Planning a true integrated marketing campaign – Tips for Pros We like to remind our clients during the initial phases of any marketing and media planning work that developing a true integrated marketing plan can be complex, but that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In order to stay true to this mantra ourselves, we have a checklist and process in place that we follow consistently. Now a proven method, we successfully planned & executed integrated marketing campaigns for a number of high profile clients including Planned Parenthood of America. Here are some of our top tips as you build your own integrated marketing plans:
Before your marketing channel plan can be developed, first and always first, take a step back and develop your broader communication architecture for the campaign. This is essentially a roadmap used to align client and agency expectations, and architect the foundation of your integrated marketing plan. Typically for us this includes: Articulating your overall campaign objective Mapping each of the project goals in order of priority (e.g. engagement or advocacy) Marrying those goals to the types of channels that are the best fit to deliver against them Understand what available assets (paid/owned) we already have or need Define actual KPI’s (don’t wait until later!)
Some clients don’t know what tools or assets they have, or whether they are being utilized in the right way. More often than not, the client has a structure, ideas and assets that may not be working the hardest for them yet. We spend considerable time (on our dime) at the onset completing an asset assessment. We want to leverage whatever our client has first, and only build something from the ground up second if necessary. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel for the sake of it. In the end, because we do the work in the upfront, it saves us a considerable amount of time and effort in the midst of planning and executing. In some instances, it also helps the client align internally on better processes and way of working between departments.
Consumer research and data is key to developing any plan; otherwise we wouldn’t understand the media consumption habits of our target audience, and in turn we wouldn’t know how best to reach them in market with our advertising. However; remember to always go to quality sources for this information, sources like: MRI, Comscore, Nielsen. Aside from the big players, also use free resources like the PEW Center for Research, or sources like App Annie (research marketing for Apps), which can often times give high level media consumption habits, competitive and other consumer data. Last but not least, don’t accept all consumer data for channel propensity is gospel. Qualitative research with focus groups is always a major plus if you can swing it to prove and/or disprove what you already know.
No plan is meant to be set in stone. It’s a roadmap, a hypothesis of sorts. You can’t always account for macro or micro influences until you’re in the midst of it. So make sure that when you define tactics and channels, you select channels that allow for funds to be fluid and/or negotiate these terms with media partners before signing any agreements. You don’t what to be throwing good money after bad. In the same vain, campaigns can get stale in certain channels; continue to optimize by redefining certain audience targeting parameters and/or creative to keep things fresh. Don’t be afraid to just stop what doesn’t work (we walked away from Google in our last campaign for a client because despite driving scale, it wasn’t converting leads), and similarly don’t be afraid to throw all your eggs in one basket.
WonderINgroup is a boutique integrated marketing activation agency based in Long Island NY. We create and manage digital, traditional, grassroots and event-based marketing activities for our clients. "WonderINgroup are a pleasure to work with, and extremely effective and efficient at the work that they do. As a client, we continually face changing circumstances, and the work that we need from external vendors reflects that. It is challenging to find a partner who is willing to come along for the ride in every capacity, catering to tough deadlines and ambitious goals. Every step of the way, WonderInGroup has kept our work on course -- keeping projects under budget, ensuring we're reaching our intended audiences, and maximizing opportunities on all channels (paid, owned, and earned). They are smart, dedicated, and flexible -- amazing qualities for not just a media buyer but a partner in the work we do to reach people who need Planned Parenthood." - Marketing Strategist, Digital Product Lab, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.