From the customer’s perspective, a great integrated marketing campaign shouldn’t feel complicated.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) defines integrated marketing as,
“an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for [people] to interact with the brand…[across] tactics, methods, channels, media and activities.”
For a B2B demand generation organization, an integrated marketing campaign can span many digital and traditional marketing channels, personas and full-funnel touchpoints. With so many moving pieces, achieving a customer experience that feels “seamless” is far from simple.
Many B2B organizations struggle to drive successful full-funnel campaigns, let alone achieve a truly integrated marketing effort. The following nine to-do’s and resources will enable your demand gen team to build stronger integrated campaigns for greater future results.
9 Steps to an Effective Integrated Marketing Campaign
1. Define Campaign Goals
The success of an integrated marketing campaign isn’t just measured in the volume of leads generated, or even the quality of quality leads. It should be measured by full-funnel marketing success (like how many opportunities it impacts and how much revenue it drives).
What types of goals should you set for an integrated marketing campaign?
Without getting too far into the nitty-gritty of demand marketing KPIs, here are a few categories:
- Customer Types: Personas, Target Accounts
- Marketing-Qualified Leads
- Sales-Qualified Leads
- Closed-Won Deals
Once you’ve defined who you’re targeting and how high you’re reaching, make sure you’ve got the tools in place to automate the top-of-the funnel and achieve full-funnel visibility throughout the campaign lifecycle.
Learn more about designing a full-funnel campaign plan and goal-setting in How to Objectively Review a Demand Generation Strategy.
2. Know Your Target Accounts & Personas
If you haven’t taken the time to complete your buyer persona profiles–yes, actual documents which profile your ideal customers and accounts–now is the time to do it. You can even get a head start by downloading Integrate’s persona worksheet.
Here are the questions you should answer to understand who you’re targeting:
- What’s their job title?
- What’s their education level?
- What’s their personality type?
- How do they research, learn and consume content?
- What industry are they in?
- How many employees does their company have?
- What are their individual, team and professional goals?
- How is their professional success measured?
- What problems are they trying to solve today?
- What blogs do they read?
- Which conferences or industry events do they attend?
Learn more about creating a vibrant profile of your ideal customer in A Useful Template to Develop (or Improve) Your B2B Buyer Personas
3. Make Sure You Have the Right Team Members
Successful integrated demand generation requires a symphony of people, processes and technology. But it all starts with the people. Each integrated program needs to have a strong leader, as well as numerous collaborators and contributors. If you don't have the team you need to execute, consider leveraging outside expertise.
Signs you may need to hire a consultant or outsource parts of your integrated marketing efforts can include:
- A sheer lack of manpower
- Lack of budget to hire internally
- Lack of internal expertise
- A need for strategic guidance
- A need for training
If you’ve got talented marketers on board who lack integrated marketing expertise, a consultant may be the right solution. If you don’t have a designer and can’t hire one, a contractor might be the right solution. If you don’t meet any of the use cases listed above, you may be struggling from pain points more related to processes or technology than pure human talent.
Assess more of your people-related readiness in Should You Outsource Demand Generation in 2018? Pros vs. Cons.
4. Determine the Right Marketing Channels
Integrated marketing campaigns are, by definition, multichannel. Today’s B2B marketers are adopting an increased number of owned, earned and paid channels for full-funnel demand generation.
Ultimately, the best channels for your brand vary depending on your personas, brand, industry and other possible factors. The channels that drive success at the top of the marketing funnel might not be the most successful for bottom-funnel conversions.
Surveys of B2B marketers published in The 2018 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report reveal that the following channels were ranked as the top-three most effective by funnel stage in 2018:
Top 5 Early-Stage Engagement Channels for 2018
- Email (59%)
- Search (56%)
- Website (51%)
- Social (44%)
- Online Ads (27%)
Top 5 Later-Stage Conversion Channels
- Email (81%)
- Website (50%)
- Telemarketing (45%)
- Retargeting (27%)
- Direct Mail (20%)
Be sure that your execution plan includes a diverse range of channels, including third-party partners who can improve your ability to engage your target audiences. And don't be afraid to test new channels and always let the data be your guide.
For more data and expert insights into trending B2B channels for integrated marketing success, we recommend What are the Best Demand Marketing Channels for 2018?
5. Deliver a Consistent Brand Experience
Brand consistency breeds a brand promise–an expectation of the customer experience. The more consistency you achieve with tone, design, messaging and themes of your integrated marketing campaign, the better.
What goes into a consistent brand experience?
Among other things, a mission statement, company slogan, logo designs, color schemes, typography, imagery rules, copy guidelines, good examples and a “hall of shame.”
Required documentation likely includes:
- Visual brand guidelines
- Brand voice guidelines
- Brand messaging and theme guidelines
- Buyer persona documentation
- Definition of your buyer’s journey
Work continuously to ensure your brand guidelines are maintained, accessed and used religiously by members of your marketing teams and third-party contractors involved in your integrated marketing campaigns.
Too much consistency isn’t always a good thing. Learn why in 3 Side Effects of Persona-Based Content Marketing
6. Incorporate Consistent Messaging
Brand voice isn’t the same as a human voice. It’s about the use of a consistent tone, vocabulary and positioning throughout multimedia content to create a consistent customer experience.
In integrated marketing campaigns, consistency in voice and messaging matters.
Achieving consistency is easier said than done, especially if you’re coordinating with multiple content creators or even third-parties to create campaign content. The solution is to create brand voice standards ahead of time, and complete a messaging map for your integrated marketing campaign which defines personas, pain points, goals, content types, resources and promotion plans.
Learn more about consistency in messaging in Point of View Marketing: A New Way to Fuel Demand Generation Strategy
7. Create Content Adaptable for Multiple Channels
Remember the messaging map? It’s about to be useful once again, as you develop a campaign content calendar with an eye towards repurposing and upcycling content assets for efficiency.
Let’s say your campaign is centered around one hyper-premium content asset–an original research report you spent months developing that’s jam-packed with ground-breaking industry insights.
You’re going to publish a full-length report, but how else could a white paper research PDF be repurposed?
- 3 Industry-Specific Fact Sheets
- 1 Data Brief
- 1 Slideshare
- 2 Webinars
- 6 Social Media Graphics
- 8 Blog Posts
- 3 Lead Nurturing Workflows
You get the picture.
Not only does content repurposing keep your messaging consistent, it keeps duplication of efforts and wasted work to a minimum. When your integrated marketing campaign is targeting multiple personas, it also allows you to tailor your messages perfectly to the needs of specific buyers.
Get more tips and hacks on content repurposing in 24 Practical Tips to Upcycle (Not Recycle) Your Marketing Content.
8. Have a Lead Nurturing Follow-Up Plan in Place
Lead nurturing shouldn’t be an afterthought once you’ve launched your integrated marketing campaign. Once the leads start rolling in, do you have a plan for processing, routing, nurturing and qualifying your new leads?
The messaging of your lead nurturing workflows should be a natural extension of your messaging map and campaign content to ensure the experience feels seamless to your prospects.
Use follow-up emails to continue sharing value and building trust.
Just as importantly, make sure you’re letting marketing automation technology do the heavy lifting by automating the sending of lead nurturing emails to your new contacts. Manual lead processing and uploading is time-consuming and error-prone and can result in lengthy delays. Automating the lead verification and upload process can speed time to follow-up, and allow you to begin moving your leads through the sales funnel.
Just as importantly, ensure your tools are able to adjust to the engagement level of your prospects, communicating with less-engaged leads less often, and accelerating how you’re conversing with your most-engaged contacts.
Learn how one game-changing B2B marketer achieved remarkable success with automated lead nurturing in Creating Demand Generation Playbooks to Nurture Prospects [Interview]
9. Measure, Learn, Iterate & Repeat
Integrated marketing campaigns aren’t a one-and-done effort.
Once you’ve published your lead generation content, you’re not stuck waiting to improve your efforts until your next campaign. That is, you’re not stuck waiting if you have the right tools for full-funnel measurement. These tools allow you to analyze performance in real-time, tracking things like:
- Lead generation velocity
- Lead to marketing-qualified lead (MQL) conversions
- MQL to opportunity (SQL) conversions
- Closed-won business
With oversight into every stage of the funnel, integrated marketers can understand their campaign and businesses health and adjust their campaign accordingly–increasing the budget for syndication, or improving the quality of lead nurturing workflows on an as-needed basis.
Using these metrics, you can understand pipeline health and answer questions like:
- Do you have enough leads in each part of the funnel?
- Is your volume steady, or better yet, growing month-over-month?
- Is marketing’s contribution to the pipeline sufficient?
Ideally, measurement and optimization should be a never-ending cycle in a demand generation environment. With the right technologies and processes in place for real-time, agile decision making, marketers can achieve a system of iterative improvements.
Learn more about how to shift to a continuous improvement-based culture in How to Measure Demand Generation: 13 Expert Tips
Successfully Integrating Demand Marketing Campaigns
While the top of the marketing funnel at many B2B organizations is complex and involves many channels, you don't need to manage every component of an integrated marketing campaign individually. With technologies and processes to holistically plan your demand generation strategy, you can achieve efficiency and consistency.
Orchestrating a successful integrated marketing campaign is no small effort. If one component of your program is out of sync, it can diminish results. For a comprehensive look at how your firm stacks up against programs at best-of-class B2B organizations, check out the free Integrate resource: B2B Demand Marketing Assessment Guide & Orchestration Workbook. It includes everything you need for end-to-end diagnostics, including 12 customizable worksheets.