When I develop integrated marketing communications I frequently dream of a world where millions of customers flock to my site, sign-up for my product, and keep on coming back for more. But then the Silicon Valley Tech Fairy (think Tinkerbell with iPads for wings) slaps me and I wake up.
In reality the vast majority of customers will not come to your site. Why? Because they discover products when connecting with friends on Facebook, reading a blog, checking their newsfeed, cleaning up their inbox, going to and from work, watching a favorite TV show, viewing a video clip, flipping through a magazine, or doing a product search. But many marketers still place the bulk of their investment and emphasis on their own site.
If customers are visiting other places already how can you use these to your advantage?
Good integrated marketing communications target major touch points or influence opportunities with customers. In other words you need to go and communicate where your customers are.
To do this I suggest a multi-pronged approach to your marketing strategy, using three major channels, with each channel having a specific purpose to either (1) scale, (2) expand, or (3) penetrate, the market.
- Scale: Choose a high visibility channel that will allow you to scale and attract new customers rapidly from your core target segment.
- Expand: Find a channel that enables you to reach an adjacent pool of new users.
- Penetrate: Segment your existing customers and promote features, functionality or special offers to increase product usage.
When developing integrated marketing communications remember to design a plan that is focused on engaging customers at the places where they frequent most.