The most valued key word with our clients, global and national, is “integrated”. It is not an ideal scenario for old-school marketers, but these days, reaching and genuinely capturing a target audience is more challenging than ever. Solid marketing strategies with integrated communication outputs are the only way to get measured results.

There are no shortcuts and in contrary to backyard marketers, I can assure you Social Media is not the ‘Holy Grail’ of all marketing outputs. Don’t get me wrong - having worked with various brands, including the oldest registered brand in the world (Pears Soap) we are experienced and knowledgeable within this field and therefore, acknowledge Facebook in particular as one of the most powerful marketing tools. But an important fact about Facebook is that it offers a complex marketing platform for human social activities where businesses and brands really need to understand the basic fundamental inputs which make it work for the long run, with minimum direct and indirect cost. Therefore, the first step for any business is to develop an integrated marketing communication formula that forms a part of their overall marketing strategy.

What is the best way to develop an integrated marketing communication strategy? Allow me to use an analogy: the functions of a PC versus a Mac.

PC’s are put together by various third party products and therefore, allow a plethora of additions which can be upgraded to enhance the performance of each machine. For that, the owner/operator has to have decent computer knowledge and understand each component that makes the overall unit work in synergy and effectively. Obviously there is always a need for an expert IT person to handle more complex stuff but, ultimately the owner should understand the synergy between hardware and software. Otherwise, the general life span of a PC is pretty limited. It doesn’t cost much to buy one but it has plenty of ongoing costs. The alternative is a Mac (Apple) where all components of a Mac are built (or approved) by Apple; therefore it’s continuously efficient with minimum IT support – if at all. But, ultimately, this convenience restricts the owner from using fringe products that Apple won’t allow. You pay for brand assurance with minimum ongoing cost.

So what is my point? If a business owner is confident with their marketing skills and has an interest in this field, the first step is to develop a marketing communication strategy and contract and closely manage each output specialist (e.g. Social Media, web development, SEO/ SEM, mainstream media, etc.) as part of a common goal so that all the outputs work in synergy, like with PC putting all third party components together. Or, the alternative is to form a partnership with a credible and resourceful marketing agency that specialises in integrated communication strategies, where they can provide all inputs and outputs. This is the ultimate one-stop- shop scenario - the ideal option for a business operator who prefers to delegate.