Gaining Relevance in a Connected Marketplace
Melding marketing and communications to achieve market and customer engagement has taken on a whole new meaning and look as the digitization of business has shifted power to customers and employees. It’s a digital-first world now and the game today is about being relevant as a brand and organization and in so doing being involved in their conversations and even how they live their lives. For marketers and communicators alike predicting customer desire throughout the purchase cycle is the new normal.
This is completely different than crafting messages and campaigns and unleashing them on the marketplace. It’s now about precision. Precision driven by analytics and insights. Analytics and insights that influence PESO (paid; earned; shared; owned) strategy and execution.
When thinking about integration one should look no further than how Amazon’s Alexa is changing the concept of marketing.
As professionals, there are six areas to organize thinking, planning, and programming to achieve success:
- Insights Drive Knowledge: It’s all about knowing the customers and influencers – really knowing them and how they behave, learn and engage. Analytics uncovers behaviors, actions, conversations, concerns, and aspirations of consumers and customers. Such insight is invaluable to ensuring products, services, and outreach is aligned.
- Customers are Partners: Customers shape and direct the marketing and communications process including product development helping to keep organizations “honest.”
- Story Lines and Content Are Essential: If there is one element of an integrated marketing and communications model that rises above all others it’s content. In a time where there is more content than attention, calibrating narrative and content based on consumer and customer preferences determines success.
- Format is a Difference Maker: Digital encompasses a plethora of platforms and channels. As such, all content must be designed based on the selection made. Visual, Video, emoji, ads, communications, etc., all have a place. It is also vital to stay current about shifts in platforms and consumer/customer engagement as we are moving at the speed of technological innovation now so what worked even a month ago may need to evolve. Staying nimble, educated and awake here is critical.
- Employees are the Catalysts: Of all the shifts digital has created, the one that cannot be overlooked involves the importance and credibility of employees to the efficacy of your brand and company. Employees are the most effective catalysts in igniting an integrated marketing and communications effort.
- What’s your Higher Purpose?: Integrated marketing and communications efforts must include an organization’s purpose beyond commercial goals. Often, such beliefs center around making a difference in the world causing people to embrace the brand in a much deeper manner and differentiating itself from competition.
Complexity rules business and while its very essence forces innovation the core aspects remain the same. Strategy fueled by insight applied to a new ecosystem whose ultimate aim is value. Gaining attention and comprehension with customers and engaging in an on-going relationship to maintain relevance is the goal of any integrated marketing and communications program. Adhering and navigating the new digital realities will break-through inside and outside the organization.
It’s no longer a choice…but a new way of life!
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