Holistic Marketing – Integrated Marketing Strategy and Execution
I talk about taking a holistic approach to marketing, but what does that really mean? It sounds all sort of green and granola-ey (which is never a bad thing, especially being in 303!)
Holistic by definition is relating to or concerned with wholes or complete systems rather than the parts.
Lots of marketing is an email campaign here, an event there, a pile of barely used collateral, and maybe some messaging; completing the checklist constitutes getting the job done. But in reality, the marketing is disjointed, activities do not build upon each other, resources (human and $) are not optimized, and the market and customers can get confused.
So, what’s the answer? Two words – Strategy and Planning. Then, execution. Ok – maybe 3 words. 🙂
Marketing is a choreographed dance that when it’s done well it looks good, is enjoyable, and is crowd pleasing. The components are executed with loops and connectors between the activities. The important part – all elements are considered as you execute on other parts of your marketing; then you are aligned throughout your activities.
- Go-to-market strategy: Build a 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 month strategy considering pathways (direct, OEM, Channel, Reseller, etc), vertical markets, and regional focus. Identify the opportunities and gaps that are sometimes hidden pockets of revenue potential. New business opportunities will make themselves apparent.
- Messaging: Value based messaging and where your product wins. This will keep the team focused and selling product in your strong spot.
- Solution and product marketing: This is where you launch, enable your sales teams with tools, and let the market know about you.
- Marketing programs, promotions, and events: Integrate and build! A lot of organizations do events, but they are disparate and not associated with other components of your marketing. Combine an event with a demand generation campaign, associate it with a launch, or add a roadshow after a trade show to continue to build awareness and momentum.
- Content and collateral: I often hear how teams can’t keep up with their content requests. There will always be more content requests than time in the day. Prioritization is key. Questioning whether another piece is needed or if the need can be met by an existing piece will keep your list manageable. Getting feedback on a collateral piece or reviewing metrics on how it’s used will help in your decision making process for creating, keeping, and updating collateral.
- Partner strategies and programs: Absolutely key! Collaborating with technology partners, resellers, channel partners, or OEMs will help expand the breadth of your sales efforts. Provide high-value content to help these pathways sell your product and make it easy for them to understand the value proposition, drive demand, and sell.
- Corporate branding, AR/PR, and communications: Defend your brand! Keep it consistent so the market can associate with you. Work with the press and analyst community to not only brief them but also get their feedback on what you are doing. Analysts, in particular, are open to providing feedback on your marketing and programs.
This is just an overview and a start. Each of these topics could have a blog of its own! Executing on this takes knowledge of sales and marketing. Then apply it to your product and market knowledge and you have a well-rounded program.
About the author:
Kim McMahon has done sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world and how they sometimes all come together.