the same page? Tactics for integrating your online marketing efforts.
The phrase “online integration” has been bandied about for years, but it appears that few companies really understand and implement it successfully. In fact, many don’t have a clear definition of what integration actually entails. Having migrated from direct mail to the Internet back in 1995, I’ll give you my perspective on the positives that can result from an integrated online program, as well as the negatives that will occur if you don’t have such a program.
Nowadays, most direct marketers are using, or plan to use, some or all of these online marketing tactics:
• paid search engine marketing,
• organic search,
• Web promotions,
• shopping engines,
• affiliate networks,
• performance advertising,
• individual product or service landing pages or mini-sites,
• cross-linking between company owned sites,
• text links,
• e-mail newsletters,
• contextual marketing,
• webinars, and
It would further be logical to say that many people within your company work on these various promotional methods, and perhaps you use one or more outside firms on an outsourced basis to implement them.
You therefore can conclude that the likelihood is very high that in many companies there is little or no coordination between these online activities, and as a result, this often leads to mixed marketing messages, conflicting promotions and consumer frustration.
Given these circumstances, talk with all participants in your online programs about what’s necessary to reach the goal of integrating all your online activities, and show the positives that integration brings. The key characteristics of integration are:
• consistent messaging;
• consistent look, tone and feel;
• consistent offers;
• consistent pricing; and
• consistent graphics and copy.
Clearly, I’ve used the word “consistent,” well, consistently to drive home a point. Joined with three other words, the magic formula for successful integration is:
I = 4C
Integration = consistency * communication * coordination * control