(This is the first in a series of guest posts for Silverpop written by Jeff Ogden, president of Find New Customers.)
According to Wikipedia, Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is defined as a:
customer-centric, data-driven method of communicating with the customer. IMC is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost. This management concept is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation.
Got that? All marketing communications tools, avenues, functions and sources. If you’ve been in the marketing leadership role for very long, your head is swimming right now. But we have good news for you. Silverpop has a white paper coming out soon on this very issue.
Think of how many marketing communications tools and avenues exist — TV, radio, print, pay per click, organic search, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, website, blog, outdoor, events, YouTube — the list goes on and on and on.
OK, so let’s just send an email. But what will the recipient be using — laptop, smartphone or tablet (and do Blackberries, iPhones and Android devices look the same)? Will our email look good on every device?
Welcome to the crazy new world of the CMO!
And by the way, your bosses want results — fast!
Maybe you feel like the thirsty man in this photo — way too much of a good thing.
Most marketers face bewildering questions:
- Where should I start?
- Where is the best place to invest?
- How can I measure success?
- How will I know what isn’t working?
In our opinion, careful planning and research is needed.
Before you begin, first consider how big the job really is. What is the new customer revenue for the upcoming year? From there, simple formulas can map the needs. What percentage of new deals will you win? What percentage of sales-ready deals actually close? What percentage of marketing-ready deals become sales-ready deals? How much does it cost to generate a marketing-ready lead? How many do we need?
Next you need to go talk to your customers. Jack Welch, the famed former CEO of GE, once said to an up-and-coming GE executive, “Go talk to the customers. At least they won’t lie to you.” Jack is right. Buyers give you the unvarnished truth.
What should you ask? We suggest you start with buyer personas (read the Buyer Persona Manifesto.) The idea is simple: The better you understand buyers, the better you can talk to them. You’ll learn what devices they use and what social networks they visit. You’ll learn to “fish where the fish are.”
Start crafting content to answer the questions prospective buyers have. What questions do they need answered in order to buy your product? Think of how they move from a problem to a solution and map your content to that process.
Finally, craft some metrics to track your progress and prove results. I recommend you start with experts such as the Lenskold Group.
If you start the right way and follow a plan, then you’ll be in good shape,
Jeff Ogden is president of the B2B Lead Generation Company Find New Customers, which offers a comprehensive B2B marketing plan. Contact us if you’d like it.