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Integrated Media Marketing: Yes or No?


Wouldn't it be nice if you knew exactly where your prospective customers were at any given time? If you could send out a single message via a single medium and know they would receive it?


Prospects and customers engage with multiple channels. A lot. Estimates vary, but the average consumer is exposed to between 5,000 and 10,000 marketing messages a day. To stand out, in that virtual tsunami, you need to grab their attention, persuasively convey benefits, and motivate them to take action.

Chances are, one message, one time, one channel, ain't gonna cut it.

So, given that people live in a cluttered multichannel world, how do you decide what media to use? Here's a basic (very very basic) Yes/No primer that can get you started ...

Say YES to direct mail if:
You have the opportunity to target your message to different segments
You want to test creative, pricing, deadlines or offers
You need "real estate" for a more complex message
You know a lot about your customers/prospects and can leverage that data to build your proposition

Say NO if:
You aren't able to make a compelling offer
You need to establish "big company credibility" or an emotional bond first
Your audience is unknown, too large or too broad-based to cost-efficiently use direct mail

Say YES to TV if:
You have a very healthy budget
Your product or service appeals to a broad-based audience
You need to demonstrate your product in order to sell it
You want to make a big announcement
Emotion is more important than promotion at this point in the conversation

Say NO if:
You are talking to a small or highly specialized audience
You need immediate results and action
Your budget is limited

Say YES to radio if:
Your schedule is aggressive — radio can be produced and on-air within days
Your message is simple and can be absorbed quickly — and retained
You have a clear idea of who you are talking to and what station they would listen to

Say NO if:
Your features and benefits need a lot of explanation
You must rely on graphics, photos, or visuals to get your message across
Your product or service is a "considered purchase," requiring research and comparison shopping

Say YES to telemarketing if:
You are communicating with current (happy) customers
Your message can be positioned (and more importantly, believed) as a "service" or "courtesy"
Your proposition depends on a personal connection, dialogue, and explanation

Say NO if:
You are looking for an effective means of prospecting or lead generation
You have not invested in systems to ensure you adhere to "do not call" regulations

Say YES to digital advertising if:
You can target your audience by interest or affinity
Your customers are comfortable with — and actively using — technology
You have opportunities to partner with appropriate online content providers
You want to take advantage of multimedia graphics and interactivity

Say NO if:
Your product or service is a lower-ticket item or on-site impulse buy
Your customers don't use or trust the Internet
You can't segment or target your audience
Your budget restraints would require that the medium "pay for itself"

Say YES to email if:
You are communicating with existing customers or subscribers
You have a well-articulated "opt-in" policy
Your offer can effectively — and succinctly — be communicated

Say NO if:
Your prospects (or even customers) don't recognize your company
Your customers aren't active email users
You are selling something that might be considered personal or sensitive

Say YES to newspaper advertising if:
You are trying to target an audience segment by geography
Your message is immediate, newsworthy, and particularly timely
Credibility is key to your message

Say NO if:
Your ad needs an extended shelf-life to be effective
You need high quality graphics or photography to sell your product
Your proposition is too similar to the competition's

Say YES to magazines if:
You're looking for longer shelf-life than you could achieve with newspaper
Your product will be best served with high quality graphic treatment
You want to communicate an image-based message
You find a publication whose readership closely matches your audience

Say NO if:
You're on a tight production timeframe
You're promoting a time-sensitive offer with a looming expiration date

Say YES to creating a newsletter if:
There's a natural fit between your product and the proposed newsletter's content
You can commit time and budget to an ongoing project

Say NO if:
Your product or service is a commodity or low-interest category
The nature of your product is such that repeat purchases are rare

Say YES to mobile ads and texts if:
You're certain that your audience can/will receive your message
You aren't blinded by novelty — consider ROI as you would for traditional media
There's a logical connection between the medium and the message

Say NO if:
Your audience can't be reached via text or mobile
You need large graphics or emotional elements to sell your product or service

There's no magical formula for effective integrated marketing. But, no matter how you decide to reach out to your audience, there is one magic word. TEST

Excerpted from "The New Marketing Conversation" by Donna Baier Stein and the Queen B.

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