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The Pathway to Integrated Marketing Communications – 4 Steps

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Author: Mark Nardone, Chief Marketing Officer at PAN Communications, headshot
Mark NardoneChief Marketing Officer

A recent survey from Marketo found that the top 3 most important marketing objectives for CMOs in 2016 were as follows: brand building (55%), achieving positive ROI (45%) and automating their marketing processes (39%). The study also found high indicators that an integrated marketing communications strategy would be essential for carrying out these goals in 2016. These marketing tactics and services used the most by CMOs vary from content marketing (50%), digital marketing/online campaigns (47.5%), organic search optimization/SEO (47.2%), public relations (45%) and social media engagement (42.5%).

As a CMO it becomes increasingly difficult to meet the needs of modern buyers that have access to a wealth of information about competing products and brands. Keeping up with this demand in an omni-channel environment can only effectively be accomplished when CMOs build an integrated marketing communications strategy.  This approach not only allows for brand awareness but also a focus on customer retention, revenue growth and a higher response time to customer needs.

The first step to implementing an IMC strategy is identifying best practices and addressing any barriers that can impede these efforts. By concentrating on the 4 steps below you will be able to coordinate your company’s message across media to influence your brand’s value.

  • Determine Your Buyer Personas – Personas, when linked or engaged with your brand’s content, become the foundation of a very powerful marketing campaign that will drive outcome and action.
  • Create Engagement – Each small engagement creates a personal touch point that can strengthen into a deeper relationship and benefit an organization in a huge way. Whether it be placement in a great feature article or a new speaking opportunity, customer engagements can transform into a new customer opportunity.
  • Connect through an omni-channel experience, & mobile – As a CMO you must be equipped with the necessary insights to better engage in the omni-channel world, which includes creating content that is smart, fresh, personable and compelling across channels.
  • Gather data & measure – Structure your data into meaningful categories based on what it is and what the goal is. Create boundaries around data so that you are measuring specific audiences, specific issues or parts of the process. Then seek to identify the measures that are most meaningful.

With digital technology and the marketing landscape changing faster than ever it’s important to keep up with these changing trends. CMOs need to manage all aspects of communication from paid, earned and owned media as a single force that can work harmoniously together. By using integrated marketing strategies you’ll start to see the benefits – from clarity to consistency and a maximum communication impact that reinforces your brands messaging.

The 4 steps mentioned above have only been briefly outlined. For a full pathway towards an IMC strategy you can download our eBook here.

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