Get Integrated: Structure Your Marketing to Compete in 2018

The technology exists to give your customers the experience they deserve. What’s stopping you?

Aligning your organization to support marketing efforts has never been more important. Shrinking budgets, more channels, and higher-than-ever customer expectations are putting tremendous pressure on your entire organization. Your customers expect you to know who they are and what they want at every interaction point, just like high-tech heavyweights Amazon, Apple, and eBay. It’s a tall order – but it’s doable.

Crafting Your Message

Drip campaigns have a tendency to turn into a fire hydrant pretty quickly. Tactics like social, email, direct mail, sales efforts, events, and media all require content that can become unwieldy and hard to handle. Moving to distilled content – content whose messaging is defined by the needs and wants of the target customer – is key to getting control over the messages. But to craft messages that appeal to your customers and reach them where they are means, of course, knowing and understanding your customers’ wants and motivations.

Content must be wrangled to transform drip marketing campaigns into distilled content efforts.

This personalized message is all important in 2018. Consumers aren’t satisfied with one-size-fits-all service. According to recent research from Accenture Interactive, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that remembers and recognizes them by name and can make relevant recommendations.

The Technology Is Here

The key to achieving this customer-centric goal is getting your internal marketing aligned. And there’s no longer a technology excuse for not making this happen. Even the software giants like Adobe and Microsoft are convincing with their, “We do really work well together – honest!” stories. The technology has come a long way. It is no longer the barrier to high performance digital marketing.

What’s The Opportunity?

Our high-speed, connected world has transformed how people live and do business. As the pace of disruption increases daily, many organizations are faltering and failing faster than ever before. The Tuck School of Business estimates that “companies today are 460% more likely to fail within five years, compared to earlier decades.” That’s a staggering increase in a short amount of time. But the potential for failure also brings with it huge opportunities to succeed. The data being produced and collected in this ultra-connected world provides the opportunity to understand, predict and continually enhance the experience you deliver to your customers.

“Companies today are 460% more likely to fail within five years, compared to earlier decades.” – Tuck School of Business

What’s Stopping You?

We’ve learned that clients often both recognize the need for this change and want it. Many even start to put plans in place to work toward it, but then stall along the way. We’ve identified the three most common hurdles we see organizations face as:

  • Silos
    To thrive in the uber-saturated marketplace, outdated marketing methods need to be quickly replaced with holistic marketing that spans the entire organization. From operations to sales, everyone needs to be involved to meet your customers’ demands. The silos of operations, sales, marketing, HR, etc. that may have worked in the past will not survive in this digital, always on, always connected world. Getting everyone to look at the bigger picture and not just their ‘slice of the pie’ isn’t always easy. But building relationships between all departments is key to success.
  • Competing budgets
    Money is one of the toughest hurdles to overcome. It’s a finite resource and already spoken for. Getting departments to understand the long-term value of integrated marketing and to re-evaluate their budgetary priorities can be difficult. But it’s vital.
  • Conflicting metrics
    Part of the shift has to include a re-examination of the metrics by which success is judged. This is especially important as budgets shift to accommodate new marketing plans and tactics. To ask departments to be evaluated by old metrics in this new set-up will only lead to failure and frustration. Departments also need to align their metrics so that they’re pulling together in the same direction and have the incentive to continue to cooperate and overcome institutional silos.

What Needs to Happen

So – what do you need to do to get to this holy grail of integrated marketing? There’s three key pillars that need to be in place:

  1. Get rid of silos – Are you sensing a theme? This is the singularly most important thing that needs to happen.
  2. Use CRM and CSM to deliver the right messages to the right customers
  3. Align sales and marketing

How to Get There: 13 Steps

T4G is often brought in to organizations by one or two key individuals who recognize the need to change the way they’ve been doing things. They turn to us for experience and expertise, but also for the impartiality a third party provides to help bring other stakeholders on board.

We’ve developed a 13 step process to help organizations align their goals and objectives in order to create the marketing service their clients need. This is typically two days of workshops and includes the entire leadership team.

You can download our 13 Step guide and get a quick taste of the themes and goals of each step of the process.

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Things to Consider

It’s important to achieve buy-in from all key stakeholders, including the entire leadership team. They are the drivers, so having them on board will ensure a smoother process.

It’s also worth considering the environment in which you go through the process. Often, working outside of the confines of your daily office space renders better results. A different environment often allows us to break out of our typical ways of thinking and makes us willing to experiment and take risks.

Finally, aim high – nothing changes if you don’t strive for greatness.

And whatever you do – don’t blame technology.  That’s a way-too-early-2000s move for today’s marketers.

Mark Fraser

Mark Fraser is Executive Vice President at T4G Limited and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Follow him on Twitter at @mark_fraser.