Enterprise marketing organizations employ a lot of people for different types of work. Scale allows you to hire highly specialized staff for grade-A outcomes. But if the sophisticated pieces of your marketing plan don’t all fit together, you won’t see the results you need.
The B2B buyer’s journey can easily require more than 10 touch points before a lead turns into a sale. That’s a lot of opportunity to lose someone. It’s not good enough for a prospect to interact with one marketing activity or even two. You have to maintain a connection for the full buyer’s journey.
To pull that off effectively, you need an integrated marketing plan.
How to create an integrated marketing plan: everybody works together
An integrated marketing plan takes the big picture into account. Nobody can focus on doing their work in a vacuum; rather, everyone on the marketing team needs to make sure what they’re doing complements all the other marketing work being done.
The whole marketing department needs to work together with one another and with other departments to make sure your prospects have a consistent brand experience throughout the buyer’s journey.
The concept behind integrated marketing may be simple, but the execution of it could require some serious changes in how your marketing department currently operates. The larger your marketing organization is, the harder it will be to bring all the disparate departments under one integrated plan. But It’s worth it.
How integrated marketing pays off
When you do the work to create an integrated approach to your marketing across departments, you’ll see improvements at several levels.
- When your teams are integrated, you can easily share insights across departments.
Right now, each of your teams is sitting on valuable metrics that could be useful to other departments. Everything you learn about your leads during a marketing campaign should become shared knowledge that marketing, sales, and customer service can all be put to use.
For that to happen though, you have to actively be sharing metrics with other departments and discussing what they mean. You need a culture that values collaborative learning and ongoing communication.
- Shared knowledge and data means everyone understands your customers better.
When all the data and knowledge you have about your leads and customers becomes shared across departments, everyone will have an easier time understanding what customers need and respond to.
Marketers can improve their personas and create marketing campaigns that more successfully address the needs of their prospects. Sales can more confidently approach a lead knowing exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey and the interests they’ve demonstrated so far for your products or services.
Good marketing depends on understanding your target audience. It’s one of the ongoing challenges every marketing professional works toward. Integrated marketing gets you that much closer.
- You can provide a consistent experience to customers.
If your prospects feel like they’re getting different messages from different parts of your organization, that’s a recipe for confusion. Your brand message should be consistent across all channels and tactics – from when a prospect first becomes a lead, all the way to their time as a customer.
When you have an integrated marketing plan, you bring all of your teams onto the same page. They know the main messages you want to communicate to leads and they know what the rest of the organization is saying and doing to get those messages across. That ensures each team member knows how their work fits into the larger whole so they can push out a consistent message at the right time.
- You avoid repeating work.
When everyone’s working in their silos, it’s entirely possible for two teams to come up with a great idea and each pursue it – only to realize somewhere down the line that they were both essentially doing the same thing and they’ve done double the work needed for no reason.
Duplicated efforts are a waste of time, money, and resources. Integrated marketing helps you avoid all that. When everyone knows what other teams and departments are doing, you don’t have to worry about different teams accidentally tackling the same project.
- Integrated marketing gets better results.
95% of marketers that have integrated their digital marketing channels say it’s been effective. And the marketers that get the best results are nearly eight times more likely than their peers to be actively working to integrate their message across sales, marketing, and customer service departments.
When your teams work together and build trust, your leads get a better experience—and it pays off.
Creating and following an integrated marketing plan does take a big commitment and some real work. Technology can make the process a little easier though. If you’d like some more information on how Hive9 can simplify the process of creating an integrated marketing plan, let us show you how it works.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0