THE key to narrating a success story in today’s corporate world is to fortify your business on a concrete marketing plan that truly understands the needs and demands of today’s consumers.

With the escalating number of consumers spending more time online predominantly on social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, it is crucial for businesses to be able to recognise, direct and shape their marketing strategy in line with this fashion.

Here are eight defined steps to steadily strategise budget and resource management to more effective and measurable integrated marketing strategies:

1. Mastering the shift

Building a thriving business plan in this digitally dominant world requires clever diversion from past practices. Paid television and print advertising are the glories of yesteryear.

With the emergent preference for novel marketing strategies such as recommendations by loved ones and online consumer reviews, your company needs to embrace the power of social media and trust its ability to influence existing and would-be consumers both socially and digitally.

2. Clearly define and differentiate your brand

Start out your business by understanding how brand marketing works best so your entire organisation and marketing campaigns can be firmly established. Doing this will generate valuable reflective feedback and provide beneficial insights to define and distinguish your brand from the norm.

Your website is a great content-based platform to create a solid brand in the virtual world, stay connected with your audience, and sustain lasting business progression.

Thus, your website development should concentrate on connecting with your audience, driving qualified website traffic and generating leads.

3. Go beyond prospects

Consider the impact of your integrated marketing efforts on all audiences. Integrated marketing is powered and strengthened by content and community.

The most powerful campaigns master the building and managing of their networks to elevate their company’s success while keeping competitors at bay.

4. Establish measurable and meaningful campaign objectives

Consistent findings indicate that marketing campaigns with a high success rate of generating leads and building loyalty are the ones which circulated their campaigns around five core objectives:

* Develop marketing strategies;

* Boost search engine rankings;

* Establish and strengthen relationships;

* Enhance positioning and thought leadership; and

* Build the brand.

5. Build an integrated campaign fuelled by the five core integrated marketing strategies

While social media offers a haven for establishing relationships and connections, active and authentic social media participation fused with link-worthy content of online publications will increase your search rankings as well as differentiate your brand.

Working towards the goals of leads and loyalty is made possible with the five integrated marketing strategies — traditional marketing strategies, search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations — operating in an interdependent mechanism.

6. Establish dynamic budgets

Unlike traditional budgets, integrated marketing pays for production and participation. Henceforth, teaming up with the right integrated marketing agency capable of constructing a realistic yet dynamic budget through careful prioritisation will help you outsmart intense competition.

7. Define campaign timelines with milestones, tasks and responsibilities

Use software innovations and mobile applications together with traditional project-management principles to successfully execute the integrated marketing game plan.

8. Measure everything and be willing to adapt and evolve

The promise of integrated marketing cannot be fulfilled without properly monitoring and measuring matters that directly influence lead-generation and loyalty-building.

Installing website analytics, building landing pages, monitoring marketing vents and milestones, as well as assigning a team to monitor social media activity, are some of the considerable measures you have to take.

Integrated marketing does not happen overnight. To triumph at the finish line of the race, the winning team must focus on properly strategised mechanics to reach out to potential clients in online communities.

Enduring commitment, extraordinary passion and undivided teamwork from each member of the marketing team are the keys to ensure buoyancy during the relay medley of achieving the ultimate goal.

Only when the brand, web, search, content, social media and public relations work in tandem will the business move closer towards the goal of generating leads and building loyalty.