Running a (Marketing) Marathon in just 5 Easy Steps

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marathon start line

The road to truly integrated marketing can be daunting. It can seem like you are toeing the start line of a marathon. So, with the London Marathon coming up we thought we would show you “five training techniques” that will make the Marketing Integration marathon feel easier. We also take this opportunity to pass our sincere thoughts to the hurt in the Boston Marathon.

1. Set your objectives.

You have to be in it, to win it.

The first step is to fully commit, wholeheartedly to your goal, and work out what you need to do to achieve it. In the marathon it may be to just get round, it may be a 2’15” or to raise £10,000.

As a client, do you know how much efficiency and effectiveness you could gain from integrating your campaigns, or your entire ecosystem? Have you set your goal? Chances are the answer is no. So looking inwards at your department and campaigns, and outwards at your agencies, can help you set your goals.

If you have been following some of our recent articles, like this one about the benefits of  fixing your agency ecosystem you will know by now how much you could save from repairing your agency ecosystem. And add to that the savings and efficiencies that could be made by optimising your own internal ecosystem.

2. Right resources.

The marathon runner, will need to make sure that he or she has the right resources to carry out the run, simple things such as planning the time to train, getting the best running shoes and other equipment, getting appropriate nutrition, maybe getting a personal trainer, etc.

On one of our current projects with a large global company, the internal resources and external agencies needed to carry out a particular campaign had already been decided before Flock got involved. However, the first thing that Flock noticed on this campaign is that there were four marketing disciplines missing in the mix to make it a truly integrated campaign; search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click (PPC) for social media & digital media, the media agency had not been consulted on integration with PR or with regards to securing the distribution of a TV show.

3. One strategy.

Marathon runners will know that they need to set a training strategy and stick to it throughout the period leading up to the run. If the runner decides to change strategy half way, to mix strategies and plans, or to train with a friend following a different strategy, the outcome cannot really be guaranteed.

On the same project as mentioned in point 2, the different client divisions and agencies had never been all together in the same room before, some of whom have been working on this project together several years in a row… At a day-long workshop Flock got everyone to meet, agree to one single strategy, and by the end of the day, aim for the same targets.

4. The hard work.

The runner now needs to go out and run all the miles. It is all good having the resources, the strategy and the plan in place; the actual work needs to take place. Marketing Integration will not happen on its own, just like a marathon will not run it self. The actual run is just one day out of the many months of preparation. However, when well prepared and sticking to the appropriate plan, the day of the run should go rather smoothly.

At Flock we believe that planning, scheduling, and logistics are all key to delivering an amazing run on the big day… or in marketing words, delivering a brilliantly integrated campaign.

To do this we use IP technology and shared online platforms, we enable communication, we give advise, we assist, we organise, we rectify, we challenge, coach, encourage, question, compare, gather, distribute, but most importantly, we listen, listen and listen some more.

5. Measure everything.

If you want to make sure you improve your performance for the next marathon, should you decide to do it again, then you need to measure what you did, how you did it and the results, compare it to what your desired outcome and benchmarks were, and then decide on a new improved strategy and plan.

At Flock we measure just about everything; how well this blog article might do (in terms of views, time spent on the page, responses to our tweets about it, etc), what our clients think of us, what we are delivering for our clients against what we said we would, and on behalf of our clients what all of their agencies are delivering against the promises they made… among many other measures.

All these measures allow us to improve what we deliver and how we deliver it for the next time round, but importantly also during any given project without having to wait until the end to start seeing trends or results. We are therefore in a position to fine-tune and fix issues along the way.

A lot of people who have run one marathon will run another.  We believe that once you see the benefits of real integration, you will never do marketing any other way.  Let us know your what you think.

If you need help getting across the winning line, give us a call, we will have our running shoes ready.

marathon finish line
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