Create your integrated marketing campaign

Recently, I met with the Director of Marketing that is responsible for creating an integrated plan for various skilled nursing facilities. Since she has been with the company a short time, the approach to date that she has been doing with her marketing has been more of a shotgun approach. If she was presented an idea from a media rep. and it made sense for her brand and her target audience, she would book that medium. We talked about the importance of moving away from that protocol to developing an annual strategy and form a complete, integrated marketing campaign. The goal is to create a whole annual strategy of offline and online media to make a unified, cohesive marketing plan. Here is the road map to follow in order to create your integrated marketing campaign:

1) Know your target audience and how they are influenced in the decision making process                                                                                                                                                                                               Obviously, it is important to know that most decisions on nursing home and assisted living centers are made by the children of the parents. And, most of the children are between the ages of 45-64 years old. But, what about all the other outside influencers? What about the hospitals, the doctors and the staff? They all make recommendations on a transitional facility once the hospitals can no longer care for the patients due to Medicare/Medicaid restrictions. Your integrated plan should not only include your core customer but also all the other outside influencers.

2) Select your mediums based on the target

Is your target younger and are they more apt to be online? Or is your target older where maybe a mix of online and offline media may be best? How does your target spend their day with each medium? Does this medium also work as a branding tool to achieve long term success?

3) Make sure you have brand identity

It is very important that your message/campaign has a consistent feel and look. If you have a direct mail campaign, it should have the same feel/look as your website. If you are running a billboard campaign, it should have the same tagline/phrase that is in your radio campaign. You must integrate your campaign and have them be synergistic across all mediums.

4) Make sure your campaign is trackable so you can analyze analytics

So many times when I ask an advertiser how a medium has performed for the brand, they have no idea. I hear, “We think it works…but we have no concrete evidence.” Nowadays, it is very easy to track the performance of your online campaigns. But what about your offline campaigns? With your offline campaigns, you can set up a designated phone number or a designated URL for those to respond to make it easy to gauge the results from each medium. Another idea would be to drive all traffic from your campaign to a landing page on your website. On the landing page, they can fill in all their information and also indicate how they heard about your brand. 21st century technology makes it so much easier for you to make sure you are receiving a return on your investment from each medium.

Roger Keys, the author, is Founder/President of Marketing Keys, a boutique media management firm headquartered on Chicago’s version of New York’s Madison Avenue – Michigan Avenue. Prior to starting his own media firm in 2007, Roger sold media for 20 years including a very successful 12 year stint working for The Walt Disney Company/ABC.