TARGETING & ANALYTICS | Unifying digital media

How to earn a proven ROI from traditional and digital marketing

By Steven Tulman

In recent years, digital media has become an increasingly critical issue within the marketing community. Marketers have been quick to adopt the latest media channels, but few have been able to do so in an effective, brand-consistent way. Businesses are struggling to reconcile their traditional marketing strategies with an ever-increasing number of digital media channels. They throw resources at these new channels without developing a framework for interpreting their results. They fail to develop an efficient, cost-effective approach to digital media – and miss out on lead, sales, and proper brand awareness as a result. Thankfully, if you’re struggling to make sense of digital media, help is at hand. It’s time to develop a unified digital media strategy.

What is a unified media strategy?

At its most basic, a unified media strategy allows businesses to leverage the entire spectrum of modern marketing channels. Tried-and-tested approaches to direct mail, telesales, TV, radio and print are combined with burgeoning channels, like social media, blogging, search, PPC and email.

Many marketers will recognize this concept as integrated marketing – but a unified media strategy builds upon this concept. It ties together disparate digital media channels, and creates consistency across a business’s entire marketing strategy. By working towards a unified media strategy, it becomes possible to promote a consistent brand identify; develop universal KPIs; and foster meaningful cross-channel consumer engagement. It allows businesses to make sense of every marketing channel, within the same framework – and earn the greatest return from each.

What are the benefits of a unified media strategy?

  1. Promote consistent brand identity

With dozens of marketing channels to co-ordinate, it becomes extremely difficult to present a consistent brand identity. Separate marketing strategies, developed and implemented across separate channels, result in businesses broadcasting a confusing and even contradictory message. Digital media becomes a barrier to consumer engagement, instead of a driver – and consumers lose sight of the core brand values of a business.

A unified media strategy allows businesses to co-ordinate their marketing initiatives and pulls them together uniting them to serve one single purpose – your brand identity. With a consistent marketing message, it becomes possible to facilitate cross-channel interaction, from print media to online landing pages, and from social media to email correspondence. Consumers interact with your brand in a standardized way, and develop a clear understanding of your values, products and services – regardless of which channels facilitate their engagement.

  1. Develop universal KPIs

Digital media brings with it a brand-new set of metrics, and even more data. Search traffic stats, social media referrals, keyword ranks, Followers, Likes, Shares, open rates and bounce rates make it extremely difficult to develop a concise set of KPIs, applicable to each and every marketing channel.

By building a fully unified approach to digital media, it becomes possible to define a single set of KPIs. Businesses can make sense of their datasets within a single framework, and create equivalency between different digital media metrics. Your apples-to-oranges metrics can be translated into a universal set of meaningful KPIs – engagement, lead generation and conversion. Businesses avoid wasting their resources in the pursuit of vanity metrics, and focus their efforts on those that provide real value to a business.

  1. Identify the true ROI of digital media

Armed with your newly-aligned metrics, it becomes possible to identify the channels that offer the greatest ROI. The efficacy of channel-specific strategy can be properly analysed, and it becomes clear which areas are lacking investment, and which are too expensive.

It might be that, despite a high Open rate, your email marketing isn’t pulling its own weight. Maybe your social media marketing channels are driving disproportionately high levels of traffic, or your PPC campaign has a stellar conversion rate. A unified media strategy allows you to identify the high-performers, and the channels that fall short – making it easy to judge the value of each channel, and redistribute your marketing budget more effectively.

  1. Foster meaningful consumer engagement

Consistent brand identify, universal KPIs and a proven return on investment result in one thing: meaningful consumer engagement. Regardless of the channel, consumers can interact with your brand in an effective and productive way. They receive the same brand experience from platform-to-platform, which enables them to properly identify with your brand. It becomes possible to identify the channels that resonate most strongly with your audience – and your business can ensure that of all of its marketing channels are working efficiently and cost-effectively.

Reconciliation between traditional and digital media marketing is more important than ever. If your marketing strategy is pulling in different directions, it’s time to develop a unified media framework.

To learn more about unified media strategy, and how to implement it effectively, get in touch with me through email at stulman@icmconsulting.com, on twitter @steventulman, or connect with me on LinkedIn at ca.linkedin.com/in/stevetulman/

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.

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