Why Integrated Marketing Communications Is Essential For Small Businesses

How can Integrated Marketing Communications help me, the small business owner?

Integrated Marketing Communication is essential to small business owners because they, even more so than large corporations can not afford to misspend or waste money on a single isolated marketing effort.

For instance, as a small business owner, it may be tempting to concentrate on one aspect of marketing – a new website, a direct mail campaign, radio ads or as a manufacturer, simply lease your partners market for you. However, what happens if that one piece of marketing doesn’t work?

ANSWER: Your entire marketing effort fails.

Instead, wouldn’t it be great to have an integrated marketing plan that takes the best parts of online marketing such as websites, email newsletters, search engine optimisation, and pay-per-click advertising and use that to make your traditional, offline efforts such as direct mail, advertising and PR even more effective.

For instance, this may be as simple as making sure that your website has the same key words as your radio advertising and that your banners at the little conference games also have the same content. To interiorise a content, a somebody must be exposed thereto several times. If you hit them threefold with three different contents it is nearly the same as being exposed only once. Even worse, it could be confusing and disorienting, ulterior in a negative experience with your brand.

Integrated Marketing Communications addresses this issue by creating a plan with a consistent content so delivering it through as many media as possible, online and offline.

What are the components of an integrated marketing plan?

An Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) plan should draw from all communication possibility disciplines available, including online, offline, and intersomebodyal.

Online marketing channels let in any e-marketing campaigns or programs, from search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click, affiliate, email, banner to latest web related channels for webinar, blog, RSS, podcast, and Internet TV. Offline marketing channels are traditional print (newspaper, magazine), mail order, public relation, billboard, radio, and television. Intersomebodyal marketing let ins involved in community groups, networking organizations, your handshake, how you dress, and even how you answer the phone or return calls.

While not every communication discipline necessarily to be let ind for each campaign, it is important for any integrated marketing practician to be well versed in the various components so that he or she can select the ones most appropriate for a specific client’s budget and demands.

Is it better to go with an agency, or shop for individual services myself?

While both have benefits, an agency can be a benefit if you don’t already have a network of trustworthy service providers including printers, promotional products companies, tradeshow planners etc. who are acquainted your business. Often times, an agency can get things done for a client faster, more efficiantly and with better quality for the same or lower price. Plus, as a business owner you have to factor the time you may spend shopping for the best price and reading reviews to make a point that the best price doesn’t give you the worst services.

However, the cost of each component shouldn’t be your primary concern when evaluating an integrated marketing plan. Instead, look at the expense and benefits of the entire plan working together. For instance, a website might cost $2,000 to build so you might spend $10,000 in pay-per-click advertising over the next year, but if the content on the website doesn’t match the content on your direct mail, or your client service people aren’t able to answer questions about the website then you wasted a great deal of money.

Instead, don’t look at the website as a single entity. Make sure that it is absolutely integrated into your marketing strategy:

* Promote it the to the worst degree bit opportunities. This let ins not just pay-per-click ads, but also on business cards, in radio ads, even place a sticker on your products lease clients know they can download copies of the product manuals there, and print it on your gross telling clients to download coupons on the website.

* Develop an email newsletter to offer your clients and prospective clients news and information they can use – not just a leaflet to sell your products.

* Create a blog and allow people to subscribe it. This will build trust and familiarity between your clients and your company. Don’t limit blog posts to just the president, sometimes a post from a project manager or even the receptionist can keep the blog stimulating and attention grabbing.

* Create a contest – but make a point the content is consistent with your integrated marketing strategy. Have people visit your website to enter.

* If you run an advert promoting a specific service, make a point that that your clients can find more information about it quickly and easily. Perhaps even put a graphic at the top of your page locution “Attention 99.5 listeners, Click Here to Learn More about Gutter Cleaning”

Those are just some examples for how you can integrate your marketing plan and maximize the first investment you made by building a website.

Isn’t an an integrated marketing communication just like any other marketing plan?

A marketing plan can be just a marketing plan for a website, or a marketing plan for an advertising campaign, but an Integrated Marketing Communications plan involves all aspects of marketing, crosswise the entire company. This means that you are integrated all aspects of the company into a single cohesive plan.

After all you could have a great website marketing plan, an awe-inspiring advertising campaign and an award winning PR agency, but if a client reads a release or hears your ad and decides to visit your website where he can’t find more info about your PR or advertising content what’s the point of disbursal the money in the first place?

Why Integrated Marketing Communications Is Essential For Small Businesses

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