Friday, December 05, 2008

Book Review - Integration Marketing by Mark Joyner.

Mark Joyner's Integration Marketing Playbook.

Mark Joyner was one of the first entrepreneurs to successfully monetize and commercialize the World Wide Web (WWW). In addition, he has inspired countless others with pioneering concepts like:

- Downloadable e-books;
- 'Thank You' pages that offer pre-qualified customers relevant upsells, downsells, and cross-sells.
- Offer placements on business partners' 'Thank You' real estate in exchange for a commission.

Joyner began coining the term 'integration marketing' to describe a business strategy used by market leaders to grow and sustain their dominance. Now, he seeks to spread its use and awareness within the Internet community and general public.

According to Mark, integration marketing works because:
  1. Offers are specifically targeted to existing buyers, not prospects.
  2. You sell more of the same thing; i.e. products and services, that customers are predisposed to buying.
  3. We know beforehand that customers have the means (i.e. cash, credit card) to purchase immediately.
  4. Able to target customers who have already used credit cards to purchase your products; confidence in the payment process means less resistance to new offers.
Joyner draws on his U.S. Army experience to expose leadership skills critical for business success, especially the ability to see the battlefield. In order to move forward, you must have a strategy in place that permits you to make smart decisions fast. Think of how National Football League (NFL) quarterbacks drive their teams towards victory.

The author places great importance on the language of 'Integration Marketing'. So it's no surprise that he devotes two chapters to defining terms like:

- Integration Marketing Deals
- Integration Marketing Partners
- Unit of Marketing Value (UMV)
- Integrator
- Integration Point

and others that help to crystallize the integration marketing concept.

Joyner claims that Microsoft is a product of integration marketing. Why? Recall how almost thirty years ago, an unknown Harvard dropout named Bill Gates outsmarted and outmaneuvered IBM, arguably the dominant computer company at the time. By negotiating the right to sell DOS upgrades to existing IBM customers, as well as to IBM's competitors, Gates laid the groundwork for an empire that would make him the world's richest person.

Ditto for McDonald's, whose strength according to Joyner, lies it its "Integration Points"; i.e. the location of its golden arches within areas of strategic traffic flow (e.g. highway rest stops, shopping malls, urban centers). Understanding upselling ("Super-size for a buck?") and cross-selling (the ubiquitous 'Would you like fries with that?") has also been crucial to McDonald's integration marketing success.

Towards the end of 'Integration Marketing', Mark tries to apply "predictive" mathematics to some business examples. At first glance, marrying marketing with numbers seems disjointed and it will take some effort to get it. Still, Joyner is to be commended for trying to quantify this important marketing concept.

Strategies are relevant if they help businesses make more money sooner than later. To that end, Mark introduces a 4-step plan that can serve as an Integration Marketing springboard.

At forty-nine pages, "Integration Marketing" is a deceptively quick read. Deceptive, because if your curiosity is peaked, you will be going back to it several times to make sure you get it.

Can Integration Marketing turn your business into the next McDonald's or Microsoft? According to Joyner, everyone from rap musicians ("video name-dropping") to search engine companies use some form of integration marketing to successfully promote themselves. Skeptics and realists abound, but at the very least the practical advice in Joyner's e-book is significant food for thought.

Rahul Majumdar is co-author of The Best of List Profit Academy with Brian Edmondson. To claim privileged insider information, click here.

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