A House is Just a House - Or is It? Understanding the Value of Integrated Marketing Programs

A house is a house, right? Four walls, a roof, maybe a basement if you live up North. Otherwise, they’re all pretty much the same, right? Then why the massive price range? Why is a 3-bedroom home in Harlingen, TX $80,000 and a 3-bedroom condo in New York’s Upper West Side just under $5 million? It’s because a house isn’t JUST a house. Multiple factors go into the value and appeal of each individual property - location, size, amenities, style - all creating a complex mix to arrive at a price point unique to that particular property. The same holds true of integrated marketing programs and it’s why some of them are better than others. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect the value of your marketing programs.
 

Location, Location, Location

Your physical location, or lack thereof, plays an important factor in how your campaigns work. Competition for local retail businesses is higher in areas with high population density than it is in rural areas where there aren't as many shops. However, overall the overall population density is lower in rural areas is lower as well which means fewer customers, so that’s a factor in itself. 
 
For an online business, lack of physical location presents its own challenges, perhaps, some may argue, an even larger one, because you need to be found in the vast wasteland of the Internet. Even opening your business up to the ‘endless opportunities’ of national and international reach offers a unique set of challenges and considerations, making the importance of a strong website and social presence even that much more vital.
 

Size

Just like the size of a house plays heavily into its overall value, so does the scale of your marketing program. When discussing the size of your marketing program it’s not all about the budget, though certainly a well-funded, well-managed campaign is going to have a significantly better chance at performing well. When thinking about the size of your campaign, the two metrics you want to focus on are reach and frequency, or in laymen’s terms, how many people do you want to reach out to and how often. Remember, small business doesn’t necessarily mean small program. Think back to location. If your business is in a location that’s dense with competition fighting for a limited population, you may want to invest in a sizable campaign to ensure that your business is top-of-mind with your target market to ensure that you get the lion’s share of the available business in your market.
 

Amenities

Amenities add value and comfort and what’s important may differ from person to person. When shopping for a home, some people may look for a finished basement or a multi-car garage, while others seek out a fenced-in yard or swimming pool. With amenities, it’s all about what’s important to you. Marketing program amenities add value and ‘comfort’ to your business in a variety of ways as well. Depending on your company’s needs and budget you might choose: 
 
  • a team of people to work on your projects to complement your internal staff;
  • highly specialized skills or applications to ensure program delivery and quality;
  • or strategic perspective to provide an impartial, expert opinion on the best marketing direction to take.

While amenities may not be absolutely essential to the success of your program, they do help make life easier and, depending on your particular business and company dynamics, may well be worth the investment.

Features

Home features also add value, such as granite countertops or hardwood floors. Marketing program features should do the same, such as data measurement, value assessment, and future forecasting based on past data. Understanding what features are most important to your program, just like in buying a house, will help you assess their value and determine which ones you want to incorporate into your marketing programs.
 

Building the Right Structure for Your Business

Let’s face it, you wouldn't buy or build a house without planning, and likewise you shouldn’t execute your marketing programs without the same level of care as they are the foundation of your business success. A few tips to consider before building your plan:
 
  • Recognize that your program, even tactical elements of your program, require careful planning and strategy to drive success.
  • Understand that just as changes to your house plans "halfway through" could cause serious financial and deadline implications for your home, the same can happen with your marketing plans (we call this “scope creep”).
  • Hire the right professionals for the job. You wouldn’t hire a handyman to pour your foundation or a plumber to install your electrical box, don’t make that mistake with your marketing program. Take the time to find an experienced team who ‘gets’ your business goals and understands the fundamentals of a good marketing strategy.
 
So no, a house is not just a house. It could be a shack, a mansion, a downtown luxury condo, a beachside bungalow. It could be a sprawling farm in Kansas or a studio apartment in a Japanese highrise. But whatever or wherever it is, rest assured that it was built with much consideration given to its location and its intended occupants. Likewise, your marketing program is not just an email here and a social post there. Like a well-built home, your integrated marketing program should be built on a foundation of thoughtful strategy executed through a mix of quality programs all measured, assessed and maintained with care by expert professionals. With that kind of careful thought and attention to detail, the success of your campaigns, and your business, are ensured.