The next greatest idea, the shiniest new product, and the hottest holiday gift idea. Every product or service is on the verge of a breakthrough, but you can’t rely on quality and performance alone.
Integrated Marketing Fulfillment (IMF) creates a nexus of popularity–a seamless, connected system of boosting your product as part of normal business operations. Direct product knowledge, an investment in development, and a passion for reaching out to the world are critical in the ever-changing global market.
Here are a few details to help you understand IMF along with ways that your project could be missing out without the right marketing partnership.
Marketing Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought
Startups and small businesses sometimes fall into the trap of creating a marketing project after finishing a product or creating a final product.
It’s an understandable mistake. If you’re not sure about a product’s capabilities, timeline, or final cost, you may not want to scream to the world about your idea. Over-hyping a project that never hits the market can damage your reputation.
Under-representing your product is even more damaging. There is a balance to strike– a nuance between juggling bad press or going hungry with no press– that Integrated Marketing Fulfillment can handle.
The key is to bring marketing professionals and resources into the process. Rather than expecting the team to learn about a product, create promotional material, then help sales team reach goals, you can teach them deeper knowledge along the way.
It’s not just about showing marketing professionals the deeper parts of your product. Do you have a commercial and video media team? They could use some practice and time to remove the less flattering parts of your product from their materials.
What about print media such as flyers and magazine inserts? There are so many methods of printing from rotogravure to digital printing, and it’s not all about the best quality. Speed, specific colors, textures, and fitting in with the preferences of your target audience can be explored while you’re still developing a product.
Marketing Needs Integrated R&D
Research and development should be a part of every department, and marketing is no exception.
Does your marketing team have an easy way to deliver samples to vendors, major media outlets, and reviewers? Do your current customers have a way to contact the company, and is there a marketing professional ready to both present a positive face while accepting criticism?
Your marketing team needs built-in communications systems, direct channels to different departments, organized contact lists and details for vendors, and customer contact. Is your business handling that with email contacts and personal memory?
A better way would be to use an automated IMF system that brings context. Databases that show how different contacts are related, communications systems that can show stakeholders rather than giant email trees of names and departments, and other details.
It all needs to be custom-tailored to your business. Contact an FGS to plan the core of your marketing system in the digital age.