Perfecting your marketing mix

By Betsy McCloskey | Guest Column

According to Marketing 101, effective marketing comes down to getting the right offer in front of the right person at the right time. Constructing the right marketing mix to achieve this is key to success.

A marketing mix refers to the strategies and tactics that comprise a marketing plan. A well thought out and executed integrated marketing mix will extend the reach, build on communication synergies and lead to better results.

Creating a cohesive brand presence

A successful integrated marketing mix relies on establishing your brand presence. This is more than having the same tagline and logo. It is about building your brand story through everything you do.

Your brand is comprised of three main elements:

  • Brand identity. How you look from your logo, typography and colors, to the photography style.
  • Brand voice. How you talk, whether your tone is witty, quirky, passionate or serious. Your voice should come through in all communication.
  • Brand messaging. What you are saying that your target audience cares about.

Each communication touchpoint should utilize these elements to reinforce your brand in your customer’s mind.

Many of the brands that you know well, such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike, aren’t memorable and recognizable because they had a great TV spot. They have spent years honing their brand and presenting themselves consistently across multiple marketing channels. Whether you see a billboard, Instagram post, print ad or website, aspects such as the logo, messaging, tone and overall feel remain the same. Every communication works together to create a unified message and image that builds a memorable brand.

Blending traditional and digital

Finding the right mix of online and offline has never been more challenging or more critical.

It was more straightforward in the past, but the rise of multiple digital channels has transformed the marketing landscape over the past decade.

Traditionally, the marketing mix would focus on the main mediums of print, radio, television, billboards and direct mail. Now the mix needs to encompass the digital touchpoints such as, social media (paid and organic), website, behavioral retargeting, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and email.

Not only does the increased number of marketing channels make it more difficult for marketers, it also can be overwhelming for the consumer as they are bombarded with marketing messages. By keeping your message on brand at every single touchpoint you are increasing the chance of them remembering your brand.

While consistency across channels is important, it is also important to note the different roles that each channel plays in your marketing mix. This means you must tailor the message to fit the media channels. The purpose of each piece of marketing touchpoint might be different, but it should always be on brand.

Remember, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” A large media budget with fragmented messaging and branding will not be as effective as a well-planned, cohesive marketing mix. A well-planned marketing plan will lead to brand recognition, trial, brand loyalty and ultimately, growth.

Betsy McCloskey is a partner at Plaid Swan Inc. with offices in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. Plaid Swan is a female-owned and operated marketing communications firm.