Have you ever been in a marketing brainstorming session where ideas are flying, and you think you’ve finally come up with the ideal campaign, only to return to your desk and think, “but how are we going to actually do that?” In today’s marketing world, technology capabilities are no longer a limitation when brainstorming (and they shouldn’t be). Marketers are imagining new realities that you know are possible to achieve. The technology is there, but maybe you’re just not sure how to put all the pieces together or where to start. This is how I felt the first time I launched an integrated campaign.
Integrated marketing is an approach that combines multiple channels while sending a consistent message to a targeted audience. Integrated campaigns work—according to Gartner, campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. However, they’re not always easy to execute. Everything about the campaigns will be unique to your business and your audience which means there is no one-size fits all playbook to launching an integrated campaign. Additionally, integrated marketing campaigns require multiple channels, which also require team members who may not work together regularly, to come together to share data and deliver consistent and seamless content experiences across all channels and platforms. Easier said than done.
Whether you are just getting started, or have been rocking integrated campaigns for a while, below are some tips on how the Marketing Ops teams can extend beyond your marketing automation platform to connect to your growing number of channels and create unified, seamless experiences for your customers.
Explore the marketplace and use what already exists.
When you begin creating multi-channel experiences, the first thing I recommend is taking an inventory of the channels and tools you have in your existing tech stack. Then do a quick search to see what “connectors” may already exist. Most marketing automation platforms already have robust marketplaces with tons of free and low cost apps already built and ready for you to install and use.
An easy win is creating a consistent experience between your email campaigns and digital advertising by simply sharing audiences between the two. For example, I can create a targeted email marketing campaign in Eloqua and with a few clicks I can add these same contacts to a LinkedIn Audience, Google Ads Custom Audience, and Facebook audience where I can serve up advertising with the same creative and messaging as the emails. I can also take it a step further and launch a direct mail campaign to this same group—all automated thanks to the PFL and Sendoso apps available in the marketplace.
Use query strings and cookies to ensure your Integrated Campaigns don’t become siloed experiences.
My first stab at an integrated campaign involved identifying a targeted list and then manually creating each individual asset for that audience—the email, the landing page, the paid ads, the direct mail piece, etc. Then we would identify a second audience, and rebuild the whole thing. Everything linked together beautifully, but it wasn’t easy to scale and each campaign was in its own bubble. Everything sat outside of our primary lead gen asset—our corporate website. We intentionally didn’t want to link to our website, because we thought that the minute we took our contacts to the website, the consistent experience would be broken. The personalized and cohesive journey we intended would be replaced with one that felt disjointed and fragmented. On the other hand, by not considering our website when building our integrated campaign, we were missing out on a huge opportunity—because spoiler alert: whether we included links to our website or not, people still found it. It’s called the internet.
So what is a marketer to do? Start by taking a look at your existing marketing assets—your website, landing pages, and resource library—and the information available to you about your visitors—their IP address, cookies, and query strings. Then find where you can personalize dynamically based on those data points. For example, chat tools like Drift can be triggered by the presence of a query string, which means you can easily incorporate the same messaging in chat for visitors to your website for a more cohesive experience. Or Uberflip, a content experience platform, can update content title, description, and body text in your resource library based on a query string, or even filter content to show what’s most relevant to your campaign.
It’s not uncommon for marketing technology to already include out-of-the-box personalization based on query strings or IP address, so take a look at your stack and see what’s already available. If you’re not finding what you’re hoping for, you may need to do some custom development, but don’t let that scare you. Set up a meeting with your website admin or development resource and start brainstorming. You can start by asking some of these simple questions:
- If I pass a query string value, can you automatically update this section to show xyz creative or message?
- If a visitor’s IP address is one of our targeted accounts, can we show xyz?
- If a visitor exists in our MAP database, what information does the website have about them?
Utilize your sales force.
In my first tip (above), I recommended creating an inventory of channels you’re already using. If you didn’t include your sales team in that list, go back and add them to it. 😉 Your sales team is a great resource and effective channel when launching integrated campaigns.
At a minimum, marketers need to ensure sales has visibility into the campaigns their prospects are receiving so that they can align with the message in their outreach too. Tools like Eloqua Profiler and Marketo Sales Insight are great for that! For an even more effective campaign, hand your sales team targeted lists of accounts per campaign, and arm them with relevant content that they can share with these accounts. Uberflip makes this super easy execute with their Sales Streams which enables sales teams to create personalilzed and branded “mini-content experiences” on the fly! If you don’t have a content experience tool, don’t worry—you can start providing sales with anything from email templates and shareable PDFs, to talking points and value propositions. If your sales team uses an automated communication tool like Outreach, you can even create their outbound cadences for them and auto-enroll your targeted lists to ensure a unified experience from start to finish.
Marketing in today’s world is more complex than ever—traditional marketing tactics are no longer effective, the combination of channels is infinite which often leads to fragmented brand experiences, and the amount of noise our customers are surrounded by is deafening. To overcome these challenges, Marketers are focusing their efforts on creating integrated marketing campaigns which create unified experiences with a strong and relevant message to a targeted audience. They’re not easy to execute, but they are effective and worth it. Whether you are getting ready to launch your first integrated campaign or are looking to take yours to the next level, remember we are always here to help answer your questions and make you successful—just drop us a line or send us an email.
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