An integrated campaign aligns a company’s departments, teams, and people around a shared message in order to achieve a shared objective—namely, increasing revenue. Common examples include expanding into a new market, winning market share from a competitor, or rolling out a new feature to an existing customer segment.
Unlike multi-channel campaigns, which typically focus on pushing a common message across multiple marketing channels, integrated campaigns have a broader scope and integrate the talents of a wider spectrum of people. Sales, sales development, product, IT, leadership, and, of course, marketing all play an important role.
Here are a few best practices for planning and running an integrated B2B campaign.
Benefits of integrated campaigns
Before we get into the “how” of running integrated campaigns, let’s examine the “why.” After all, your people are already busy enough. The last thing they want is another project without understanding the potential rewards.
Here are three major reasons why integrated campaigns—when done the right way—can help your company and your people become more successful.
1. Maximize your reach
As a marketer, I’m a big proponent of inbound marketing. Creating compelling content helps potential clients solve their immediate challenges and, simultaneously, become familiar with your brand. That being said, content cannot be your only source of new business—especially if you sell to mid-market and enterprise customers.
There are much bigger decisions being made out there that are not influenced by online search, which is why smart companies develop processes for identifying and intercepting those deals through integrated campaigns.
Takeaway: You’re missing out on deals if you’re relying too heavily on inbound. Integrated campaigns help you reach more high-value leads and, ultimately, close more deals.
2. Foster cross-functional alignment
Creating cross-functional alignment has never been more challenging than in today’s prolonged virtual work environment, especially for teams that used to work exclusively in a physical office environment.
Integrated campaigns, by their very nature, foster elevated levels of alignment. For example, let’s assume your goal is to increase customer upgrade revenue by 25% within the next six months. To achieve this goal, marketing must work with customer success (CS) to build segmented lists of customers who are likely to engage. CS and sales must align around a process for flagging and following up with customers who express interest. Sales needs to provide continuous feedback so marketing can track campaign effectiveness and respond to ongoing collateral needs.
Takeaway: If you’re seeking a better way to encourage cross-departmental alignment, look no further than an integrated campaign.
3. Elevate the quality of output
Aligning teams and campaigns around a data-driven view of success leads to meaningful conversations that yield ever-improving results. Sales begins to rely even more on marketing to produce higher impact landing pages, case studies, remarketing ads, emails, and collateral. Marketing becomes accustomed to receiving first-hand feedback as to why customers engage (or fail to engage) with messaging. CS gains new insights to improve the quality of support documentation and agent interactions.
Rather than operating in silos and taking educated guesses, campaign data serves as the foundation for enhanced decision-making across multiple teams—and, in some cases, sparks ideas for new integrated campaigns.
Takeaway: Alignment around a shared campaign can unleash the creative genius of your teams.
Ask these questions to form an effective strategy for your integrated campaign
So, what’s the first step in implementing an integrated campaign?
Before you have your marketing team create a bunch of banner ads and email blasts, ask yourself the following questions to form a comprehensive campaign strategy.
Consider where your business has been and where it is going. Use a central message or narrative to align the right mix of people, processes and channels.
What is your primary revenue objective?
Aiming to simply “increase sales” is too broad of an objective. Does the lowest hanging fruit come from new customer acquisition or a “land and expand” approach? Use your own data to understand which revenue sources have been reliable in the past and where the greatest opportunity lies.
How will this campaign align with your ICP and related personas?
Integrated campaigns should focus on one type of customer—typically your ideal customer profile (ICP). If you’ve never formalized your ICP and personas, now is the right time. Creating high-impact content, ads, and outreach programs requires an in-depth understanding of the targeted customer. Simply blasting a common message to everyone will result in de minimis returns.
How are competitors leveraging integrated campaigns?
Ask your sales team to share any first-hand knowledge they have about successful integrated campaigns run by competitors. What types of emails, ads, or outreach programs did the competitor(s) use to target customers? What can you learn from competitors to make your integrated campaigns more effective?
What is the best method for reaching your targeted audience?
Make a list of all the ways that you could deliver your message to the intended audience. Depending on the target market and industry, your list might include: sales calls, automated emails, LinkedIn ads, online search ads, in-app product banners, and retargeted display ads. Get specific. Then, begin the process of elimination 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—when you lack a unified CRM. Likewise, coordinating collateral and content is challenging when each department uses its own project management system. Set the stage for a successful campaign by aligning around a common source of truth.
Stay tuned for tips to launch your integrated campaign
So far, we’ve defined what an integrated campaign is, why it’s beneficial, and how to develop a successful strategy. In my next post, we’ll explore best practices for launching an integrated campaign.
In the meantime, be sure to check out Insightly’s five-part series on how to encourage greater alignment between sales and marketing teams.
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