The phrase “integrated marketing communications” is hot these days. But many brands have been professing their commitment to integrated communications for years. Who is measuring to see if what they are doing is successful? And what is their methodology?
Measuring success is not easy, and in the case of measuring “integration” there isn’t a quantifiable answer. Instead, it takes a lot of honest evaluation. I’ve found the best way to do it is to engage in an annual account review: Pin all your marketing communication pieces up on a board and review them with your team. Hanging up the pieces is the easy part; the challenge is to start a thoughtful discussion about where consistency exists and where it does not. In such a meeting, consider these questions:
- Are your key messages being communicated consistently?
- Are your visual brand assets being implemented consistently?
- Does the amount of each type of work you’re doing align with your expenditures? (If 20 percent of your work is point-of-purchase, is a proportionate amount of your budget being allocated toward it? Is your team spending a proportionate amount of its time on it?)
- Does the type of marketing communications work you are doing align with your business goals and overall strategic plan?
- Are you marketing in different venues (social, online, print, in-store)?
After you have reviewed your materials and considered the above questions, segment the areas of opportunity, find the weak areas and outline a plan to strengthen them. That may mean training; it may mean developing or refining guidelines; it may mean hiring/firing; or it may simply mean more diligence.
When you think about your goals for 2011, consider the great strides you can make by simply reviewing what you’ve already done. We invite you to share your input on how you conduct annual reviews and how they have helped your business succeed.