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Eight Steps to a Successful Integrated Marketing Program

By Lisa Woods (1190 words)
Posted in Marketing & Innovation on July 24, 2012

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You have a new product that is ready to launch, a new service, a new ad campaign, or a new website…at what point do you promote it internally?  Do you make the effort to inform employees in your organization of your marketing efforts?  What is the purpose of this internal communication?  Is it to get people excited, or to make your marketing program a success?

Integrated marketing is the process of including the entire organization in the marketing effort from inception, through launch, and follow-up.  Over communicate the plan once it is complete, but more importantly, include other departments in your planning process so that the implementation will be a success.  Understand their needs and concerns and let them be part of the process.


Here are Eight Steps to a Successful Integrated Marketing Program:


Step One: Define the value your new project will bring to your customers vs. what is currently offered by your company and by your competition.  Be sure to document this in great detail because you will use it to communicate your internal marketing strategy.  You need to bring your organization together by teaching them about the perceived value, so in turn, they can be a part of making it real. 


Step Two:  Meet individually with each department in your company to map out the customer experience, as it exists today vs. what it needs to be once you launch.  Be VERY specific starting with a customer need, their first phone call or visit, each step of the purchase or service performed, how orders are placed, how it is produced, who touches the product or order in your company, packaging, shipping, lead-times, time required for each step…the full service/purchase experience. 


Step Three: Create a visual presentation that takes employees through the logic of step one and step two of this process.  Present it to all managers and supervisors in your organization at the same time.  Have them ask questions and become well versed on the process.  Arm them with a presentation to take to their employees and set objectives for the message to be spread.  For those managers uncomfortable with the process, offer to present to their employees along with them.


Step Four: Each department manager/supervisor should come up with his or her own implementation plan to hold their group accountable for the marketing program.  Developing short-term or year-end bonus objectives linked to the success of the product/service launch is a great way to support this.


Step Five: A prelaunch customer experience check should take place; the process flow should be timed and documented.  Making a video of the process is a good option so you can share the footage as a training tool for best practice learning.  In this step you become the customer.  Make the phone call, monitor the response, follow the internal process.  Make any corrections or improvements during this step.


Step Six: A countdown should be publicized internally via a newsletter, email, or bulletin posting…or all of the above.  This builds up the excitement and team atmosphere in your organization.


Step Seven: Launch, Monitor & Adjust. 


Step Eight: Share Feedback with your entire organization on the results of the marketing launch, along with thanks to everyone for their efforts in its success.  Make sure you create a messaging system for others in your company to report any feedback to you as well.   Continue to monitor and adjust your process to ensure success.


Why is all of this important?  Too often marketing efforts stay in marketing until the implementation stage, and fail when they go live.  By including the entire company in the marketing effort from the beginning, ideas are better vetted, process flows start off working efficiently, and everyone takes ownership in making it a success. 


Integrated marketing means your customer is not buying a product or service…instead, they are doing business with your entire company, building loyalty and profits.


After publishing this story a reader asked where sales plays a role in this process?  It is a very good question and should be addressed.  My assumption is that sales was part of the process from the beginning, establishing the market need and working hand in hand with marketing to develop the solution.  Integrating the marketing effort, for the purpose of this story, is to align the rest of the organization to support the launch; making the sales and marketing effort real.  Too often sales people are left to make promises they can't keep because the rest of the organization does not back them.  By marketing taking the lead to establish an integrated and supportive infrastructure, the sales team can do what they do best, build the business and not be held back by bureaucracy and confusion.


I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident & CEO ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, dynamic business leader & author with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she provides Management Tools, Do-It-Yourself Training, and Business Assessments for small to mid size companies, Lisa utilizes her experience with integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and strategic revitalization to help other companies succeed.  Closing the gap between strategy and hierarchy through the use of effective communication skills, Lisa's techniques successfully develop employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors that collectively exceed objectives.


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Comments (5)

Cameron posted on: July 26, 2012

Thanks for the post. That was a great article and I plan to implement these steps for the social media plan I am putting together for work.

Lisa Woods posted on: July 26, 2012

Good luck with your social media plan Cameron!

Michael Soon Lee posted on: July 26, 2012

STEP NINE IS MISSING! How about making sure that salespeople know the benefits of and how to sell the product? If they don't, Steps 1-8 are a waste of time and money. THAT's a truly integrated marketing program. Not once in this article is sales mentioned. As long as company departments remain in their respective silos American companies will continue to waste precious resources and opportunities!

Lisa Woods posted on: July 26, 2012

Very good point Michael. Sales is of course part of the the integration process as is every department. As stated in step two, process mapping takes place to understand current processes for customer calls/visits, and in the end an adapted process is created for the new marketing campaign. Everyone is involved, that is what makes it work. Another important point is that sales must be part of the market evaluation prior to any new programs launched. Their insight is an important driver for marketing's activity. During any integration effort, it is marketing's role to ensure the organization is backing up sales. Too often sales is making promises the rest of the company does not keep...this is what we want to eliminate. Training on a new launch exists for sales and all other aspects of the company. It is a collaborative effort. Thanks for your comment!

Sangeetha Balaji posted on: July 30, 2012

great Article !

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