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The Integration of EM into All Marketing

Each form of electronic media can present a sales story in a special way. Each may have its own role in your overall marketing plan and its own way to enhance other media. For best results, each form of electronic and print media must be integrated into a cohesive, cost-effective marketing campaign, with the whole far exceeding the sum of its parts. This chapter will show you how others have done it so you can too. TV support advertising, for example, has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to increase total response from mailings by adding enough increased response to more than justify its additional cost. Before TV support ads, radio support ads successfully pioneered this method.

A German media study of 43 brands confirms the power of integration. It showed that when print and TV are used together, the brand awareness index rises much more rapidly than for the same expenditures for print or TV alone. In the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, and Great Britain, other studies have revealed similar findings.

Adding magazine ads to a TV ad campaign worked even better than adding TV to print. The Lintas ad agency reported:

Print can lead people to perceive the TV commercial in new ways and can also convey new information that is not in the TV commercial. The result of adding print to a TV campaign is a richer, more complete communication.

Now more than ever, the failure to integrate and enhance electronic media with print advertising, by using every practical and applicable medium, amounts to throwing away a percentage of each dollar spent in advertising. Susan Bahr, when head of New Media at Young & Rubicam, said:

Media are becoming complex. All communications are. We look for ways to talk directly to people, and in more meaningful ways. It's a challenge to advertisers to learn different ways to use the new media, to use interactive methods and integrate them all.

The art of advertising is how to manage all this. If on TV you use image advertising in 30 seconds, you can supplement this with videos for special events and go to whatever length you need, maybe a half-hour.

Thus, you can use different packages, different lengths in direct mail, newspapers, TV and in videos. You need the mix of the quick/short image repetition constantly repeated. And at the same time, you need the longer formats to tell the story you can't possibly tell on the short image spots.

A business may advertise to business firms on TV or radio, get inquiries by phone, and send reproductions of catalog pages by fax. The business may advertise on a computer network, get inquiries by modem, and answer them by mail. It may also produce a 10-minute touch-screen kiosk demonstration of its product or service and offer to mail a 30-minute video demonstration in more detail. The firm may also give a demonstration on a BBS and offer to send by mail a giant catalog on a CD-ROM disc.

Almost every case history mentioned in this book integrates one electronic medium with another, and with publications, direct mail, catalogs, or salespeople, often in ingenious ways. In many instances, the degree of integration went beyond the space allowed for description.

Some advantages of media integration include the following:

Electronic sales staff training can be combined with the entire marketing campaign's orientation along with each electronic enhancement. At the same time, the sales force can be instructed so as to get maximum sales from each component of the campaign. Simultaneously, electronic service and sales efforts can be integrated. Customers and prospects who contact the company for information or help can be informed of the latest products, appropriate add-ons, and incentives to purchase anything that specially fits the caller.

Some of integration's disadvantages include the following:

As word gets out about the success of any new electronic form (or of a new application of one), marketers often rush to use it in their campaigns. Sometimes it's a last-minute addition to an agency or marketing department's presentation to management. It may sound good but be overpriced or not right for the purpose. Disaster stories abound about "free" media offered as an inducement to purchase or as part of a combination buy–with little understanding of how to use it by either the seller or the buyer.

Should you integrate your marketing? Decidedly yes, but make sure you do it correctly! If you use more than one medium, and mention one in the other, you already integrate media to some degree. If you use one medium profitably, you almost certainly can profitably use others. If you use each medium alone, you usually should integrate their use together to the fullest extent possible. How do we do this?

The biggest integrate best. Large marketers have the widest and biggest distribution networks, the most extensive promotion and public relations capabilities. Plus they enjoy the expertise of top-notch ad agencies, consultants, and specialists in the newest electronic media. In short, large marketers have the most to weave together and the biggest need to do so. They must think in terms of campaigns, not ads and multimedia, not stand-alone media.

At any one time, Chrysler Corp. uses many forms of electronic media for its appropriate car lines, models, and makes, and integrates each form into an overall campaign. Chrysler was the first on CNN. It has been a pioneer outbound-phone marketer and a long-time user of an 800 number. Chrysler's Jeep has run spots on rental videos, while its other divisions have used computer disks. It's a big broadcast TV advertiser, but these buys are integrated with cable. Tom McAlear, director of marketing for the corporation, says:

We buy a lot of cable sports, news, arts, and information. We buy motor sports. We buy MTV. We realize that the quality of audience of broadcast TV has dropped, that the audience of cable is increasing, and that cable has very good demographics.

We get something else from cable: frequency–a good many repeats of the same commercials or series of commercials to the same audience. High expense of network TV means that we buy big gobs of audience, with much less repetition of our message to that audience.

Frequency of cable enhances the effectiveness of our TV advertising. And on cable TV we get the more elusive viewer, the more affluent one whom we want to reach.

We sell on the basis of lifestyle. Our average car sells for $14,000. We need to reach people who can afford that. We don't buy CPM. We buy many specialized programs on arts and entertainment to get quality circulation.

Electronic media help Chrysler integrate all its national advertising, from promotion to prospects in the showroom to the "couch potatoes" in the home. For many years, Chrysler has used videodiscs in its showrooms. These interactive programs entice car prospects to call up the information desired about the car they are interested in. Videos are also sent to Chrysler prospects. Tom McAlear says:

We have an internal TV network. We beam down from the satellite just to connect our own house network to talk to our own people. We will also go to the educational TV channel and organize a video sales meeting. We're always trying something. We experiment.

Chrysler's largest direct-mail promotion promoted a satellite screening of its new line: Two mailings totaling 26 million pieces that cost over $10 million went out within weeks before the screening. The first mail piece sold the features of the new cars. The second invited recipients to a Chrysler Corporation private screening by satellite at the nearest dealer.

To prequalify those who accepted, potential buyers were asked to indicate (on the back of the invitation) the type of vehicle they were interested in purchasing and the make of their trade-in vehicle. Five thousand Chrysler U.S. dealerships (80 percent) participated in the program. On average, 150 couples attended each dealer's screening. Some bought on the spot. But most sales were made later by salesperson follow-up.

The smallest can integrate. Team play multiplies the effectiveness of each player. However, a new medium (or "player") often starts without being seen by the coach and may be unknown even to some star players on the marketing team. A new medium often debuts in the bush leagues, or sometimes in the street, by opportunistic beginners just learning the game. A start-up or small firm may discover new uses for one medium on a stand-alone basis and then latch on to another in the same way. But media used together in the right way creates a consistently winning and profitable team.

Media teamwork or integration does not necessarily require a big budget. Inch ads and classified ads often reach more people per dollar spent than any other medium. If the ad's prime job is to pull response to an electronic medium, modest sizes can produce a very low cost per inquiry, while also allowing for follow-up messages that are as long as necessary.

Separately, sometimes neither tiny ads nor electronic media are apt to be profitable, although the combination of tiny ad and low-cost electronic follow-up can be very profitable. And because small business owners see the results, it's easier for them to measure, enhance, and integrate each additional marketing element than for a huge, complex company.

Integration is hardest for those in between. Marketers who are neither big nor small often find it difficult to integrate. Marketing and other management resources are stretched thin, allowing little time to investigate, develop, watch, and measure the results of each marketing step. How about your firm?

Nothing better illustrates both the enhancements of an electronic medium and the advantages of integrating media than the sales force itself–once you think of it as a marketing medium. Ways to electronically enhance and integrate a single salesperson or the biggest sales force are available to anyone. Anyone in sales who is not using these new tools is at a competitive disadvantage. Compare the following sales situation with what your firm does now.