The planet is becoming smarter … intelligence is being infused into systems that enable services to be delivered.
- Sam Palmisano
It was in late 2008 or early 2009 when IBM began its “Smarter Planet” marketing campaign strategy. At the time, the strategy seemed very ambitious … maybe even a bit risky, even for IBM. The vision of health care, retail, finance, transportation, cities, and other fields made more intelligent and therefore better with digital technology could have been viewed as puffery. This was made more likely by the down economy.
But IBM has stuck to its strategy and the campaign looks like a good one from this view today.
Here are our takeaways on what other businesses can learn from this strategy:
Pick a current challenge in your community … that relates to your brand/business in a relevant way. Look for market rifts that you could use. Create your vision around what you can contribute to your community.
Build out a long term campaign … find a theme around your vision. Use the theme to craft a marketing strategy connecting and integrating as many smaller marketing objectives and tactics as you can.
Link your core competencies … to your vision and the challenge.
Don’t over promise … you must deliver exactly what you promise or the results will be worse than not executing the strategy.
Always plan out … short term wins in advance.
Use the campaign … to convert good customers to advocates. Define a tactic to achieve this objective specifically.
In the end, your strategy should tell your story in a way that builds on your brand image and integrates all of your marketing efforts.
Does your business have an integrating marketing strategy?
Do you have any examples or stories to share?
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