How to Build a Business Case for Integrated Marketing
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Inspiration

How to Build a Business Case for Integrated Marketing

by Lieu PhamJuly 23, 2019

You’re sold on the evident business impact of integrated marketing and the results it can generate when done successfully. Now it’s time to get buy-in from leadership and your entire marketing organization.

A part of this is building the business case and continuing to educate, evangelize, and champion the ideal state for the business. Due to the collaborative nature of integrated marketing, you’ll need allies and cross-functional supporters. To ease the process, we’ve put together a definitive list of resources with everything you need to present your business case to key decision-makers and stakeholders.

Business case based on archetype

A large part of what you’ll be doing is change management. This practice is often associated with management consultants who are charged with designing stakeholder impact studies, workshops, and processes. Change management is really a catch-all term to describe any type of processes implemented to prepare the organization for change.

The people in your organization are the trickiest part of the equation, yet also the most important. Humans are complex and some will be more receptive to change than others. According to Nobl, the change management consultancy, you’ll likely come across three types of stakeholders on your quest to gain buy-in. These archetypes are categorized broadly as the champions, the fence-sitters, and the cynics. Here’s a deeper dive into each: what you can expect from them and how to get them on your side.

1. Champions

This group is inspired by the ideal state and believe that things can and should change — and will support you along the way. Involve this group in the journey from buy-in to execution, and make them co-owners of any integrated marketing changes or projects. Educate them and provide them with the ammunition to help evangelize integrated marketing throughout the organization and find more champions to join the cause. These types of people would be excellent candidates for your Tiger Team.

2. Fence-sitters

The people in this camp will wait until they see that integrated marketing is working before really getting engaged. Your job is to show them early wins or successes and get them excited about being involved. There is typically a degree of education involved for this group to start becoming excited about the program. They’ll join when they feel they have enough information or there is positive momentum in the program. They won’t necessarily be your advocates of change, but it’s important to recognize that they can be persuaded by proven results.

3. Cynics

The cynics — as the name gives away — are the most challenging people to get on board and can be a real hurdle to successfully implementing an integrated marketing program. They’re resistant to change, either due to skepticism or having had a bad experience with a similar initiative. There may be other factors at play here too, including political agendas or generally feeling threatened by a proposed change. It would be easy to dismiss these naysayers, but a key aspect to successful change is to get everyone on board, especially those who might be resistant (as in some cases, these people might have a high level of authority within the organization). A great way of doing this is to give them a critical leadership role and a sense of ownership.

Business cases based on teams

Here’s a guide to presenting your business case for integrated marketing based on department or function:

Content team

Depending on how your marketing organization is set up, your content, creative or content marketing team (if it’s a separate function) may also need to be on board. These folks, if they aren’t already, can (and should) be your biggest allies. They understand the value of content as a connector of the organization. They feel the pain of duplicated and wasted efforts when it comes to content production. They know that proactive planning and scaling is better than reactive, ad hoc content creation. And they will appreciate the value proposition of an integrated marketing organization because they know that content connects the customer experience across all channels, and by approaching content creation in this way, they’ll be able to do their jobs both more effectively and more efficiently.

Sales team

Integrated marketing drives action. According to Gartner research, campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. We know that one of the biggest advantages of having an integrated approach to marketing is that it supports the customer experience down the path to purchase. Full-funnel, integrated campaigns perform particularly well because the content is tailored for each touchpoint and stage of the funnel, nurturing customers across the entire buyer journey — ultimately benefitting Sales.

Social team

Members of the social team are great candidates for bolstering your integrated marketing efforts. An attractive vision to sell to the Social team is that an integrated approach means that all social channels are utilized in a consistent and holistic narrative. Bringing the social team into the equation will help them better collaborate and be central to content distribution. They’ll be consulted from the start of campaign planning, which will generate efficiencies in asset and content production and lead to greater consistency across the channels they manage.

Pro tip: Think about leveraging a centralized technology that can help enable integrated marketing across all teams. In the context of social, this means having all of the channels connected to one platform, so that the Social team can easily create, design, and schedule in one system — such as NewsCred’s Content Marketing Platform — rather than doing it through each individual platform. Request a demo to learn more.

Corporate comms

The Communications team (and PR) care about reputation, protecting the brand, and maintaining integrity, especially in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals and financial services. Their job is to present the organization favorably in the eyes of the public, media, investors, and employees. Integrated marketing can do a great job of preserving the integrity of the brand when done right. How? The consistent use of approved messaging and brand elements all play into the corporate comms agenda. It’s important to show that integrated marketing is a low-risk endeavor with numerous payoffs for brand reputation and stakeholder engagement. 

Brand team

Integrated marketing helps to elevate brands through unified storytelling on a large scale. Like corporate communications, the Brand team will be interested in how integrated marketing can impact consistent messaging and brand positioning. Your selling point here is that through increased collaboration, your marketing org will be able to execute integrated campaigns, which when done successfully, should increase your share of voice in the market. Because of the scale of integrated marketing, your brand will have a better chance of being, seen and noticed, which is great for brand building. Governance is also an important benefit to bring up for the Brand team. Following brand guidelines when it comes to everything from messaging and values to colors and fonts are important aspects for maintaining a strong brand.

Marketing Operations team

Marketing Ops leads the strategy and execution of how marketing organizations use technology and data. Ultimately, their goal is to help the marketing team to adapt quickly to changes in the market, business strategy, and customer behavior. This team will most likely be one of the key stakeholder groups for integrated marketing and potential champions. They are interested in software, technology, and tools that help the organization be more efficient, profitable, and accountable. Therefore, this is the team that can help you implement software (e.g. a content marketing platform) that will make integrated marketing easier for your organization. Their job is to get ahead of market trends and requirements, as well as make the marketing org as efficient as possible, so any process or tool that helps to facilitate this vision will likely be welcomed.

Case-building statistics

Now that you know how to position integrated marketing to the various teams you may need to convince, here are some helpful stats for you to build into your business case to demonstrate its value.

Customer experience

  • 52% of marketers engage customers in real-time across one or more channels. (Salesforce)
  • Customer satisfaction is 23x higher in companies who run omnichannel strategies. (Aberdeen Group)
  • 73% of consumers shop on more than one channel. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Integrated and customized campaigns are 57% more effective than non-integrated campaigns, but less than half of the campaigns measured were both integrated and customized. (Kantar Milward Brown)

Governance & tech operations

  • Only 28% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to engage customers across channels at scale. (Salesforce)
  • 73% say their companies departments are disconnected. (Wunderman Thompson)
  • 60% of marketers are using between 7 and 20+ different MarTech vendors. (Gartner Marketing Symposium)
  • 83% of marketers say their customer data lives in multiple systems within their organization and lives in silos. (Gartner Marketing Symposium)
  • 78% of marketers want their marketing tech to work together, but are unable to make it happen. (Gartner Marketing Symposium)
  • Only 27% strongly agree that their organization has a fully-functioning governance model with forums, policies, and procedures under which all content activities and resources are managed. (Accenture)

Branding

  • 90% of customers expect consistent branding interactions across channels. (via V12 Data)
  • Almost all organizations have branding guidelines (95%), but only one-fourth have formal guidelines that are consistently enforced. (Lucid Press)
  • Integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands. (Kantar Milward Brown)

Business results

  • Research shows that consumers viewing a consistent message across a variety of channels can improve purchase intent by 90%. (IAB)
  • 93% of marketers agree that collaboration across marketing and analytics teams is essential to driving results. (ThinkWithGoogle)
  • Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies. (via V12 Data)
  • Marketers who are “integrators” — those who have united data and creativity — grow their revenues at twice the average rate of S&P 500 companies: at least 10% annually versus 5%. (McKinsey)

Budget, efficiency, and waste

  • Enterprises spend between $150M and $250M on content related activities per year. (Accenture)
  • In a survey of 1,000 marketers worldwide by Rakuten Marketing, respondents estimated they waste an average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies. (via eMarketer)
  • 25% of CMOs’ digital media investment reaches target audiences, representing more than $20 billion of marketing waste, inefficiency, and ineffectiveness. (ANA)
  • 20% of all content produced is never distributed. (Accenture)