Most companies in the B2B technology space either have a desire to, or already use some sort of integrated marketing strategy that combines multiple channels to create a unique buyer experience.
Unfortunately, integrated marketing strategies don’t always include the sales experience. Most ongoing marketing campaigns will impact the sales process, of course. Yes, you want to generate leads for the sales team, but they’re also likely reaching out to the clients at the same time you are.
Is it possible to keep focused on sales outcomes in a marketing-heavy campaign strategy?
Unifying Each Channel
Integrated marketing is the process of unifying all aspects of marketing communication — such as advertising, PR, and social media — and using their respective mix of media, channels, and tactics to deliver a seamless and customer-centric experience. The end goal is to utilize each channel to its fullest, with a defined persona for each campaign, and create a unified buyer-focused narrative.
Of course, most marketing teams want some level of cross-channel unification. One aspect to keep in mind when building your integrated marketing campaigns (IMCs) is to think of the result. Make sure you’re always defining the goals of each program you run to ensure you have the appropriate follow up measures in place. Integrated marketing works perfectly when it’s part of an ongoing program driven by a coherent narrative.
Marketing to the Sales Pipeline
How do these types of marketing campaigns affect the sales team? While IMCs will generate an uptick in marketing activity responses, usually from the strategic content you’re promoting, there will also be a reduced level of sales interaction, mainly due to clashing narratives. The sales team, more than likely, doesn’t know what you’re doing from a strategic level. That means their prospecting activity will look a lot different compared to the story you’re trying to tell.
The best way to get around this is focus on pipeline marketing. You can easily create marketing campaigns that also focus on the sales process when both marketing and sales leaders are working together. The first part of pipeline marketing suggests that you align your strategy with the sales strategy. This the most crucial piece when trying to fine tune your IMC. If the sales leaders know what you’re doing, they can help create a narrative that works alongside yours, with both departments focusing on the buyer’s journey.
Integrated Marketing Lead Generation
Most B2B digital marketers would agree their main objective is to generate leads and expand their data sets. It’s become extremely important to feed the marketing funnel with buyers who are ready to be nurtured and eventually converted into leads. So, what does it look like when an IMC generates leads?
Similar to ABM, integrated marketing creates cohesion in your story by gathering both product and conceptualized information. The result of this is higher-quality leads. You’re collecting more information about the buyer’s needs, which can be utilized in follow-up campaigns and uploaded to the sales CRM. Sharing this data results in more revenue opportunities created through the personalization of sales outreach.
Creating a Follow-Up Campaign
A follow-up campaign is essential to your integrated marketing strategy. The most successful campaigns have a sense of fluidity to them, naturally creating an ebb and flow of company and product information. A great way to create a follow-up strategy is to have the sales team reach out to buyers who were engaged during the campaign.
This not only helps align sales and marketing teams on goals and KPIs, but it also helps boost the returns the sales team can get from your marketing activities – increasing your own marketing attribution. The leads you generated will already be far more product-educated than your general contacts, so it’s a natural next step that they get put into a sales development nurture.
What Happens Next?
Did you know that 34% of marketers have blamed sales for missed quotas? There’s a growing disconnect in the sale and marketing space about who should be responsible for converting leads and it’s only becoming more challenging as both teams grow further apart. For more tips on how to better integrate sales and marketing teams, download our 2021 Sales and Marketing Alignment Report.