I believe that implementing a digital marketing strategy framework to follow is essential to ensure the success of your integrated marketing strategy. Importantly by agreeing on a marketing plan structure during the planning phase, you can ensure the buy-in from your team and business to support your integrated marketing strategy.
Applying a strategic framework creates a system to make your plans easier to understand and gives a way to assign specific metrics to monitor, manage and measure the performance of your integrated marketing strategy.
We’ve created the RACE Framework and subsequent RACE marketing training to empower marketing leaders to take a data-driven, customer-centric approach to planning, managing, and optimizing their marketing strategies. By using this structure for your planning, you can integrate all your marketing activities across your key omnichannel customer touchpoints, to strengthen your reach, interaction, conversion, and engagement.
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There are 4 key areas to focus on: customer, business, internal and external contexts:
This is defined by highlighting specific segments of customers who interact with your business whether through acquisition or communication; What the level of awareness, perception, and attitude is of your target customer base e.g. is your business benefiting from a growing reputation (e.g. growth in brand search, are your social media metrics providing a positive sentiment? Has email database been increasing in sign-ups?)
It’s also important to think about the external business environment you operate in and the types of perceived risk which are encountered. e.g. What is the level of competition your business operates in within this sector? Are there a number of competitors and what are they doing to attract market share (and more importantly your customer base?).
What is your corporate and marketing strategy? In other words, how do you differentiate your business from the competition? Evaluating your brand positioning will also provide you with an external view of how your business is perceived by customers.
Importantly, how are you perceived by your suppliers? And are you a trustworthy organization to partner with? Think about any existing partnerships that are in operation?
Organisation Identity: If you are an online retailer, it benefits from commanding a strong domain name, use tools such as SEOmoz software, which can provide you with an insight into the value or trust-worthiness of your website online.
As highlighted earlier, think about your external environment and list out who your key stakeholders are such as your consumers (look to create a persona on the types of consumers you attract); media (what media channels is your brand available through or can offer interaction with the end-user?) affiliates (do you provide alternative routes for your product offering, brand to interact with customers?).
Other tools which can provide a good evaluation to your business within an external environment are a SWOT and PEST analysis.
As you have completed with the external context, look to critically evaluate the business with an internal focus. Key indicators and questions worth considering and recording are:
So from completing your context analysis, a series of issues, barriers, and opportunities should now have been identified and documented. Below are some suggested barriers and opportunities you may consider if you are creating an integrated marketing strategy for an online retailer:
Outlining your barriers and opportunities will help form what your objectives will be for the report. To do this it is important to create SMART objectives which refer to: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-specific.
Below are a few examples based on a campaign with the objective to increase brand alignment for a product launch and has a secondary objective of sales:
Both objectives should have measurement criteria in place to assess how both objectives will be met.
The creative idea should be developed taking into account consideration of what your objectives are. This should also help to provide an insight into how your creative idea can differentiate your campaign from the competition, so look to reference your findings from the first section too.
The creative element is a brief overview of “what you plan to do and to create a storyboard or guide on how you plan to meet your objectives?”.
This section should provide an overview of the specific tactics to be used, justifications, audience profile, and how this is all to be managed, measured, and monitored:
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Increase brand visibility in the UK market within the age bracket of 18-35 by 20% for Product X from April 2013 through to June 2013 and measured through Google Analytics. How?
Objective 2- Sales
To achieve a 10% increase in sales of Product X based on the previous year (April – June 2012)
1. Organisational Health Check: focus on customer, business, internal and external contexts.
2. Assess the Barriers and Opportunities: models available using SWOT and PESTLE.
3. Identify SMART objectives:Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-specific..
3. Creative Idea to be aligned to your objectives.
4. Identify the Integrated communications strategy: target audience, justification, and range of tactics/ media mix ie. Social Media, Website, Email, Affiliate etc.
5. Finally, measure, monitor and manage your campaign.