Consistency the key

For more than a decade now, integrated marketing has been on the tip of the marketer's tongue.We give speeches about it. We write articles about it. We even write books about it and expound on the marketing power the idea holds.So...

For more than a decade now, integrated marketing has been on the tip of the marketer’s tongue.

We give speeches about it. We write articles about it. We even write books about it and expound on the marketing power the idea holds.

So how successful have we been at implementing this powerful idea into our marketing plans and our everyday marketing challenges?

The challenges have been great.

The consumer has changed. The teen market, the grey market and the ethnic market represent their own marketing challenges.

Definitions changed

The very definition of value and convenience for most of our products and services has changed. Brand loyalty is a constant struggle. And, importantly, competition is on the rise in almost every category.

So the time has been right to deliver a single-minded message to our defined target, and deliver it consistently throughout the entire media mix.

The approved creative components of a campaign may demonstrate integrated creative success, but that is only part of the challenge.

The real challenge is defining our target, addressing its needs and choosing the appropriate channels of distribution at the marketing plan stage.

Once we have accomplished that, we realize the powerful idea of integrated marketing.

Too often, direct marketing media such as direct mail, telemarketing, direct response advertising or direct response television are tactical afterthoughts or add-ons.

The success of The Toronto-Dominion Bank RSP (tdrsp) campaign was based on the upfront development of an integrated marketing plan.

An integrated plan with a single strategy and objective. The definition of our target audience. And then, and only then, the selection of the necessary media mix to deliver our objective and the means to communicate directly to our target, in every environment.

The product demands marketing integration. With rsps offered in a competitive business climate and customers experiencing recession jitters, our priority is to protect and intensify our relationship with our existing customer.

So we want to ensure we have as many consistent exposures as possible.

And how do we find out about existing customers? They are in TD Bank branches; they are using Green Machine automated tellers; they receive monthly statements on their accounts; they are using TD Visa cards; and the best part of all, we know who they are and where they live.

Direct mail, although planned far in advance, is positioned as support and, thereby, benefits from all the previous, consistent media exposure.

But direct mail not only is delivered in private, to the privacy of our customer’s home, but also delivers on uniqueness and convenience.

A benefit no other medium can challenge. Whether it is offering our customer a special incentive or the opportunity to return the rrsp request by mail, direct mail is the all-around big winner.

Deliver results

Not unlike many product categories today, our objective is not only to build awareness of td’s product differentiation, to educate, reward loyalty, enhance image and reputation, but also, to deliver immediate, measurable results.

An integrated marketing plan delivers on this objective. Each component of the media mix plays an important role in the overall campaign results.

Success lies in the integration of the media mix, as opposed to the success of any one medium evaluated solely on its own merits.

Marilyn Stewart is senior vice-president of Grey Canada and general manager of Grey Direct, Toronto. She is also the author of The Canadian Direct Marketing Handbook.