An integrated marketing strategy means every element of your marketing plan must contribute towards your vision for the business, or be cut out of the day to day workload
Lack of integration between strategic vision and the tactics needed to get there is a problem I often find when reviewing marketing strategies. That's why I created the RACE Framework as a simple one-page summary to unify your marketing strategy through goals, objectives, and KPIs.
This is true whether I'm reviewing student assignments or mentoring marketers creating real-world marketing strategies. More often than not, I find myself reading about different aspects of marketing objectives and tactics that just don't line up with each other - and leave you questioning why.
These issues can be magnified by marketing strategy structure - the way the document is split up into separate sections. Without a unifying framework, it's not clear how each strategy is supporting a goal or the analysis on which the objective is based.
Marketing strategy definitions:
Investopedia defines marketing strategy as: Referring to a business's overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.
Market Business News defines marketing strategy as: A company’s marketing goals and objectives combined into a single comprehensive plan.
Pestle Analysis defines marketing strategy as: An analysis of all aspects of your sales activity and combines it in a way so that all departments know what is going on.
These 3 definitions highlight the strengths of a concise marketing strategy to align your objectives with your vision, and the benefits for your team. That's why we recommend the RACE framework.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing, also called online marketing or internet marketing, is defined by Dr. Dave Chaffey as:
"Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital media, data and technology".
If you're using digital marketing techniques to achieve your marketing strategy goals, check out Dr. Dave's digital marketing explainer to stay up to date on all things digital marketing 2022.
The RACE framework
RACE is a practical framework to help manage and improve results from your digital marketing strategy. Ultimately, it’s about using a data-driven approach, applying web analytics and recommended best practices to get more commercial value from your investments in digital marketing.
Notice how we have defined five steps of engagement across the customer lifecycle since in online marketing there is a major challenge in gaining initial interaction and creating those all-important leads after the initial customer touchpoint which can then be nurtured.
Integrating your omnichannel strategy will support your goals of channeling customers through the funnel of PLAN, REACH to ENGAGE, by measuring and tracking the most important touchpoints for your business right now.
If you're looking for a new marketing plan structure that helps you integrate your marketing activities and prioritize channels that generate growth, why not download our free digital marketing plan template?
Free digital marketing plan template
Our popular marketing planning template is structured across the Smart Insights RACE Framework. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member to download our digital marketing plan template today
Access the Free digital marketing plan template
Marketing strategy example
The chart below is an example marketing strategy using the RACE framework to integrate objectives, substantiation, strategies, and KPIs.
1. SMARTER objectives are not a new concept in marketing. This means committing to quantified objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Likely, grouped around customer acquisition, conversion, or retention. You can use our set digital marketing goals and objectives module to improve your goal/objective setting technique.
2. Substantiation i.e. Evidence proving your goals are realistic based on situational analysis or creating conversion models.
3. Strategies to achieve objectives. Outline the main ways you will reach your objectives. You may wish to follow the strategy, tactics, action, and control format from PR Smith's SOSTAC® structure. It's also worth thinking about the full range of goals indicated by the 5Ss.
4. KPIs and CSFs. The Critical Success Factors are the detailed measures, for example, those collected within Google Analytics which will help you review to prove you're on track or make adjustments. You can use our opportunities to improve usage of Google Analytics module to review and improve your internal Google Analytics capabilities.
I recommend this table layout for aligning your strategies with your objectives since it provides a simple one to two-page summary of your marketing strategy. Much more effective than a long report your colleagues or clients won't read...
RACE has been widely adopted by marketing professionals since it helps simplify your approach to reviewing the performance of your online marketing and taking actions to improve its effectiveness.
Marketing strategy alignment in 2022
Did you know, nearly half of companies don't have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy? But of those who do, the majority have integrated it into the marketing strategy.
Currently, about 12% are still using a separate digital document, which is the first step in the process towards a fully integrated strategy.
In 2022, the stakes are higher than ever - those without a digital marketing strategy, and those using separate digital strategies, risk losing customers to competitors whose marketing is aligned.
Now's the time to streamline and prioritize your marketing strategy for business growth. We've got marketing tools, templates and training to support marketers, managers, and business owners to align their strategies in 2022. Don't wait until tomorrow to start optimizing your marketing funnel, start today.