Not so long ago, I remember clients’ marketing programmes and budgets were split into distinct parts. You may have seen advertising, corporate hospitality, literature, websites, exhibitions, direct marketing, media and “pr”, and all manner of other bits and bobs, recorded as different programmes and separate budgets.
We would spend time discussing the overall concepts and plans of course – but they were more or less independent. There may even have been different teams allocated to each discipline.
It was only sitting in various business and marketing planning meetings at the end of last year that it struck me; marketing is just one all-encompassing discipline today – due to the sheer number of possibilities and opportunities in the communication worlds today – and each element needs to be looked at and planned holistically. None stands alone.
Think about how you research purchases today – and how you view a company. It’s never down to one channel; though you may not realise it until you start to think! You saw that car online, on the TV, in the press, and then in person probably. You saw that new pop-up shop on social media, talked about it with friends, trusted and liked the people and then visited. Most of the time, we don’t know exactly where we got our inspiration from as were are busy and targeted from all angles!
It’s no different in business. One of the most common nearly-errors is the hugely expensive attendance/stand at an exhibition, for example – with little joined-up thinking to support the cost. For months before, every communication needs to mention your attendance and your plans – email sign-offs, advertising, direct marketing, online and social. Every potential visitor or customer will use different communication vehicles so be everywhere. Shout your message from every rooftop before, during and after the show.
So now we sit in planning meetings and enjoy “agency days” where every marketing specialist sits together to discuss ideas from the early “back of a cigarette packet” stage. It sounds simple – but often the best ideas are!