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Research on Integrated Marketing for Incentive Programs

  1. Integrated Marketing: If You Knew It, You’d Do It
      1. Integration means communicating a consistent identity from message to message, and medium to medium, and (more importantly) delivering consistently on that identity. It requires not only the identification of a powerful, unifying strategy and compelling voice for your brand, but the discipline to roll it into every aspect of your organization—from advertising to sales, customer service to customer relationship management programs (and beyond). It’s not for the faint of heart.
      2. Beyond that, integrated branding takes time to soak into the marketplace. Consumers just don’t pay attention as much or as quickly as they used to. My firm’s research of hundreds of growth companies found that the average advertising campaign lasts approximately 2.3 years and that companies that maintain healthy growth over time tend to have longer-lasting campaigns, while those that struggle tend to change direction more frequently.


  2. Integration, Incentives and Innovation: Nike’s Strategy to Improve Social and Environmental Conditions in its Global Supply Chain
      1. Nike’s approach to improving social and environmental conditions in its global supply chain has evolved to focus on integrated management of sustainability and innovation, increased supplier incentives, and systems innovations intended to prevent problems before they arise. While there is limited empirical research on responsible practices leading to improved social and environmental performance, Nike has undertaken important changes that it believes will improve social and environmental performance in its supply chain.
      2. In terms of incentives, Nike’s innovative MI is a leading example of how a company can move away from a more traditional compliance approach and a “push” model to manage sustainability issues, to a “pull” model, which incentivizes suppliers for performance. By offering suppliers incentives, imposing sanctions and measuring performance on a supplier’s balanced scorecard, suppliers better understand the importance of sustainability. This pull approach is helping to reward and develop suppliers who are committed to growing their business using social and environmental performance as a source of competitive advantage.


  1. What’s Your Brand Message vs. Sales Message
      1. You must first nail down your brand message because it informs your sales messaging and all aspects of your customer-facing communications. Your brand message is the overall story that your company and products are telling, as well as the specific style and manner in which you tell that story.
      2. Your sales message is your pitch, where you make your case to potential customers and convince them that they should buy your product. You may have different sales messages depending on a variety of factors, including the product, audience, season, or any time-sensitive promotions you may have. But your sales messages must always reflect your brand messaging. You want to speak with a consistent voice and style so the overall impression of your products and services—and your brand—remains reliable.