Integrated Marketing Solutions for Business – Part 1

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Integrated Marketing Solutions for Business – Part 1

What are Integrated Marketing Solutions?

I regularly receive questions about exactly what are Integrated Marketing Solutions and how do they apply to businesses in today’s world.  Because of this, I’ve decided to do a weekly blog examining what Integrated Marketing is, how businesses can incorporate it, and how/why they should.  We will also be looking at all the different marketing facets that encompass an integrated marketing solution and which ones will work best for business depending on their customers and the services or products they offer.

First part of online integrated marketing solutions is also the anchor.  This is the website.  I think we can all agree that most businesses need to have some type of online presence.  This should be a website not only because of the capability it provides for delivering content, but also because of the reliability it has in conveying what it is your business is about, and more importantly how your business can provide its products or services.  Now, when deciding what type of website to offer depends on several factors.  Who is the website for?  And, what does the website need to have?


Who is the website for?

Most business owners would say that their integrated marketing solutions website should be for their customers.  This is only partially true.   What I mean by that is this;  do you have vendors, competitors, suppliers, industry organizations, community peers, or other entities that interact with your business on any type of frequency.  If the answer is yes, then your website needs to be properly designed for all of these entities as well, especially if they have a significant impact on the success or failure of your business.

Additionally, is your website only to operate as a place for information and only needs to be promoted on company literature or by word of mouth?  For most, this is not the case.  Most businesses need their website to be found by possible customers, investors, partners, etc.. that will help the business grow and succeed.  How are most websites found.  Most are found via Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo).  But an ever increasing amount of website traffic is also being generated by Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Yelp, Groupon, Tumblr, etc… are generating significant amounts of traffic to websites, so much so that many businesses are utilizing Social Media as there primary means of online marketing.  So, an Integrated Marketing website not only has to be designed for customers and parties that will have an impact on the business, but also needs to be designed to provide website traffic via Search Engines and/or the various Social Media available today.


What does the website need to have?

This question relys heavily on the answers to the previous question.  Based on who the website is designed for, we then can strategize what the website needs to have to better service those who it is designed for.  Simply put, if you are designing a website only for Search Engines, it would have lots and lots of content, but would probably not be attractive or engaging enough for customers.  Conversly, if the website is deisnged to woo customers only, it would probaly not have enough contnent for search engines to determine exactly what the website is about, and therefore few customers would ever see it.  I’m sure you have seen examples of both of these scenarios.  They are unfortunately all to frequent among business website.  Having a proper balance between having enough content for search engines and attractive and engaging enough for people is a balancing act that needs to be performed correctly for businesses to have success with their website.

Also, depending on the type of business it is, the website needs to be designed in a way that allows for business to succeed online.  If the goal of the website is to generate a sale online, then the products and means to purchase need to be easy to find, understand, execute, and allow for a degree of security for the benefits of the customers.  If the goal of the website is to generate a lead, then it needs to be designed to encourage, foster, and provide the means of customers to inquire about the services and /or products the business offers.  If the goal of the website is to be a resource of information, then that information needs to be easy to find.  These are just some of the many different types of goals a business website can desire to meet.


Anchor of Integrated Marketing Solutions.

An Integrated Marketing solutions website, needs to be designed to have the necessary content for driving traffic, be engaging to those who visit it, and be designed to leverage capabilities to achieve desired goals.  Additionally, the website needs to be designed to represent, brand, and convey the a consistent representation of what the business is and the marketing messages it is trying to convey.  This is a careful balancing act that needs to be performed well and also needs to be capable of adjusting to future market trends and/or business decisions.  Ensuring proper website design is the anchor for all successful integrated marketing solutions


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