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The 10 best strategic business slides of all time: #9 — Integrated Communication

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In the ninth post in this series, Nigel Malone shares the contents of another of his favourite business keynote slides, drawn from a cross-section of sources that includes some of the great business, brand and military planners of all time.

Also in this series:

Favourite Slides #9: Integrated Communication

Business Slide 9 - Integrated Communication

‘Integrated’ has been a buzz word in agency land for more than a decade, and is still the catch-cry for many a creative shop and marketing department.

It all started with the rise of the internet and the downturn in dominance of traditional advertising media such as print and television. Combined with this, consumers were becoming less trusting of traditional advertising. Agencies and advertisers began to look for new ways to influence the consumer. Their methods ranged from the ridiculous to the subliminal and included PR, experiential and the social media we are so familiar with today.

In an attempt to regain their relevance, advertising agencies packaged up their approach to this new media-neutral landscape as ‘integrated communication’ and sold it to advertisers as the next big thing.

Despite such a long time in the sun, very few agencies or marketing departments have mastered the art of integrated communications — in theory or practice.

Some believe it is simply utilising all the different channels of communication available. To an extent this is true, but at its heart, integrated communication hinges on a single, pivotal creative proposition. This ‘big idea’, as some like to call, is then applied to a spectrum of ‘marketing drivers’ that ensure engagement with the consumer on every possible level in the sales process.

Activation Drivers

These are methods to accelerate or close the sale, especially with someone who might be sitting on the fence and need a small push to get them over the line.

Awareness Drivers

In favourite slide #8 I discussed the importance of filling the sales funnel with as many prospects as possible, usually done with the most mainstream media available and highlighting the ‘brand’ story.

Buzz Drivers

This is about creating hype around your offering in non-traditional advertising media, often more trusted by the consumer for its apparent neutrality.

Emotional Drivers

Being seen as a good corporate citizen is a given today and a means to attract consumers that align with your ‘cause’ and or organisational values (favourite slide #4).

Experience Drivers

These are means to allow your potential consumers to try, test drive, taste, or free trial your offering before they buy. It’s critical in getting them to prefer your product over the competition.

Product Drivers

These are about telling the product story in all its glory and fine detail, and much more ‘retail’-focused than the ‘brand’ story told by awareness drivers.

I like the integrated model because it’s not just for multinational advertisers — the model is equally scalable for a small or startup company. Simply focus on the big idea, the core message you wish to convey, and ensure it drives every piece of communication/engagement with your potential customer.

Done well, the end result is a consistent, efficient and powerful method of communication.

Nigel Malone is a freelance brand strategist and writer, with particular expertise in the fields of tourism, finance, technology, sustainability and social change. Connect with him on Linkedin http://au.linkedin.com/in/nigelmalone

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