The New Year brings a fresh start for many marketing departments. It’s a great time to review which campaigns worked well last year and generate new ideas.
For those small to midsize B2B companies that typically use only a single medium for marketing campaigns (or, worse yet, use only their sales team), here’s a challenge: Combine multiple media sources to create an integrated marketing campaign.
Integrated marketing campaigns use a more holistic approach than those using a single marketing medium. They’re more interesting, more impactful, and they typically have higher response rates and generate more leads.
Before we jump into an example of how to design an integrated campaign, let’s take a look at a common scenario in many B2B small to midsize businesses (SMBs).
ABC Software sells — you guessed it – software! Their software manages a very specific design function for automobile part manufacturers. The ABC marketing team needs to generate 100 qualified leads for the sales team in the next quarter. They have a large prospect base, so they send out an email blast to the database in January promoting a New Year’s discount, to generate a quick batch of leads to satisfy the sales team.
Next, to satisfy their own creative juices, they send out a special direct mail piece in February–a rubber stress ball with the company name printed on it. It’s expensive, but the marketers think their prospects will enjoy it, and it will keep their brand top-of-mind.
In March they’ll run a full page ad in the industry trade-show journal highlighting the features of their latest software version. And throughout the quarter, they’re running pay-per-click advertising on Google offering a free demo by the sales team.
Not bad. They’ve spent their budget, and they believe they’ll generate their lead target based on historical conversion rates.
Single media campaigns often fail to convert interested prospects because many people may not have time to take action on the first touch. Others may file for later review but never get to it. Most of us are busy and often manage by focusing on the hottest fires; if you don’t land at the top of the list, you are forgotten.
To draw in their attention, deliver a strong message using multiple media sources. Repetition gives you more chances at conversion. Hitting prospects through different channels builds a stronger awareness.
For example, if you receive an interesting email offer that you flag for later review (and of course never get to) and then receive a direct mail piece one week later, you may recall the email offer and finally be compelled to take action; or you might not recall the email offer, but you might think, “I remember hearing about this somewhere.” The Web and mobile devices have inundated us with so much information that this is becoming more and more common.
To the point, here’s how to apply this convention to ABC Software: Instead of using email, direct mail, print advertising and search marketing with 4 separate offers, tie them all together into one or two offers.
For example, the marketing team could create a webinar in early February to highlight the features of the new software. The marketing mix might look like this:
The more enticing the offer, the better the response, so the team might decide to offer two contest prizes: a drawing for a free $500 airline voucher, and a drawing for a free one-year software support contract.
After the webinar, the marketing team will upload a recording of the event to their blog and email the link to their entire list, using the opportunity to announce the winners of the prizes. They will also send a postcard with the URL and have the sales team place follow-up phone calls to all attendees to start the sales cycle.
By creating an integrated marketing campaign centered around an event, the marketing team spends the same budget but generates 175 leads, exceeding their lead quota by 75 percent.
If you’re deciding what type of marketing media to use to match your business goals, check out our Marketing Campaign Strategy tool in our app. It gives an overview and outlines the pros and cons of many different media types for 10 different business goals:
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