Last week at our East Coast Summit four different attendees came up to me separately to say, "Hey, I really liked your marketing campaign for this event!"
Of course I was thrilled -- there's no greater compliment than one from a fellow marketer. Then I was surprised and bemused to discover each one of the four was referring to a completely different marketing tactic.
o One agency exec had been a faithful reader for more than a year and said the quality of the newsletters over that long time period had finally converted her into becoming a ticket buyer.
o Another attendee admitted she's never heard of us before at all until a colleague forwarded her one of the B-to-B Lead Gen "Hell" cartoons from our viral marketing campaign this fall. Here's a sample of one of them:
o A Fortune 500 marketer said he'd known about us "for years" but never bought anything until he happened to attend a third-party Webinar where I was a guest speaker two days before. "You mentioned the Summit as an aside, and I went online to get my ticket right then and there while you were still speaking."
o Last, but not least, faithful customer Robert Lesser of http://www.DirectImpactNow.com told me he'd joked over the phone with a Sherpa editorial staffer about how he "deserved a T-shirt" because he was considering attending both the East and West Coast Summits.
Much to his surprise, he got a custom T-shirt in the mail shortly thereafter. Here's the photo he emailed back of himself wearing it:
My lesson learned? Although superbly integrated, matching-across-all-media campaigns are in fashion right now and can certainly improve your brand impact. Sometimes the scattershot approach works best.
Fact is, not all people are alike. So there's no reason why they'd all prefer the same kind of marketing messaging. If we'd depended on one single message, no matter how beautifully executed across multiple channels, we would have never won over all four of those marketers.
Let's hear it for disorganized -- but heartfelt -- marketing! Rah!
--> Reader response to this column:
"I cringed when I saw your headline 'Forget Integrated Campaigns' because in my newly started marketing consulting practice, I preach integration -- nay, I scream it. I instantly thought you had gone mad. However, I was very pleased to see that the feedback experience you recounted for us clearly demonstrates the importance of integration: all media executions staying true to the brand and working together with support systems to generate a conversion.
"I absolutely agree that you do not need to have one message/creative approach directing the delivery of every medium/execution. Overdone, this can actually lull prospects to sleep because they get used to rejecting the same 'look and feel' of your message.
However, I think true integration happens when all message touch points (tactics) represent the established brand (read positioning, not creative) and lead prospects to an easy way to convert (easy way to find your product to review it, signing up for something, buying something, making a referral, etc.).
The marketing tactics that each of your fans responded to were integrated! They all represented your brand well (except for maybe the T-shirt, although the personalization was key) and they each had a clear way for the prospect to respond – follow a link to your site and easily learn about and register for an upcoming conference.
I know you know, that there are too many companies out there who excel at getting the message out and then never address the conversion experience -– usually because the advertising team, the PR team and the internal support teams are not integrated – in other words, ready to make and take handoffs without dropping the customer along the way. So I applaud you for your well-integrated and disjointed marketing campaign.
I also want to thank you. Due to your blog entry, I just realized that when I say 'integration,' my clients may be thinking 'same creative,' so I need to look for another way to get my point across."
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