integrated marketing strategy

Integrated Marketing Strategy for Consultants or Micro Business Owners

Originally written for our PowerofWords.com.au blog, this article uses the overarching marketing principles of bigger companies to help smaller businesses grow and thrive.

When you have an integrated marketing strategy, you can drive a marketing program with confidence. That means both planning and keeping track in order to measure and improve. What do the experts say integrated marketing is?

Integrated Marketing is a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting defined audiences and individuals which coordinates all aspects of marketing of a brand…

SmartInsights blog

We want to use internally-directed marketing strategies based on audience research and knowledge, rather than be:

  • Driven by others’ marketing based on ‘hot trends’–and these may not work for your audience or offering
  • Confusing strategy with tactics, e.g. posting on Facebook (which is a tactic)
  • Unsure whether content marketing and social media sharing is really working.

Starting with Value for the Client

It all starts with knowing your client and understanding the value you provide for them. 

It’s not about years of experience, customer service, product quality, or anything else internal. If you read some of your testimonials, it will key you into some aspects that your customers/clients love about what you deliver.  

Write a Purpose-Driven Statement. If the business has a purpose-driven statement written down, it drives the marketing strategy overall.

If you say your organisation will be: friendly and fully communicative, then does the website copy and brochure copy sound friendly? Do the account service people ensure full communication once a person comes on board?

We can brainstorm about these narratives by looking at the definite business value provided. The value statement of Power of Words could be:

Listening to what you are really saying and interpreting it to be customer-friendly:  Listen, learn, transform   OR

Empowering the business leader to impart their origin story and values, and let these drive the language: Story-driven writing

What could your purpose-driven statement be?

Are you Selling them Functions, but Missing their Emotional Needs?

In researching human behaviour findings, Anthony Robbins found that people have certain emotional needs which underly their actions:

  1. Certainty/Comfort
  2. Variety
  3. Significance — e.g. social status, a high sense of worth
  4. Connection/Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

Which of these needs is most driving your users or clients? 

When most makers and consultants talk about what they do, they focus on form and function. But what the customer wants is usually stemming from an emotional need.

That emotional benefit will be a more powerful motivator than any set of features. That’s why a lot of mass advertising concentrates on a tangible customer benefit or outcome. Rather than talk about the beans in the coffee, they share a good brew with family (connection/love)… or seem to become more attractive with a celebrity (significance).

Is there some hidden value in your offering that overrides any penny-pinching they might have?  Maybe you could draw on those customer benefits in a value statement.

Women looks up at her customer segments
123rf.com Copyright: Kirill Kedrinski

Client Segmentation and Common Needs

Another aspect of Integrated Marketing is research into needs of your clients.  There will be various personalities that come to your site or presentations… and although each will have stronger need for say security, or new tech, or more status, a lot of these personas will have common needs.

This is all called customer segmentation. But we can make it simpler than that sounds.

Let’s look at the varied customer personas for an integrative marketing & finance consultancy. I’ve added some invented motivations:

…. Small consultants – who want affordable solutions that free up time

…. Marcomms Managers – who want to look good to their leaders and create better efficiency

…. Financial Controllers – who want to have tech that works much better than currently (a focus on detail) – which helps them worry less about inaccurate data.

There are two crossovers here in the drive for better efficiency, but the deeper needs are going to be more important.  

In a full customer persona though, you will look at roles/responsibilities, pain points, their problems, what options they have for solving the problem, and how it informs their behaviour.  This full analysis will drive us to develop a better marketing message that speaks to their emotional needs.

Another aspect of integrated marketing strategy is defining the lifetime value of clients.

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Lifetime Client/Customer Value

This is based on:

  • The last time they bought from you, how much? Work out the average value of a sale.
  • How many sales do you get per year?
  • How many years do they stay?

Multiply all these and then deduct the cost of doing a sale (acquisition cost) and direct overhead. This equals:  $….. for each client.

When you have the Client Lifetime Value, you can analyse various client segments and look at what is profitable. You’ll also know the value you can spend on marketing and understand why retention and loyalty is so important.

When you have a software that helps this along, such as Salesforce or Zoho, you can get a deeper understanding of CLV and multiple-time clients/buyers.

Then surveys (which test loyalty and advocates in an easy 1-10 scale) can indicate what your level of delivery makes someone promote your brand to others.

You might not even have a survey… but always have an option at the bottom of client induction forms to promote your service to their friends. This will indicate the percentage of people who feel confident enough to refer you or at least advocate your service. That’s why an online form is way better – it provides easy access to social sharing through share buttons.

Clues to Your Clients: Finding Users Who Search for You

Using keyword research, there are lots of indications about what phrases are most popular when people are informing their ideas with Google searches.

This does not mean they are ready to buy – but an experienced marketer can understand what intent people generally have by their keywords. Are they ready to hire or buy… or are they informing themselves with a longer question or general phrase?

So, keyword research is used to find what part of the ‘customer journey’ they’re in when they come onto your blog or your website pages.

You can also use Google Trends for comparing various topics that might be happening in your area.

If you need author marketing help, just book in for a one-on-one coaching session.

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