Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"The Integrated Approach to Marketing"

Have you ever heard the term "integrated approach?" It means that all parts to the system (any system, but in your case your business) work together to get across the same message.

When I start branding a company - I always take an integrated approach. We look at their target client first. We create an image and brand that reflects the values and styles of those clients, and then we promote the product's benefit throughout all the marketing materials we do.

It also works when trying to get across an educational message to a large group of people.

For example, I'm currently working on a project that is trying to inform the public about the serious issues regarding the commercial fishing industry.

Did you know that the "big fish" market has depleted its resources in our oceans by 90% since the 1980s? Staggering isn't it? Did you know that for every 1 pound of shrimp caught, 5 pounds of other sea life and other fish are caught, killed, and thrown out as waste?

The project I'm working on is striving to educate the public on these sensitive issues. Soon there will be serious ecological problems (within the next 5 years) if something is not done about it.

But how do we reach such a large society with such an important message?

You guessed it, with an integrated approach.

Our plan is to release a documentary (30 min) in the highschools' biology classes as well as on PBS, National Geographic, or the Discovery Channel. This way when kids come home from school to talk at dinner time about the Tuna they are eating with their parents, their parents will also have seen/heard about the serious issues on the table.

The next step is to get restaurants such as Bone Fish and/or Red Lobster to use the "Fish Safe List" as a marketing tool on their menus and marketing materials... advertising that they serve and purchase from their suppliers, only fish on the "safe list."

There are many other venues that will be necessary to take a fully integrated approach in getting the message across to the general public. But without an integrated approach, the message would not take hold.

The same goes with your business's message. Integrate it into all your business systems and watch it grow from your idea into your reality.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Join Your Target's Trade Association"

In marketing, we must define who our target market is so we can be the most effective with our marketing campaign. For most people, this step is fairly easy; it's just a matter of defining who would use your type of product/service. However, reaching your target market, after you have all your marketing materials geared towards them, can prove more difficult.

One of the best ways to put people around you (that are already qualified as your target market) is to join a trade association outside of your own profession.

For example, if I own a computer repair company, and I'm looking to target law firms or individual lawyers (who have critical information on computers and can't afford to lose it) then I would join their trade association. This way you have placed tons of people around you that are your target clients and your competition is limited because you'll probably be the only computer repair guy in their association. At the networking events then you can begin to develop personal relationships with the lawyers in your group.

This has proved very valuable for many of my customers. Once we define who their target market is, they join the respective trade associations, network within the group, and become the "association's specialist." You can even offer a discount on your services to these associations as well, as an incentive to do business with you.

Until next time...