By now B2B companies have heard why it’s essential to build an integrated marketing strategy. Integrated marketing is more efficient, streamlines efforts and provides a clear and cohesive way for teams to align around a central strategy, setting the stage to create clear content that addresses customer pain points and converts.
When an integrated marketing campaign is a success, it’s easy to share the same key messages across channels and throughout the buyer’s journey to make it a fully integrated experience.
Jackpot, right? So why isn’t everyone doing it?
Well, creating an effective integrated marketing campaign takes practice. Teams need to work out the kinks at each stage—planning, execution, distribution, and analysis. B2B organizations also need to track the details in a content management system to keep a marketing campaign on track across all teams and channels.
To craft campaigns that reach a state of integrated marketing bliss also takes a willingness for teams to communicate and collaborate to reach clearly defined, shared goals for the organization. Think it of it as a one-team mentality carried out by each individual team player.
And, just like in sports, practice helps build bonds among teams and players to execute a stronger performance.
Think Like a Team to Deliver Integrated Marketing Like a Well-Oiled Machine
An organization can only operate as well as the sum of its parts. Clarity around shared goals does more than keep things running like a well-oiled machine. It also helps to attract the persona-based community B2B businesses want to serve.
To get there, teams need to turn planning, strategy, and content creation into a structured process. When organizations create a clear blueprint to follow each time, it’s easier to divide tasks and create realistic timelines. In addition, defining key marketing campaign metrics at the start maps a clear focus for all channels.
See Integrated Marketing Efforts Like a Sports Season, Campaigns Like the Plays
Here are integrated marketing tips to up your game and generate results that are intentional, not just a luck of the draw.
1. Plan the Campaign and Set Goals
Goals drive everything within an organization. Make sure they are shared ones that foster a sense of ownership within each person. This will ensure marketing outreach is delivered as a truly integrated marketing campaign, not a “siloed” effort.
To pull off power planning means including all stakeholders in the process, including company leaders, sales, field marketing, customer services, content creators, etc. Be sure any team-specific goals align to leadership’s quarterly and annual goals.
Next, map the buyer’s journey and the content needed at each stage of a campaign, and agree on personas that fit what you are promoting. Factor in the technical debt required to get things done and any technical costs associated with content delivery to meet the needs of each specific channel.
Most important – timelines. What is realistic for all internal teams? Are you taking into the consideration the prep and delivery time for each team?
Remember, there is a vision each person is keeping in mind for the business (big picture). Integrated marketing efforts need to mirror that vision on a smaller level. When the campaign succeeds, everyone helps to feed the bigger vision.
“81 percent of marketers struggle with collaboration and coordination between content production resources.” – B2B Marketing Playbook
2. Execute To-Dos for Content Creation and Technology Management
With planning put to bed, it’s time to take action!
- How are teams following through on executing content creation to reach goals?
- Are timelines for content development realistic?
- Are internal teams effectively communicating by sharing content through a content repository or collaboration tool and clearly tracking/sharing progress with each other?
- Is there a style guide in place outlining the requirements for campaign development that cover the key content needs for each channel?
3. Distribute Integrated Marketing Content Internally and Externally
To maximize the content created, it has to be used in two ways – internally and externally.
Team members need easy access to content to get familiar with it, leverage it properly within their skill set, and track feedback on its overall effectiveness with potential customers. Externally, marketing content needs to be shared equally on various channels in a format that potential clients will find engaging and spark a conversation.
Most importantly, the organization’s web presence needs to offer diverse ways to spark interest and conversions, including landing pages.
When content is easy to access, relevant to key pain points and sparks a conversation, all of the “parts” of an organization are truly working as an integrated whole to deliver.
Lastly, are there steps in place to automate? The more you can automate action steps, teams can feel confident that their efforts matter and are contributing to shared goals of the campaign. When you think about it, this almost makes integrated marketing a natural side-effect!
Here are some great examples of companies that are getting integrated marketing right while also staying innovative and interesting.
4. Analyze, Optimize, Then Use What’s Learned to Revitalize
The suspense can be intense when monitoring the success of an integrated marketing campaign, which is why it’s essential to measure results throughout the execution phase. When measuring results, it’s important to have a standard unit of content scoring and to be clear on what unit of measure indicates a goal has been met. Aspects including:
- How is the team using shared content?
- What content pieces are driving the most conversions?
- What content is most popular internally and externally?
- What bottlenecks are popping up as clients travel from interest to sale, and how often?
The final step in the optimizing stage is to take the results and feed them back into the planning stages for content creation in the next campaign. The more everyone it willing to practice as a team, and share the results, the easier it will be to create killer marketing campaigns again and again.
Remember, a structured, consistent planning and execution process is key to a winning play and takes integrated marketing to the next level of success.