What exactly is an integrated B2B marketing campaign?
In simple terms, it is the consistent sharing of your value proposition via pertinent channels in a relevant way to an identified audience in a manner that they most appreciate. (That is integrated B2B marketing made simple.)
There can be no integrated campaign without an understanding of two essential things A) who buys and why, followed by B) what you sell and why (I urge you to check out Simon Sinek on that last one). The first job – get sales to talk about the customers and how they sell. (See part 1making-b2b-marketing-pay ) Isolate the data trends in customers and attributes of the companies that purchase most quickly and those that take longer. Understand the short and long tail of your sales process. (See part 2 b2b-customer-marketing-attribution)
Why do this? You want to ensure cross-departmental sharing of information and marketing must work to serve the sales process.
What is the integrated bit? What should be included?
5.Website & SEO
You can run an integrated B2B marketing campaigns without the advertising element (but we advocate the intelligent ‘boosting’ of your campaign penetration by including it, but needn’t cost a fortune).
We appreciate that you can divide all of the above into a myriad of sub-categories – but let’s keep this simple – and these cover off the essentials. Please note that top to bottom the disciplines represent the ‘distance’ or element of ‘cold contact’ you have with the audience; as you progress downwards the conversation/relationship warms up, and the sale should get easier.
Do PR. It is not a waste of time. If you think it is then that will either be because it was badly done or you are stupid. PR is about getting 3rd party validation of your proposition/service by experts and people your potential customers trust. Apparently, in B2B integrated marketing 75% of the purchase decision is now made via digital research before a customer even talks to you (This is going to vary by industry, but you get the point) Appearing in industry publications makes you look credible. It helps to make you a ‘considered option’.
How do you develop an Integrated plan?
Ok so you have a value proposition, and you have your audience identified. Let’s assume you have sorted out data to talk to them and identified the online and offline (events etc.) places they dwell. Now let’s take you through the process.
You create a ‘theme’. A creative thread that encapsulates your offer message. The theme can be quite generic, but a good one will be easily tailored to different audiences. You use this to visually and tonally link (integrate) your message via discipline 1-7.
- Create a story (fact/research based) to support you offer and get the media to cover it (PR)
- Social – share this. Comment on other stories on the subject. Be an expert. Link to the website where you offer more insight and more detail (gated). Advertise your message on specific social sites based on audience demographics and only at certain times you are commenting or being publicised by media.
- At the same time use DM/EDM to talk directly to your audience. Offer them something specific and of value (A How to Guide etc.) that would be normally gated on your website.
- Ensure your website supports your message proposition. Create landing pages rich in SEO content and linked content that solves your potential customer’s problems. Offer some content free but gate rich content – you want data capture and website analytics on prospect activity. (See part 3 How-hard-is-your-website-working of this blog series)
- Using this method you can invite people to your thought leadership event. If they attend it’s a real hint, they are keen. Make sure you attend and (if you can) speak at the event. It’s good credible PR and promotes your content. Events are crucial in qualifying interest levels (lead scoring) so look to create in depth and light touch variants.
- Now you know who is interested and to what level (the web, social analytics combined with event data) so you can define those that need ‘more marketing’ and those that are SQLs (sales qualified leads). Sales take over – having defined the audience and criteria for sales conversion they won’t whinge about lead quality.
Content and SEO are essential. Without quality content that answers problems and promotes your solution, you won’t be discovered. You must have the content to support your PR, social and advertising and ensure the words used to search for solutions are in that content. That’s (basically) how SEO works.
So, clearly, it can get a lot more complicated than this. However, you are merely scaling up the audience variants and message specifics – the mechanics remain largely the same. People like us (BREW’D integrated B2B marketing) will help your marketing team get it right.
PS – Rule 4
You can create all of this without expensive marketing automation software. There are lots of free/cheap linked tech tools (MailChimp etc.) that can help. BUT – you do need a plan, a creative theme and the ability to generate quality content. Quality content is the key to getting stand out with integrated b2b marketing.
BREW’D Marketing: integrated B2B marketing experts based in Datchet, near Windsor, Berkshire, SL3 9ED. Delivering marketing consultancy, creative & content services, and lead generation to London, the Thames Valley, and the South East.