For your Integrated Marketing Strategy to be effective, start with the audit.
In conducting the marketing organisation audit the McKinsey 7-S model is extremely useful – it provides a framework for analysing seven important aspects of any organisation:
- shared values,
- skills and style.
The three following elements are particularly important in a marketing organisation context:
- Structure – How well is the marketing function structured? Do
managers have the necessary authority and skills? What does the
organisation chart tell us?
- Systems (functional efficiency) – How good is the flow of communication between company departments and up and down hierarchies
- Systems (interface efficiency) – Are there any identifiable problems between marketing and other functions?
Customer value propositions
If they are to buy a product or service, customers need to understand
the value or benefits ownership can deliver.
Customer perceived value (CPV) is the prospective customer’s evaluation of all the benefits and
costs of an offering compared with those of competitors.
The equation for ‘total customer-delivered value’ is the difference
between the value the customer thinks they are getting, and what it
costs them (in more than pure monetary terms) to get it.
Some organisations seem to have an intuitive grasp of what their target
group needs or wants.
But most need to find out through market
research or direct feedback from customers at the point of sale, via
website surveys or in social media.
Horizontal Integration occurs across the marketing mix and across business functions – for example, production, finance, distribution and communications should work together and be conscious that their decisions and actions send messages to customers.
While different departments such as sales, direct mail and advertising can help each other through Data Integration. This requires a marketing information system that collects and shares relevant data across different departments.
Vertical Integration means marketing and communications objectives must support the higher-level corporate objectives and corporate missions. Check out the Hall Of Fame later for more about missions.
Meanwhile, Internal Integration requires internal marketing – keeping all staff informed and motivated about any new developments from new advertisements, to new corporate identities, new service standards, new strategic partners and so on.
External Integration, on the other hand, requires external partners such as advertising and PR agencies to work closely together to deliver a single seamless solution – a cohesive message – an integrated message.
The many benefits of IMC are examined in the section called, ‘Benefits of IMC’.