The number of potential marketing methods for your business seems endless, each one a golden opportunity to develop great relationships with your customers. However, without a joined-up approach, you risk the opposite: confusing them or, even worse, alienating them!
So what do we mean by joined-up marketing? Well, put simply, it’s ensuring that every element of your marketing ties together and works to achieve the same goal. It’s about visual and tonal consistency to reinforce your overall brand. And it’s about avoiding a ‘patchwork’ approach – such as putting all your efforts into social media one month, only to drop it the next.
It’s easy to see how a company’s marketing becomes disjointed. As marketing channels have increased, businesses have made the wise move of delegating responsibilities to different members of staff, or maybe even outsourcing the occasional job or two.
So, you might have one person responsible for updating your website while another manages your LinkedIn profile. Content for your latest flyer or brochure may be decided in the boardroom, while your Facebook and Twitter accounts are updated in a completely different country. This is all well and good – as long as the approach is joined up.
Top tips for joined-up marketing
1. Down tools and review
Stop what you’re doing right now. It’s time for a review of your marketing. Sit down with your team and, together, go through any strategies you’ve been pursuing over the last six months.
Draw up a list of comparisons across your various channels. Are your messages consistent? Do they complement each other visually? Does your blog read as if it was written by the same person who updates your social media – or are there vast differences?
This is the quickest and easiest way to identify whether your marketing is joined up. If it is, congratulations! If not, move on to Step 2!
2. Go back to your objectives
Ultimately, the pursuit of the same objectives binds your marketing together. You may have hard objectives to fulfil (such as increasing sales by 20%) or soft objectives (such as developing a clear brand identity across your marketing).
As a team, review those overall objectives. Identify where in your marketing you’re on the way to achieving them – or where there’s room for improvement. Find examples of good practice, perhaps even saving these in a central file for you and your team to reference down the line.
And it should go without saying, but if there’s anyone in your team who doesn’t know your marketing objectives, this is your chance to get them up to speed!
3. Plan, plan, plan!
One of the most common symptoms of disjointed marketing is a series of random postings or campaigns with no common thread. Another is customer bombardment, followed by a drought of content. Largely, these both happen when there is no overall plan in place for team members to work from.
With your objectives clear in your mind, decide how you’re going to achieve them through the various channels you use. Draw up a plan for the next three months, six months, or even a year, detailing:
• what you’re going to do,
• how you’re going to do it,
• and who’s going to be responsible for it.
At any given point, this will leave you all clear on exactly what’s going on with your marketing at any one time. You’ll know how many social media posts you’ll be publishing, and what they’ll be on. You’ll easily identify when your customers can expect their next e-shot from you, and you’ll be sure of when to start working on your next brochure.
4. Appoint an overseer
Your overseer is responsible for monitoring all of your marketing from this point on. They’re not responsible for producing it, but it’s down to them to keep an eye on what’s going out and how it’s being done. They could:
• support the team by providing guidance on overall objectives or brand guidelines;
• review any marketing before it goes out to customers, checking for inconsistencies;
• check all members of the team are following the plan.
You might choose to be the overseer or you could delegate it to someone else; either way, it’s an important (and not too onerous!) role that’s really helpful in joining up your marketing.
Granted, all of the above takes time, effort and the willingness of everybody to get involved in the process…and we know that’s sometimes easier said than done.
That’s when there’s another solution, and that’s to get an agency like Garda involved. Not only can we undertake each of these steps for you – we can even take every element of your marketing in hand!