Strategic Value Creation with Integrated Marketing
I have been in the marketing industry for over two decades now. After working at Oracle, Microsoft, Meylah, and Women in Cloud I have personally experienced consistent changes in how marketing programs and campaigns shape the society. Since a couple of years, a new term in marketing is gaining momentum, Integrated Marketing. Integrated marketing is defined as a new framework for driving advocacy, loyalty, and revenue.
What I have seen is customers are always looking for answers in multiple channels and communities to make the right choices. While developing integrated marketing strategies what I have learnt is, to create strategic value for customers across multiple channels and communities the activities need to focus on outcomes that drive customer connection, engagement and transaction.
So here is a simple framework to create strategic value through integrated marketing.
- Access Creation - This is about creating an access model for others to accomplish their goals and allows them to transform their lives.
- Engaging Opportunities - Here it is about creating opportunities that will drive people to engage with you throughout the year.
- Immediate Action - Your audience must have the ability to take immediate action.
Personally, I believe, access is a key element to unlocking any success or opportunity. In order to ensure growth and success to any marketing campaign, there needs to be a collective action to ensure access creation.
When you think about access creation there are four areas one can focus on,
- Understand what problem will you solve when you create access
- Articulate strategic outcome when the access is created
- Create solutions to create access
- Deliver solutions that create value through access
The question you should be asking is, ‘What is the Access I am creating today with my marketing program that creates a transformation for the customer or partners?’
For example, when you talk about gender equality, what you should focus on is ensuring gender equality in and across all the areas your company is participating in. You are looking at this effort holistically, which starts from your board to your channels including your initiatives and the programs you initiate or sponsor. This approach will ensure gender equality and will further move the needle.
The second part of value creation is enabling opportunities. It does not suffice to just create access to creating opportunities. Opportunities, I believe, can be created through the following, and is very simple,
- Connections - When you create connections with your community either through events or driving experiences it builds a team who wants to access the opportunities brought about by that community.
- Engagement - For connections with the community to be maintained you need to engage with the community. How you engage with the community becomes an important question, because if you are not involving them in the campaign or mission, the effort will not move forward.
- Transaction - Transaction is essentially what product or membership that the members buy or invest in which you offer after being a member of your community.
When talking about engaging opportunities, the best example, I can personally think of is our Women in Cloud efforts. I say so, because it personally lets me construct an experience where people keep coming back to our Summits, or meet-ups and now virtual happy hours because we are purpose-oriented and we are by large an extended family on a mission.
The final step to creating Strategic Value Creation through Integrated Marketing would be to plan and take action. I think taking the right actions are important to ensure the success of the marketing campaign. Some of the common challenges marketers face while taking action are,
- Broken Data Pipelines - When you bring a campaign to life after working in the background for so long, you need to have sufficient data collection points planet to document the impact and access created.
- Budget Allocation - If you do not know what the journey map for access and value creation looks like, then you do not know where to spend the money. If resources are not allocated where it needs to be to ensure the success of the campaign, the goal remains unpursued.
- Limited Skills - To do integrated marketing effectively, that creates access, engagement and connection so people take action with you leading to a transaction, takes skill, and there is a scarcity of that skill in the market right now.
Hence, marketers are struggling in the market to ensure consistent growth and success with their marketing campaigns. If you decide to go through this journey, you must ensure you connect elements to survive and succeed in this journey to make a difference.
After having spent over a decade in the business as a marketing expert, I have realized that one can connect with people at the click of the button, but creating value for people requires skill which is more than just clicking a button. Hence, only a few people have been able to master it, and those are the people who are standing out in the market today. Value creation is what results in a transaction resulting in either monetary or social access benefits for the company, whereas connection just ensures a larger audience. Therefore, value creation is what builds a scalable Integrated Marketing Program.