A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You’ve heard it in the past and you will keep hearing it. When an adage is as universally true as this one it’s bound to stick around for a while. This adage is no less true in the case of integrated marketing. All elements that drive the final transaction must be well thought out and properly linked. Let’s identify the links in the integrated marketing chain.
1.The Search – There are two main sources of information people turn to when they are searching for what they need: Their friends and Google.
2.Friends and Referrals – Since that is where people look, that is where you need to be found. In order to get referrals you must provide customers with a positive unforgettable experience. Providing a great experience is also important for when people use Google to find what they need. When someone searches your business’ name in Google, most likely a review site shows up in the first page of search results.
3.Google Search – The easiest place for people to turn to for information is Google. You want to be sure that when people search for services you offer, you show up in the search results. Since showing up in the unpaid, or ‘organic’, listings is extremely technical and difficult, most people choose to buy paid ads on the search results. These ads can generate a lot of relevant traffic to your site.
4.The Conversion – Even if you manage to get the visitors to your site with Google AdWords or referrals you still have to be able to convert them into paying customers. This is a complex process for which the underlying theme is relevance and ease of use. When people find your site, it needs to be obvious to the visitor how the business solves the problems of the searcher. The relevance has to be coupled with a site structure designed to lead people to pick up the phone and call.
5.The Interaction – Don’t feel like you’ve accomplished your goal by getting people to call. Even once a call is made there is a chance of losing the customer if the person answering seems brusque or rude. Proper training is required not only to provide proper phone etiquette but also to enable the person answering the phone to ask all the right questions and provide all the right information.
6.The Product – This is the last link in the chain. You’ve managed to get someone to buy your services but the quality of the product or service determines the lifetime value of a customer. If you don’t provide a good service you won’t get any repeat business or referrals. In fact, you will get bad reviews that will show up in search results and deter people from buying. By talking to experts and listening to customer feedback, you can figure out what people expect from a top notch service provider.