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It may surprise you to learn that not all companies bother with marketing. Firmly believing that the products speak for themselves, the sales people are actively selling, and the company is ticking over, marketing is unnecessary and means additional work. But sooner or later they want to grow the business or have their eyes on a prospective customer. That customer could be the best account they ever win, but how?
Gone are the days when a sales person could simply turn up and speak to someone and sell a machine or service, now there are multiple hoops to jump through, and perhaps rightly so. And when time is money, how can marketing help?
Quite simply, it can cut through the ifs and buts and maybes and reach the people you’re trying to target with a specific message at a specific time. Your messages can be tested, timed, measured and followed, they can be one simple message or a newsletter full of messages.
Integrated marketing runs through the whole business, it is the blood running through the veins of the business, supporting the systems, the administration, the finance, the sales, the products and all the messages that reach the customers. To say that integrated marketing is about having a co-ordinated and strategic approach to communication is too limiting. It forms part of it, but needs to run through all the ways your customers or clients come into contact with you, each different touch point.
Consider the ways in which you are influenced in a purchase decision. It varies greatly depending on the product and the amount you are prepared to spend. Each factor has a different ‘weight’ meaning that in each purchase decision, each factor has a different degree of importance. Marketing can help you identify the factors and the weight placed on each factor.
In B2B, marketing can help identify you to your prospective customers, to raise awareness and to build reputation. It can elevate your status to expert, offering opinions and insight to your target audience.
Integrated marketing is about getting each and every touch point right, from the website to the telephone greeting to the first meeting. It is about seeing your company through the eyes of the customer or client and making it work. The digital experience is just part of it. And as with all businesses, it is not simply the sum of its parts: each part has an added value.
At Allott and Associates we get excited by the opportunity to create an integrated campaign for a company, to align each part of the company with its goals, to talk about what makes them tick, and why their customers return to them. Our clients are from a very diverse range of sectors, their products essential to some businesses and irrelevant to others. Which is why marketing needs to cut through barriers and find customers, to build on what these businesses have already achieved through years of hard work. And we get a real buzz from it.
Read more about the ways marketing can support your business: we are giving away 10 copies of ‘Integrated Business to Business Marketing’ by Philip Allott, names will be drawn out of a digital hat on Monday 6th June.