A compelling BusinessWeek article entitled “Integrated Marketing: If You’d Knew It You’d Do It” recently caught my eye.
The topic prompted a conversation with valued friend and colleague, Peggy Fenwick, principal of the award-winning Markit Strategies and PR, of which I’m proud to be a part.
The following post is the first in a series of “Three Marketing Question With…” BtoB Blog posts. Peggy addresses three questions about Integrated Marketing Communications – a discipline her agency not only practices, but is also a subject of study in Peggy’s pursuit of a Masters of Science at Eastern Michigan University.
Three Questions for Peggy
Q: To provide a fundamental understanding, what is a working definition of integrated marketing?
A: Integrated Marketing Communications is easiest understood when you think of the many ways we should promote an item or service; but all these ways should fulfill one set of goals or objectives. Particularly in B2B marketing, simply advertising in industry publications is no longer the only marketing tool we have.
Today, messages for a particular item/service can come from a variety of everyday activities. Connecting with decision makers will likely take several touch points along the way. It’s from this variety of touch points that we build an integrated marketing communications program.
Traditional print advertising, banner ads on a corporate website, an email, and comments posted on an industry blog – all of these opportunities are ways to convey a message to an end user. The process of planning that cohesive key message, identifying the creative used to deliver the message, and ultimately planning how the messages will be delivered is the overall process of integrated marketing communications.
Q: Why is integrated marketing important in the b-to-b sector?
A: Those of us who service businesses who sell to other businesses know that marketing budgets are tight and far smaller than consumer marketing programs. When building an IMC program for b-to-b sector, we have fewer funds to work with, so we must be smarter, work quickly, and are sure we are reaching out to the target market with effective integrated marketing communications. Ultimately, we have to deliver leads.
Q: What key integrated marketing initiatives will be most important in 2013?
A: I believe online activities such as SEO and social media will be most important to B2B marketers next year. The web is where we will continue to see growth. Email marketing and website marketing efforts will be the top tools used to reach the target market.
|Marketing Tactics chart from SageFrog Marketing Group.|
About Peggy Fenwick
As Founder and Principal of the award-winning Markit Strategies and PR, Peggy Fenwick is an industry expert in the development and implementation of communication and public relations strategies for the business-to-business market. Her areas of expertise include strategic communications planning, marketing communications, analyst relations, and program development planning for technology giants as well as start-ups.
Peggy has experience working in marketing management for several area companies including Future Three Software, SupplySolution, Inc., and McKenna Associates. She also worked as a senior account manager at Airfoil Public Relations. Peggy earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in marketing from Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, Mich. Peggy actively supports the Michigan Council of Women in Technology and the Plymouth-Canton Music Boosters, supporting the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park music programs. Peggy is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications at EMU.