An integrated campaign aligns the departments, teams and people of a company with a common message in order to achieve a common goal, namely increasing sales. Common examples are the expansion into a new market, the acquisition of market share by a competitor or the introduction of a new function in an existing customer segment.
Unlike multi-channel campaigns, which are usually about spreading a common message across multiple marketing channels, integrated campaigns have a broader scope and incorporate the talents of a wider range of people. Sales, sales development, product, IT, leadership and of course marketing play an important role.
Here are some best practices for planning and running an integrated B2B campaign.
Advantages of integrated campaigns
Before we get into the “how” of integrated campaigns, let’s examine the “why”. After all, your people are busy enough already. The last thing they want is another project without understanding the possible rewards.
Here are three main reasons why integrated campaigns – if done right – can help your business and your employees become more successful.
1. Maximize your reach
As a marketer, I’m a big believer in inbound marketing. Creating compelling content helps prospects solve their immediate challenges while also becoming familiar with your brand. However, content can’t be your only source of new business – especially if you’re selling to medium and corporate customers.
Much larger decisions are made there that are not influenced by online searches. That’s why intelligent companies are developing processes to identify and intercept these deals through integrated campaigns.
Bring away: You miss deals if you rely too heavily on inbound. Integrated campaigns will help you reach more high-quality leads and ultimately close more deals.
2. Promote cross-functional alignment
Creating a cross-functional alignment has never been more difficult than in today’s extended virtual work environment, especially for teams that used to work exclusively in a physical office environment.
Integrated campaigns naturally encourage a higher level of targeting. For example, let’s say your goal is to increase sales from customer upgrades by 25% over the next six months. To achieve this goal, marketing must work with Customer Success (CS) to create segmented lists of customers who are likely to engage. CS and sales need to follow a process for identifying and tracking customers who show interest. Sales must provide continuous feedback so that marketing can track campaign effectiveness and respond to ongoing collateral needs.
Bring away: If you’re looking for a better way to drive cross-departmental alignment, an integrated campaign is the place for you.
3. Increase the output quality
Aligning teams and campaigns with a data-driven view of success leads to meaningful conversations that lead to better and better results. Sales relies even more on marketing to create landing pages, case studies, remarketing ads, emails, and collateral with higher impact. Marketing is getting used to getting first-hand feedback on why customers are (or not) engaging with messaging. CS gains new insights to improve the quality of support documentation and agent interactions.
Instead of working in silos and making educated guesses, campaign data serves as the basis for improved multi-team decision-making – and in some cases sparking ideas for new integrated campaigns.
Bring away: Targeting a joint campaign can unleash the creative genius of your teams.
Ask these questions to help you develop an effective strategy for your integrated campaign
What is the first step in implementing an integrated campaign?
Before your marketing team creates a series of banner ads and email explosions, ask yourself the following questions to help create a comprehensive campaign strategy.
Think about where your business has been and where it’s going. Use a central message or narrative to target the right mix of people, processes, and channels.
What is your primary sales goal?
The goal of simply increasing sales is too broad a goal. Does the lowest hanging fruit come from new customer acquisition or a “land and expand” approach? Use your own data to understand which revenue streams have been reliable in the past and where the greatest opportunity lies.
How will this campaign align with your ICP and relatives?
Integrated campaigns should focus on one type of customer – usually your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). If you’ve never formalized your ICP and personas, now is the time. Creating impactful content, ads, and contact programs requires a thorough understanding of the target customer. Simply sending a common message to everyone leads to de minimis returns.
How do competitors use integrated campaigns?
Ask your sales team to share firsthand knowledge of successful integrated campaigns from competitors. What types of emails, advertisements, or contact programs have the competitors used to target customers? What can you learn from competitors to make your integrated campaigns more effective?
What’s the best way to reach your target audience?
Make a list of all the ways you can get your message across to the target audience. Depending on the target market and industry, your list might include: sales pitches, automated emails, LinkedIn ads, online search ads, in-app product banners, and retarget display ads. Get specific. Then begin the elimination process to identify the tactics for each channel and set goals.
Do we have the right mix of tools and data?
Sharing timely campaign data between sales, marketing, CS, and other teams is difficult – if not impossible – if you don’t have a unified CRM. Likewise, the coordination of collateral and content is a challenge when each department uses its own project management system. Prepare the conditions for a successful campaign by aligning yourself with a common source of truth.
Here are tips for starting your integrated campaign
So far we have defined what an integrated campaign is, why it is beneficial, and how to develop a successful strategy. In my next post, we’ll explore best practices for starting an integrated campaign.
In the meantime, be sure to read Insightly’s five-part series to learn how you can promote better alignment between sales and marketing teams.
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