In many cultures around the world the New Year is marked by people making “New Year’s Resolutions”; promises to themselves to help them improve, and achieve their goals.
We thought we would write our Flock Marketing Integration New Year Resolutions, to help you celebrate the New Year and achieve your integrated marketing goals, wherever in the World you are.
In the Western World we celebrate our New Year according to the Gregorian calendar on the 1st January. In Russia, Serbia, Macedonia and other countries that ran the Julian calendar, the New Year is celebrated on the 14th January. Until 1751 England celebrated New Year at the end of March, which actually seems quite sensible when you consider when nature awakes in the UK. Nava Varsha (New Year) in India is celebrated March-April. Wherever you are, and whenever you celebrate the New Year, we should all be thinking of how we can improve our marketing integration for the year ahead.
At Flock we have been inspired by learning about the Chinese New Year. This Chinese New Year is the year of the Horse (Ma 馬). It begins on the 31st January 2014.
The spirit of the Horse is important to the Chinese, mirroring their ethos;
- Making relentless efforts to improve themselves
- They are energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able
- Ingenious with communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight
- They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career
- They like entertainment and large crowds
- However, they are independent and rarely listen to advice
- They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper
- Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency
- They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own
We thought there was a lot about the Horse to be admired, and some things to avoid, especially when considering Integrated Marketing!
So, using the Horse and the Chinese New Year as inspiration here are Flock’s New Year Resolutions for Integrated Marketers:
#1 – Drive Relentless Improvement
We like to set up measures for everything and rapidly cycle through learning “experiments”. We use Define-Decide-Do as a way of working powered by an effective measurement system. We think that driving marketing integration needs to be a daily, weekly, monthly task. You can only improve with good measures and benchmarks. You need to persevere, it is not a project, it is a mission!
If you would like to know more about some of the measures of integrated marketing effectiveness see here.
#2 – Use Ingenious Communication Devices
Set up tests of new media stuff. The only way to learn is to experience things first hand. We will be using all and every new media we can find, for our own marketing, what about you? The average Fortune 100 Company spends 7% of turnover on Research and Development, so how come the percentage amount spent on Marketing testing is far, far less than that? If just 5% of a company’s marketing budget, or any campaign were designated for testing, the speed of learning and growth in efficiency and effectiveness will pay out very quickly. What are you testing this year?
#3 – Seek Crowds and Entertainment
We all need to go to where the consumers are and engage them with entertaining and informative content. The days of “driving” people to websites devoid of useful content are dead. We all need to find virtual and real communities and engage them. Have you really figured out where your consumers are, and have you drawn up compelling content plans to engage them? Do you really know what content will entertain and engage your communities at each stage of the customer journey? We run special cross-department and cross-agency customer journey sessions for our clients, and then plan out Content Calendars to help our clients engage with their communities. What about you?
#4 – Try not to be wasteful, optimise budgets
It amazes us the lack of science that still seems to accompany the setting of marketing budgets.
How do you build yours? Do you work from the objectives you need to achieve and work back to the budgets required to deliver them?
Do you build a list of initiatives and prioritise by likely Return on Marketing Investment, then set budgets by department and by agency?
Or, like most marketing folk are you haggling with someone else based on last year’s budget?
At Flock we are working with one of our clients where, by re-profiling the budgets on just one program, we can save over £1million which can fund over 75million views of our content and a comfortable 1million additional websites visitors! See here for more details
So, will you re-look at and re-optimise your budgets this year?
#5 – Accept Expert Independent Advice
One of the traits of those born under the Chinese Year of The Horse is that they are independent and will not accept advice. This is probably a very bad trait in today’s marketing landscape. In the fast moving marketing world it is just about impossible to know everything and do everything perfectly. That is why expert advice is required. That is why agencies are utilised. And clients should listen to their advice, as the great phrase from the American Mid-West that says “Why have a dog and bark yourself?”
But, all of the agencies have businesses to run, and they are hardly impartial and independent. So how can you get the best of your agency advice, but without the downsides?
This is where having advice “decoupled” from the agency’s product is useful, i.e. someone who gets paid for independent advice, which is not a creative, media or a technology product. Someone who can look “across” the agencies, work with them, bring them together, and sort the good advice from that born of self-interest.
You may get this advice from industry peers, from trade bodies, or ideally from Flock of course, but finding this independent objective marketing advice is increasingly important.
Who are you going to listen to this year?
So, that completes our five Marketing Integration New Year Resolutions. There are hundreds of places to start to improve your marketing integration, you will have your own approach and we would love to hear about them, please comment below or contact us here. Whatever approach you choose to improve, have a wonderful year and we hope you keep every one of your resolutions and reach every goal you set!
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