The digital marketing landscape is more crowded than ever. That’s why it’s so important to integrate your marketing efforts across the entire organization.
Here at NewsCred, we see how an integrated approach helps our customers improve collaboration and operational efficiency to build full-funnel, highly effective, omnichannel campaigns. This week, we interviewed two top digital marketers who have rolled out integrated marketing programs and teams at their respective organizations. Here’s what they had to say:
Victoria Loveless, Senior Manager, Account Based Marketing, Domo
Kim Hahn, Director Demand Generation, Kustomer
Q: Modern MarTech tools help enable integrated marketing, but why is it still so challenging to pull off fully-integrated marketing campaigns?
Victoria: Technology is a means to accomplish and scale, but adoption, buy-in, transparency, and communication are essential to a successful integrated strategy.
Kim: If organizations aren’t aligned, you still run the risk of having siloed departments, each responsible for the same goal and each owning it individually vs. having teams work together as a unit, like a demand center of excellence. Often times, if leadership isn’t fully bought in and driving teams to be collaborative, it forces teams to work independently and creates friction. Even your martech team should be aligned with the integrated marketing team. Each new tool in your tech stack means a new integration and the possibility of not being able to attribute the right actions to lead all the way through to the end of the marketing journey. We need to collectively ensure these tools contain the steal thread data we demand generation leaders crave — clarity of where a lead came from and their subsequent engagements.
Takeaway: Getting buy-in and proving attribution both continue to be a challenge.
Q: Why is it so important to strive toward an integrated marketing program?
Victoria: If a company/department hasn’t established and defined goals, it’s easy to become distracted by the next shiny thing, rather than staying focused on what is best for the company. Having an integrated strategy helps align the department and company in order to accomplish tactical plans that map to the department’s greater goals.
Kim: Externally facing, it’s about your audience, without a fully-integrated marketing approach, your lead journey is disconnected. Consumers are savvier than ever — deliver a disconnected experience and you’ll be faced with higher abandon rates. Create a connected experience and they’ll continue to engage until they are attached to an opportunity and closed won. The integrated marketing team shouldn’t just care about the pipeline target, but also strive to deliver an experience every one of us wants: a pleasant, easy-to-consume, engaging experience.
Internally facing, taking an integrated approach allows all team members to work towards a single objective, to fire on all cylinders, connecting the various campaigns and programs that ladder up to the company’s core objectives. Giving extended teams a seat at the table, like sales or product teams, or even your marketing ops folks, strengthens the team. They’ll bring the additional insights and foundational building blocks you need to develop solid campaigns — answering questions like what they are hearing from customers, analysts, and partners, and understanding where leads are spending their time researching.
Takeaway: Alignment around shared business goals is key.
Q: What benefits have you seen from integrating your marketing efforts?
Victoria: With more integrated efforts, I’ve seen less duplicative work being done, budgets being used more effectively, prioritization of projects, stronger campaign results, quicker time-to-value on technology, getting projects across the finish line quicker, and scaling more campaigns simultaneously as a result.
Kim: I’ve seen some great collaboration efforts as a result of an integrated approach. We even jumped on the agile bandwagon, driving our campaigns to be planned and executed in an agile fashion. When we added digital demand centers to our integrated marketing strategy, the silos really started coming down, and the priorities were finally singly focused. Each demand center has been given a single goal and a single set of objectives. It has even helped us to merge two teams into one, both of which who were previously responsible for the same exact thing but led by different managers, so there was little collaboration and a lot of competition.
Takeaway: An integrated approach improves collaboration and efficiency.
Q: Where do you think most marketers go wrong in this effort?
Kim: Please don’t forget the content. Plans can be best-laid plans until you don’t have the right content, for the right audience, and at the right stage in their journey. In your planning process, when the campaigns are being plotted out, hold a content mapping session. Assess your current content strategy by campaign and journey stage, and identify your gaps. Again, things start to break down when leadership isn’t in alignment. I take a moment to reflect every time I see a social post or commentary around ‘people leave managers, not companies’. There is truth to that. If you have leadership in sync, your teams will be in sync, and teams that are in sync develop solid campaigns that target the right people, in the right place, at the right time, driving to a single goal.
Takeaway: Use content to create a cohesive, integrated customer experience.
Q: Where do silos most commonly pop up?
Victoria: You cannot have a fully-integrated organization unless you’re willing to think as a team working toward a greater goal. Also, everyone needs a swim lane to own so that people can move quickly. When people aren’t aware of their swim lanes or don’t understand where they fit into the larger integrated puzzle, it tends to create an environment where people want to work alone.
Takeaway: To eliminate silos and encourage collaboration, make sure everyone understands where they fit in your organization’s integrated marketing puzzle.
Q: What technologies have been most helpful for you when it comes to increasing collaboration and creating effective, omnichannel campaigns?
Victoria: A place to visualize all the data in one place, a collaboration tool, a project management software, and a CRM are basic foundational tools to drive integrated marketing efforts.
Kim: A great project management tool is the best resource for driving collaboration and providing a visual on all the activity that’s required, by whom, and when. You should evaluate the tool based on your objectives. If your requirements include having workflows or the ability to have dependencies, some tools may not have that functionality, so you have to choose what makes sense for your goals.
Most marketing teams would benefit from a tool that measures the entire lifecycle of an opportunity: from the first touchpoint to the calculated ROI. And don’t forget the tools that help you create great content. Go beyond traditional design tools and look for the ones that enable you to develop great content at a steady cadence to contribute to SEO and engage potential customers. You might get 30 seconds of someone’s attention — make it count.
Takeaway: Having a single place to manage workflows, projects, and tasks, like NewsCred’s CMP, is the key to driving creating successful multi-channel campaigns.