Picture your sales team jumping on a call with a prospective customer and the entire conversation is based upon how they can get started with the service right away. And then this happens again and again and again…
Sounds pretty utopian, right? Well… it is. I don’t believe we will ever see a world where the prospect to customer conversion rate is 100% (unless some crazy stuff starts happening in neuromarketing) BUT, the experience of having a prospective customer waiting to sign the dotted line when jumping into a sales call is not some idealistic vision.
The key to unlocking this experience is two words: Integrated Marketing. I have quite an unusual definition of “integrated marketing”, but my reimagined definition is a major factor in the growth of B2B companies that we work with.
DISCLAIMER: Integrated marketing does not guarantee success, it’s simply a framework for better marketing.
When marketers hear integrated marketing, we all think the same thing: Launching a campaign that is found throughout all of our digital marketing channels. I have no problem with this definition, but I believe it only covers ⅓ of it’s true meaning. Campaigns should ABSOLUTELY have a unified approach in distributing our message; paid media, landing pages, content strategy, sales messaging, and a social media strategy, to name a few. But distribution is just one piece of integrated marketing.
With thousands of marketing messages received per day, it is essential that marketing efforts are consistent and integrated. This leads to greater recognition and recall allowing us to be remembered by our target audiences. Additionally, we are able to continue our conversation with the prospective customer from channel to channel.
Now, what’s the other ⅔ of the integrated marketing definition?
1. Integrated marketing is digital marketing plus traditional marketing.
2. Integrated marketing is EVERY memorable touchpoint with the prospect in an authentic manner. #behuman
Every company these days is intensely focused on digital marketing and with sound reason. I know that sounds obvious, but it has created tunnel vision in marketing. We have forgotten our dear friend, traditional marketing. Conferences, magazines, radio, print, direct mail; these all can still have a profound impact especially when coupled with a digital marketing strategy. Although traditional marketing is typically associated with interruption, it can be a positive force when done eloquently.
First off, traditional marketing’s force is the impact it has on building the brand. When a relationship is built with a brand, the hurdles for converting are significantly shorter. Prospects are less wary of your brand because 1) you invested in their trust which means you care and 2) they have greater understanding of what you have to offer.
Now, the key here is eloquently executed traditional marketing that is memorable. The only way that trust is built is if you genuinely display that you care about your audience. As marketers, we understand that our audience is #1, but so few marketers commit to the idea. Too many times we are hit with “consumer centric” messaging, but you can still feel the underlying ‘me, me, me’ of the marketing message. Instead:
- Host a conference that is solely focused on making the prospect better at their job.
- Release a magazine that shares top industry information and stories.
- Send a keychain, pen or drink koozie to all your prospects.
Do all this without trying to sell and, I promise, you will see prospects convert to customers at an alarming rate. The difficult part is that marketers cannot calculate an ROI for these initiatives, which is the feedback you will get from the C-suite. The only way for all of this to work is clear communication with leadership and buy-in from leadership. It has to be communicated that ROI can NOT be calculated, but that these traditional marketing initiatives have a long-term, snowball effect. It builds goodwill with current customers and prospective customers, which inevitably leads to an increase in new customer acquisition and customer LTV. B2B companies need to remember that traditional marketing still exists when they are building out new marketing campaigns.
Lastly, and arguably the most important piece, is that integrated marketing should focus on every single touchpoint with the prospect. Think of every touchpoint a prospect can have with your brand, even outside of marketing. Your sales team, your customer service team, or a B2B company executive that meets one of your engineers on vacation. Marketing initiatives need to live past the marketing department.
In a technology-driven world, people crave human interaction more and more. If a prospective customer has an authentic and memorable experience every time they interact with any aspect of your company, then that develops evangelists of your brand. An evangelist is a B2B company’s baby. This leads to an increase in marketing’s best friend, word of mouth. You want B2B decision makers talking about your company. B2B companies need to show that they are not robots. #behuman
Every campaign our company creates with one of our partners comes with a one-page brief on the creatives, audience, and messaging that can be distributed company wide. This enables every touchpoint across the entire organization to convey the same message.
All in all, integrated marketing is not just unified campaign distribution, but the combination of digital and traditional channels and making every possible touchpoint, even outside of marketing, authentic and impactful. Obviously much easier said than done, but companies that do believe in this ideology and become a practicing leader will find immense success. B2B companies will hit their revenue targets if they commit to the strategy and execution of integrated marketing.