Market Fragmentation: A return of the ‘campaign’ concept

March 2006

A few weeks ago, I attended a Business Marketing Association meeting in New York on what to expect in 2006. One of the speakers touched on the resurgence of the good old fashioned "campaign" concept. This month’s Integrated Marcom Minute will help you put together a winning integrated campaign.

Market fragmentation: A return of the "campaign" concept.

Some of you may remember when the marketing mix consisted of a few key elements – print, radio or TV ads, PR, direct mail and events. Today’s marcom mix is much more complex… it’s fragmented. Think about how many more ways you can consume media – websites, email, Blackberries (and other wireless devices), podcasts, blogs (and other RSS feeds), satellite radio and more. Let’s take a look at how you can revitalize the good old fashioned “campaign” concept, with these new
fangled media.

Back to basics: What’s your campaign objective?

Before you can determine the most effective mix, you need a clear understanding of your objective. Are you trying to generate leads, close sales or move prospects further along in the buying cycle? And then define how you’ll measure success (i.e. number of leads, conversions, sales, etc.).

How the buying cycle affects your media mix
Your campaign can have a greater influence on the buying cycle when you match the most effective media with the stage in the buying cycle.

What are the buying cycle steps?

  • Awareness (grab their attention)
  • Acquisition (get them to respond favorably)
  • Conversion (get them to buy)
  • Retention (keep them)
  • Loyalty (turn them into brand evangelists)

O.K…. so what does that tell me?
Think of the buying cycle as your campaign compass. It tells you where your customer or prospect is, so that you can find the most effective way to reach him or her with a relevant message.

Here’s how it works…
Let’s say you’re somewhere between the acquisition and conversion phases. Your buying cycle is around 90 days and your prospect is on day 30 – they’re not yet ready to buy, but your competitors are still circling.

Now put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. What are they doing during this phase? Usually they’re evaluating products, researching the details of your offering vs. others, etc. And do they have questions? You bet! Would they like to know how other clients are using your products? Absolutely!

This is where your marketing mix comes in. Select the most effective marcom mix to help your prospect get what s/he is looking for… plus, keep your brand in front of the prospect.

What’s the most effective way to match buying cycle phase with media mix?
Using our example above, one of the most effective ways to answer your prospect’s questions is with a white paper* or case study. And how will you get the word out? In this phase, stick with more personalized communications. Try an email with follow-up postal mail and/or eNewsletter.

Congratulations! They’ve downloaded your paper… now what?

It’s time to get more personal. Here’s where telemarketing can help further qualify prospects and move them along the buying cycle.

When do new media options make sense?
Podcasts, RSS feeds and other emerging media can work in tandem with conventional media, but only where it makes sense. Some of you may recall from my November 2005 issue how podcast teasers helped one marketer boost conversions on whitepaper downloads. That may be a good place to start. But remember to consider your audience. A high tech audience may expect to see podcasts and RSS feeds. However, other audiences may not.

Another way to keep prospects engaged throughout the buying cycle is with RSS feeds, last month’s Integrated Marcom Minute topic. Again, be careful to consider the needs of your audience. And remember, as delivery of new media improves and becomes more standardized, new opportunities will emerge. For example, look for podcasts or RSS feeds with an established subscriber base that’s similar to your target prospect. Ask about sponsorship opportunities or paid ad spots on their feeds.

What’s the bottom line?
Put your marcom dollars where they’ll have the most impact by matching the appropriate media with the buying cycle phase. You’ll not only optimize your marcom spend, but also get better results.

Now that’s integrated marcom.

More next time…
Joan Damico

J. Damico Marketing Communications
(845) 778-5095

PS If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, relax… my Integrated Marcom Planner can help. Email me and I’ll send my five-page planner at no charge to you.

PPS And speaking of white papers… how can you turn your white papers into powerful lead generators? One of the nation’s top copywriters and leading authority on direct response copy, Bob Bly, explains in his new book, The White Paper Marketing Handbook. A must-have for B2B marketers.