Get Out of the Silo: Integrate Your Marketing in 2020

One-off marketing is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make. We understand why it happens. Sometimes, it’s because they’re afraid to commit to more than one thing at a time. Other times, it occurs when the marketing team doesn’t have a seat at the strategy table. So, they’re forced to work in reaction to short-term sales needs, or leadership’s “idea of the month.” But, whatever the reason, not integrating your marketing in 2020 may be expensive on three levels.

First, individual, disparate marketing efforts are inefficient. They require new strategy and new content every time, whereas Integrated marketing allows you to develop strategy and content designed to leverage across multiple media. It’s the difference between taking a 50-mile drive in which you stop the engine every two miles and one in which you simply drive the distance.

Secondly, one-off marketing is ineffective. Few prospects, if any, will make a buying decision based on reviewing one piece of collateral, visiting the trade show booth, reading one blog post, seeing an advertisement, noticing mentions on social media, or going to the company website. For them to get your message, you have to reach them multiple times, at critical moments in their decision cycle. If you put all your money into, say, your website, how do you expect to get people to click to it? If all you focus on is your trade show, how will you keep visitors’ attention the week after the show is over? How about the month after the show?

Thirdly, siloed marketing efforts can cost you brand equity. By treating each new project as its own entity, you put your brand continuity at risk. It’s easy to inadvertently “evolve” your core messages before your audiences have had a chance to grasp them. Shift your messaging even a little bit, and before long, your content will be off-brand, serving a short-term need at the expense of long-term presence and recognition.

The time has come to put a stop to all that. Here’s how to integrate your marketing for success in 2020:

1. Start with your 2020 marketing goals. Even the most ingenious concepts and messaging will be useless if they don’t connect directly to your strategic goals. Consider where your content should feel fresh and new, and where it should reinforce and reiterate. Group your initiative components to show you where you can leverage content and design elements for the greatest efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Take a good look at the people you need to reach – be they prospective and current customers, potential, new and long-term employees, or thought leaders and influencers. Who are they? What do they want and need? What engages and excites them, and what stresses them out? And how can you connect with them, deliver what they want and help solve the problems that stress them?

3. Determine where these people are and how they work. What kind of information do they need on a day-to-day basis? How do they prefer to find and consume content – formally or informally, in texts, emails, whitepapers or video? Who are their trusted resources? Do they communicate via email, text, or phone? How do they use social media? What meetings and trade shows do they attend? What do they read, watch and hear? What websites do they frequent? The answers to these questions will tell you how and where to focus your communications.

4. Make tough choices. Unless you have unlimited funds, you can’t do everything. Go back to those 2020 priorities and determine what must be done immediately, in the near term and later. Measure those most critical goals against how, and through what media, you will pursue them.

Be strategic, and you will be able to develop the right integrated marketing approach to achieve the results you need for 2020 success.