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[audio:http://blog.mill-im.com/wp-content/uploads/Linda-Fanaras.mp3|titles=Linda Fanaras on Friends of Kevin]

Willet: What exactly is integrated marketing?

Fanaras: An integrated marketing plan leverages a variety of marketing tactics to efficiently and effectively meet a client’s objectives, such as driving sales, increasing lead generation, or establishing a strong identity in the marketplace. We look at a lot of different tactics such as print advertising, public relations, online ads, video, website design, creative branding, direct mail, search engine marketing and social media – and we select the best integrated mix to meet each client’s needs.

Willet: It’s difficult for small businesses – I know a lot of times we just toss things out there and hope something sticks.  It’s haphazard at best, and then, if something actually does work – we often can’t exactly tell what it was!

Fanaras: It’s a common problem. That’s why it’s so important to be able to track and measure results.  It’s important to target the right audience and select the tactics that reach them the most effectively. Having a specific call to action in your programs is one important way to track success.

Willet: What makes Millennium Integrated Marketing unique?

Fanaras: We take that 360 approach and work closely with our clients to determine what they really want to accomplish through their marketing initiatives.  Some want to generate awareness, others have a specific sales goal and some want to update their brand identity.  We do a great deal of market research before putting together an integrated marketing plan designed to reach a specific goal.  And we work flexibly with our clients – we can work on a project basis or on a retainer basis – to meet any size budget or requirement.

Willet: Websites are so important. What are some ways to drive traffic to a website?

Fanaras: We look at the website as a hub and spoke model.  The website is the hub and the spokes include social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google AdWords, search engine optimization (SEO), along with traditional advertising and public relations which can all be used to drive traffic to the website. It is important to develop a website that is engaging and empowers your customer to make decisions and take that next step.

Willet: What about Flash and sound?  Do they enhance your website?

Fanaras: Actually, Flash does not help with SEO at all.  However, there are many other technologies that do, such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. These are all content-driven website technologies that encourage search engines to consistently crawl your site. Flash is actually a deterrent in this regard. Sound can be useful and video can enhance your site even more.  You want to attract consumers to your site with rich, interactive content.

Willet: What about copy? Can there be too much text on a page?

Fanaras: Perhaps if it’s an academic or educational site where the consumer is going there specifically to learn something that would be one thing.  But in general, a web page needs to be engaging and it needs to get the consumer to take action.  Therefore, the copy should be clear and concise.  People actually don’t read like they used to. They tend to read quickly and make decisions quickly.

Willet: So do you think a website can be too busy – with too much text and too many ads?

Fanaras: Ideally, you want to create a hierarchy with type and copy.  You really want to encourage the reader to follow a certain flow.  All of the content can’t be presented as equally important because then the eye doesn’t know where to go first.  Font size, color and graphics can all be used to direct the flow and highlight the information that is most important.

Willet: So any final website tips for our listeners?

Fanaras: Well, I would summarize by saying select the right technology to build your website to incorporate search engine optimization, consider video as a dynamic way to encourage consumers to make decisions and take that next step, keep the content clear and concise, and utilize hierarchy and flow to direct your customers to what’s important.  Finally, you should also make it easy for customers – and potential customers – to contact you from the website.  It seems like such an obvious thing to do,
but it’s amazing how many sites make it difficult to find contact information.