Someone from outside the profession might assume that marketers come in all sorts of varieties and flavours. That they practice forms of a black-art or magic totally different from one another, and have disparate skill sets and super-powers. Truth is, the clue is in the title. Too often we get consumed by the various channels and tools at our disposal that we fail to see the “marketing” Golden Thread that binds us together.
Back to basics
There are almost as many definitions of marketing as there are marketers. It would be hard to find one that relies on only a single method to achieve the desired outcome, which Professor Philip Kotler explains as, “meeting the needs of your customer at a profit.”
Be like a gardener
If you’re tending your garden and preparing it for summer, you’ll likely have a shed full of tools and implements. A spade for digging, a hoe for preparing the soil, and a lawnmower for the grass. If you tried to do it all with a rake, while not impossible, it’s going to take considerably longer and produce markedly poorer results.
Likewise, with marketing teams that restrict themselves or their campaigns to only digital, or purely online, they can’t help but limit themselves and their success. As Stéphane Bérubé, CMO at L’Oréal says, “I don’t believe we have an online and offline consumer”.
If our customers don’t align themselves with a particular channel, then why would we?
What’s the plan, Stan?
In marketing, strategy is king. Without it we lack direction and are simply wasting hard-earned budget on campaigns we only hope will work. To be effective, we need to focus on “the what” (what we want to achieve), forget “the which” (which tools and channels), and from there determine “the how” (how customers are best found and reached). Our preferences are immaterial and force us to work in silos and, ultimately, in isolation.
Hey! Look, a squirrel!
Being distracted by shiny things is fine if you’re a magpie. Embracing new and alternatives methods of communicating your message is laudable, but only if they are effective.
In the last ten years technology and automation has promised, and in some cases delivered, a raft of these. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), etc. are amazing and engaging. However, shoe-horning these into your campaigns simply because they are “the next big thing” is a dubious tactic. There is a good reason why print marketing, direct mail, leaflets, door-drops and other more traditional approaches have endured; it’s because they work.
All for one, and one for all!
Committed to the strategy, and to whatever means and channels will bring it to fruition, means we’re all in it together. The research tells us, indisputably, that integrated multi-channel campaigns are most effective - twice as effective, in fact. Stands to reason then that the same is likely of integrated multi-channel marketers!