For businesses in the soft facilities management (FM) industry, winning new contracts can predict future growth. As a result of increased cleaning and sanitation requirements, the COVID-19 pandemic likely spurred some growth that your soft FM business may not have prepared for but adapted to by hiring employees and investing in new technology and supplies. Now, your challenge is to sustain this growth.
Enter: integrated marketing. For facility management companies looking to stand out post-pandemic, integrated marketing presents a welcome opportunity to achieve this goal. While you likely understand the basic concepts of marketing, integrated marketing can be a bit more complex (but worth it!).
Keep reading to learn why soft FM businesses need an integrated marketing plan.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing combines and optimizes multiple marketing channels and tactics. It brings together various strategies, tools, and programs to accelerate brand awareness, lead generation, and the overall success of your business. The primary objectives of integrated marketing are to:
- Drive strong, consistent brand awareness
- Attract qualified leads
- Deliver a high return on investment (ROI)
The foundation to achieve these goals incorporates two key elements: branding and planning. With these core components in place, an integrated marketing approach can accomplish both business and marketing goals. Why? Because all goals are aligned to enable a cohesive customer experience across all channels. When provided with a consistent message and experience, the likelihood that your target audience will act increases, helping to attract qualified leads.
Soft FM and an Integrated Marketing Approach
Because the industry is so competitive, soft FM businesses often have a hard time finding new leads. And when new leads do present themselves, it can be hard to discern who key decision-makers are and understand how to target them effectively.
In addition to these challenges, the way prospects interact with service providers has also changed. Gone are the days of simply being able to educate prospects and convert them into customers. B2B buyers are now doing their own research to determine the best providers to partner with—and this decision is one that requires buyers to trust that providers have their best interests in mind. B2B buyers may be looking for a service provider to meet specific requirements such as utilizing smart, sustainable technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver ultra-efficient service. Or they may be looking for providers who will follow COVID-19 safety protocols permanently.
Your existing customers may also begin looking for a new service provider before their contract ends, which presents its own set of challenges. Each of these scenarios demonstrates the importance of building a trustworthy relationship with customers, prospects, and audiences alike.
If you can establish yourself as a trustworthy source by providing valuable content, you’ll have an advantage over competitors. A cohesive content marketing strategy allows you to position your soft facilities management business effectively and provide prospects with the information they’re looking for without the pressure of a hard sell.
With an integrated approach to marketing that combines a strong brand with a consistent message—delivered through content, social media, ads, and more, developing trust with your target audience and interested prospects is no longer a challenging task, but a rewarding one.
It all starts with a plan.
The Integrated Marketing Framework
To successfully execute an integrated approach to marketing, there are several necessary strategies, tools, and programs needed to lay the groundwork. The integrated marketing framework enables you to build an arsenal of tools and utilize them by developing ongoing tactical marketing programs. Consistency throughout these ongoing tactical marketing programs helps to ensure that the key messages you want to convey are seen, heard, and remembered by your target audiences.
As a soft FM business, you likely have clients with different types of buildings and, as a result, different facilities maintenance needs. A hospital or doctor’s office will require more specialized procedures and techniques than an ordinary office building, for example. One of the main benefits of developing an integrated marketing plan is the ability to target each audience with a different message, which can help build trust and attract qualified leads.
The integrated marketing framework is comprised of the following strategies, tools, and programs:
Another important element of the framework is integrated optimization. Integrated optimization is the process of regularly reviewing KPIs and other performance metrics to gain a clear understanding of the programs that are generating results and those that need adjustments, allowing you to focus more energy on what’s working and less on what isn’t. This can help optimize your marketing spend and improve your return on marketing investment (ROMI).
Developing an Integrated Marketing Plan
To develop an integrated marketing plan, it’s important to consider the marketing elements that are already in place. Begin by identifying your current marketing initiatives. What campaigns and elements are already in place? What elements have you utilized in the past that have been successful?
If you’re not able to pinpoint successful marketing initiatives you’ve used in the past and want to start from square one, consider investing in integrated marketing services. A professional agency will be able to work with you to determine how to target the audiences you want to appeal to and can help ensure that your marketing investment is optimized so that you achieve as much as possible (within your budget—of course).
Leap Ahead of the Competition with an Integrated Marketing Plan
At Sagefrog, we specialize in creating integrated marketing plans for soft facilities management businesses. If you don’t have the expertise, time, or team to develop an integrated marketing plan, ours would love to help.
Ready to get started with your integrated marketing plan? Let’s talk!