I awoke Wednesday morning, March 13th, wishing my wife a happy anniversary as we celebrated 30 years since our first date. She asked me if I remember picking her up at the dorm that first time and whether or not I was nervous. Of course, I played the macho man and said, “No, I was cool as a cucumber.” I am not sure she believed me and the reality is I don’t believe me either. I was just trying to convince myself that I was not nervous and that I was in control. Like most, the reality of our first date was that we were nervous and clumsy, with sweaty palms. I was thinking, “What if something goes wrong? What if she doesn’t like me once she gets to know me? Should I hold her hand? Should I kiss her goodnight?” There was so much going through my mind – so much pressure!
I find that many people have the same response when considering their first “date” with an Integrated Marketing Campaign (IMC). They are nervous, unsure, and fearful to take the first step. “Where do I start? I don’t understand all the language and lingo. How do I convince my boss? How will it affect our company or organization? What if it fails?” Before we go on a first date, it’s good to know some basic “ins and outs” of dating. Well, the same is true about IMCs – you need at least a general definition of what they entail. The simple explanation of an IMC is this: It is any marketing effort that uses multiple touches or connections with your customers or prospects through multiple channels or media such as print, web, email, mobile devices, social media, TV, radio, etc. Just like a date, your IMC should include a two-way conversation. No one likes a date where the other person spends the whole time talking about himself or herself! During a healthy dating process, you will learn the likes, dislikes, and interests of the other individual. A properly executed IMC provides interactive channels of communication that allow you to learn more about your targeted audience. A healthy first date will lead to a second date; a healthy first IMC provides data for future, even more effective campaigns.
Handled correctly, a dating relationship will grow. You will continue to learn more about each other and build trust. The relationship should be engaging and maybe one day you’ll find yourself engaged to be married. The same engagement and trust will happen with a successful IMC. A common trait of people in love is they want to share their news with family, friends, and the world – they want everyone to know. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and blogs provide the avenues to share in the integrated world. With a compelling call to action, your customers will share the news in social media, and your pool of prospective customers will grow exponentially.
I have been married to my wife now for 28 years and married to my career in “printing,” which has evolved into Marketing Communications, for 32 years. I have seen a lot of changes in both our industry and myself. I know my first steps working with Integrated Marketing Campaigns were just like my first date. I was nervous and clumsy (but no sweaty palms). However, now that I am fully immersed in them, I find them to be exciting, rewarding, and absolutely vital for a business to thrive in this economy. Alfred Lord Tennyson coined the phrase, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” As for Integrated Marketing Campaigns, I say, “Embrace them and love them, or experience loss to your competitors and your bottom line.” Embrace your first date with an Integrated Marketing Campaign by contacting us today!
Authored by Jim Newcomb, Vice President