Integration in 2012

It’s here. 2012. We’re a month in already and I feel great about what this year will bring us in terms of broadening perspectives in the marketing industry. This year I am excited to help many of our clients adopt a new viewpoint, learning how they can use different components of marketing for their ultimate success.  A large part of this means communicating how social media—an extremely important facet of marketing—is continuing to change the marketing game, and why it’s a player that that should be on our team.

Across the country, many organizations rely on traditional marketing and advertising to thrive. They put efforts like social media, email marketing and Search Engine Optimization, in a “frills” category, where it remains overlooked. I think this could be a mistake for said organizations. And here’s why…

In today’s always evolving world of marketing, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the changing facets of our industry, to understand them and be able to see how they can work hand-in-hand, overlapping perfectly in an effective marketing plan.

Social Media may not double your profits, but neither will a print or radio ad. Sending one press release won’t do your company a whole world of good either if that’s all you’re doing. I once heard this somewhat cheesey, but effective, analogy. Think about your marketing channels like players on a team. A print ad is one player, a radio ad is another, signage is another, TV is another, twitter is another—and well, you get the picture. Each player should support the others—because that’s what a good teammate does. Your email newsletters should have social calls to action, and your social should point back to your active blog. Your print ads may feature a QR code leading to your website, and your customer service surveys should always collect email addresses to add to your database.

Your team is only as strong as your weakest player. So what is your overall marketing strategy like? Do you have hope of making it to the playoffs this year?

The advancement and wide acceptance of social media has changed traditional marketing indefinitely. Fact. And, it has taken public relations, advertising and event marketing with it. The question for marketing professionals, public relations practitioners and (don’t kill me for saying it) social-media “gurus” is—do you think you can catch up? And then…stay up to speed?

Staying on top of new applications, evolving trends and technology that changes your industry is definitely not an easy task. Every month new technologies like QR codes, or text message marketing are introduced allowing you new ways to bring your message—and value—directly to your customers. In today’s world, you not only have to fight to keep tabs on new introductions to the marketing world, you must also stay abreast of how brilliant professionals are utilizing those technologies alongside traditional marketing efforts to keep their brand a step above the rest.

The more we can stay on top of what’s out there, the better we can refine our plans to include social media and new technologies to deliver the best results. You may have to test something new and push the envelope from time to time, but the key is integration. Add social media to your team and use it to support and improve your existing efforts. I won’t lie to you, it’s true that social media can be hard to track, but it is trackable (stay tuned to the Dial for more on ROI). It’s also true you probably won’t always see results right way. (A successful Facebook page usually takes at least six months to build.) So this year, let’s take a step forward toward including new media, new technologies, and new strategies into our marketing plans and see where it takes us. Let’s move toward integration in 2012.

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