Commentary

Marketing In Today's Economy: Why It Pays To Integrate

In today's struggling economy, every penny counts. For marketers who want to effectively engage the highly coveted Hispanic online market, it pays to integrate -- launching tightly-woven, multi-channel online campaigns. You need to get all of your online campaigns working strategically together to achieve the same goals (higher sales, deeper brand engagement and better customer loyalty) to boost overall marketing ROI.

 

Plus, it's no secret that customers want an integrated experience with your brand and respond favorably when your marketing messages are consistent across different online channels. A study conducted by Yahoo and comScore showed that consumers exposed to both display advertising and search purchased the advertiser's products and services 244% more often online than those who were not exposed to both.

But you may be wondering: how do I go about integrating campaigns? The answer is, it's easy if you remember the 1-2-3 punch: (1) traffic, (2) creative, and (3) destination.

As any marketer knows, it takes more than one brand impression for a prospect to remember your message and, ultimately, convert into a customer. In this age of consumer choice, the ability for a brand to create a relevant dialogue with the U.S. Hispanic market will require the power of all marketing vehicles working together. The 1-2-3 punch method of campaign integration requires marketers to answer three main questions: Where do I find my customer? How do I attract her attention? And where do I send her to pick up my product or service?

In online marketing, the "where" is addressed by the traffic source, such as email, ad networks, portals, and search, to name a few. Secondly, how you attract the attention of a potential consumer when you're in front of her is dependent on the creative you use: the banner ad, text ad, video, etc. Lastly, once you've figured out how to find your customer and get her interested, where you send her makes all the difference: your Web site or landing page. The right combination of all three -- traffic, creative, and destination -- results in truly integrated campaigns and a significant boost in customers.

  • Traffic. The first step to integrating all of your online campaigns is to coordinate your spending across traffic sources: search, email, display, social media etc. Once you decide on how much to spend in total and by segment, you can begin to create campaigns that span all channels with one, consistent message. Over a set period of time, take a look at the click-through rate and conversion rates of each campaign by traffic source. You may find you're allocating too much to one channel, because it performed more poorly than you'd hoped, and not enough to another channel, which is delivering better results than expected. Where to find your target consumer is often not as obvious as it would seem. For example, if you're marketing to Hispanic moms, an entertainment site often works better than a pure parenting site. That's because over 65% of the Hispanic population is under the age of 35. The moms you seek are also young, and therefore, are highly engaged on entertainment sites. Further, your marketing budget should be flexible enough to adapt to the performance of your campaigns over time.
  • Creative. Whose attention are you trying to grab? Are you trying to reach a sub-segment of the Hispanic market, English-dominant young people, for example, or Spanish-speaking Hispanic moms? Knowing the many facets of your target consumer will help you choose the right creative for each traffic source. Bear in mind that one creative may perform differently depending on the traffic source --while the message should be consistent, your creative should suit the traffic source. Start with the broadest group of creatives, rotate different versions, and eliminate types of creative and versions over time. You may need to adjust your balance during certain promotions or campaigns, or to meet particular sub-segments of the Hispanic market during designated periods. Figuring out the right balance of online media and creative by traffic source is not something you get right once and then never think about again. To get the most out of your integrated marketing media spend, you need to consistently and constantly test your multi-channel campaigns to find out which are delivering the best results and in what combination. By testing and optimizing campaigns, you can more efficiently use your pre-designated media spend, staying within budget while boosting campaign effectiveness and ROI.
  • Destination. Finally, don't forget to continue consistent messaging all the way through the funnel from traffic to creative, to your Web site or landing page. When it comes to destination, brand advertisers could learn a lot from direct-response advertisers who know that clear paths lead to better conversions. And even slight changes in headlines, colors and layout can make a huge difference in whether a visitor ultimately becomes a customer. By combining the normal tools of brand advertisers (banner ads, social networks, video etc.) with the techniques of direct-response advertisers (lead-generation, email), you not only communicate a consistent brand image, but also can see how one impacts the other and collect integrated data that paints a truer picture of your target customer.

As measurement capabilities in online advertising advance, it is increasingly likely that direct response marketing will become more branded, and brand advertising will become more measurable and performance driven. Establishing a highly integrated approach today will serve your company well now and in the future. Using an integrated marketing approach to reach the diverse U.S. Hispanic online audience will not only enable you to boost brand recognition, engage consumers, and boost sales -- but also you'll be simultaneously gathering valuable consumer data that will help you fine tune your Hispanic messages over time.

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