Integrated Marketing Strategy 101
If you think developing an integrated marketing strategy sounds challenging, just imagine how difficult it must be for a global brand! That’s what Kofax Limited needed to do when Lexmark International, Inc. acquired it in 2015. The automation software company suddenly had to coordinate Lexmark’s worldwide groups to develop an integrated marketing strategy. Kofax CMO Grant Johnson was asked to lead the way.
Grant Johnson tells his success story in a two-part interview on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast. In part one, he discusses the tactics that shook up Kofax’s marketing strategy. In part two, Johnson talks about the journey of unifying the brand.
Because Kofax became part of a worldwide team when Lexmark acquired it, Johnson had a bundle of challenges to work through. He needed to understand the leaders of his new team and their marketing approaches, and overcome cultural workforce differences. With a division-wide integration process underway, Johnson added a work stream called “marketing best practices.” This program sought to gather the people, review their marketing processes, and evaluate their inventories. “During the working sessions,” says Johnson, “we discovered that there were some good practices in all three groups, but not all good practices in each group.”
Johnson has a motto: “Do great work that works.” These words of wisdom enabled his team to innovate best practices based on its strengths. Johnson’s team created a blueprint for Kofax’s integrated marketing strategy to coordinate everybody in the organization. “The fact that every group could see how they were contributing to and impacting the integrated plan helped literally get them on the same page they could refer to, communicate, and understand.”
Even as a global brand with a lot of moving parts, Kofax’s integration strategy revolves around the customer. “We want to avoid pushing products and instead engage with our customers right from the early stages of the buyer journey,” says Johnson. “We aren’t afraid of opening up a dialogue with our customers.” Kofax strives to present an authentic voice that clients will find relevant. No matter what sector of the brand customers come in contact with, they’ll get a consistent experience.
Johnson’s integrated marketing team maintains an active social media presence. Social media helps Kofax both engage consumers and measure the success of its campaigns. Johnson believes helpful content is the best content. “I just published my second blog in a four-part series about a step-wise approach to digital transformation,” he says. “As people share that, they say ‘I’ve got this problem, can someone contact me?’ It’s not a perfect science…but it helps.”
Your brand’s digital network can be a tremendous asset. Strong, relevant content is social media gold. Johnson offers his content marketing advice, saying, “Talk about topics and events that are relevant to your audiences but make sure you aren’t monopolizing the conversation. Don’t just automate Tweets from article headlines. Try to engage with your audience on a personal level and show that you are listening to them—their challenges, their ideas, and their aspirations.”
If there’s one thing Johnson’s learned throughout his tenure at Kofax, it’s that marketing is always evolving. He says, “The mandate to continually improve is stronger than ever. We celebrate the little victories, but we can never rest on any achievement.” This isn’t necessarily a burden. Johnson sees great promise in the new platforms and technologies available in the marketing field. “If you are adaptable and can thrive in what has become a very accountable function,” he says, “there’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer.”