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How to Develop an Effective Mix of Marketing Tactics

11.08.2012 / Posted in Articles, Strategy

Note: This is the third article in a series on marketing strategy from FrogDog. To begin from the beginning, click here.

There’s a difference between a strategy and a plan. A plan is made up of tactics—activities—that carry out strategy. Activities that don’t serve an overarching strategy may not serve the company’s growth goals and objectives, are often not truly measureable, and may squander valuable resources.

Taking the time to develop a strategy and a plan will provide better outcomes for your marketing activity and spend.

Earlier articles in this series reviewed strategic planning for marketing, including market segmentation and customer targeting and developing key messages. In this article, we’ll review how to develop an effective mix of marketing tactics that serve an overarching marketing strategy.

Integrated Tactical Marketing

Executing a marketing strategy can involve tactics that range from direct mail and e-mail to public and media relations, broadcast advertising, mobile marketing, and video and social media.

The way these tactics work together as an integrated, coordinated whole matters far more than the nature and type of each individual tactic. Uncoordinated marketing can result in brand and message confusion—and it also means that the effort will not be as effective as it would be when orchestrated as a whole. The idea behind integrated tactical mix is to create the “marketing multiplier effect”—the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Think of integrated tactics as an orchestra. Under a conductor’s direction, a number of instruments with different sheet music come together into a work of art. Without a conductor, orchestral musicians do their individual best—yet the symphony as a whole loses luster.

When developing a tactical marketing mix, companies should ensure that there is a logical connection between each medium and that messaging and branding are consistent across all activities.

Let’s look at an example: Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You Mom,” which ran during the 2012 Summer Olympics. The campaign used television, print, public relations, Web, and social media. Its goal was to connect people personally to P&G, which provides a number of household products that mothers may use. The company launched a video and a series of ads that showed mothers and their families. The video and the ads did not mention P&G products specifically and they directed viewers to a campaign-specific Facebook page.

By the end of the Olympics, people had viewed the video over 72 million times. The campaign’s Facebook page received over 830,000 likes. In October 2012, the page was talked about by 47,500 people on Facebook. The company expects to garner $500 million from the campaign and, in its first fiscal quarter of 2013, the company showed a 2 percent growth in sales.

For another example, let’s look at a former FrogDog client, Employer Flexible. FrogDog worked with Employer Flexible to build a marketing strategy and plan and to help coordinate its implementation. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Employer Flexible’s busiest sales season, FrogDog created a series of direct mail and advertising pieces that differentiated the company from its competition using clearly crafted messages. As a result, inbound calls to Employer Flexible increased by an average of 23.5 percent and Web traffic increased by an average of 37 percent over the previous year’s fourth quarter. For more information on this effort, read the full case study.

Always Measure Performance

Like all investments, companies must measure the effectiveness of marketing plans. Measurement should take place during the course of the campaign—so that issues can be identified and addressed quickly—and at the campaign’s end. Each marketing activity should be measured individually in terms of how it serves the overall plan and the overall plan should be measured for its effectiveness in carrying out the defined strategy.

How a company will measure the effectiveness of its tactics and its overall plan should be determined during the plan’s development. (Want more information on how to measure marketing? Download our white paper on the topic.) Otherwise, organizations will not know how they are tracking against goals—and when is that ever a good idea?

What’s Next?

Once you have your tactical plan in place, you need to execute. Stay tuned for our next article with tips and tricks on effectively implementing marketing plans.

Need help developing and implementing a solid marketing plan? FrogDog to the rescue!

Note: This is the third article in a series on marketing strategy. Start at the beginning by clicking here

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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