Do you have a marketing presence across multiple channels? Are you being consistent with your brand messaging? Integrated b2b marketing may not be top of mind for many marketers, but yesterday’s Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference showed that it should be. Integrated Marketing is an approach to marketing communications that synthesizes different methods together to present a consistent message with a similar style. By leveraging an integrated marketing approach, a marketer can reach more prospects by enabling their brand to resonate on multiple different channels.

Opening Keynote: Integrated Marketing Strategy and The Big Picture
The conference opened with Robert Brosnan, Forrester’s Sr. Research Analyst, as he discussed some great tips for implementing and optimizing integrated marketing. The key is to work together with both your customers and other members of your organization to craft a holistic view of what tactics and channels you should be leveraging. When creating an effective integrating marketing plan, here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Collect customer data to gauge what content or messaging speaks to them and what channel is most effective. Initiate conversations directly with customers, coordinate with your internal teams, and test different combinations of content and channels to determine what works best
  • Break down barriers between organizational groups to discover more about what really resonates with your customers. Schedule a brainstorming session with your team to identify key touch points and the right message. Your sales and support teams will have a wealth of knowledge, so pick their brains!
  • Invest in integrated toolsets with cross channel campaign management. Make sure you have a solid presence across your top channels (social media, email, mobile, local events, etc). And remember, all of these channels should be highly coordinated with unified messaging.
  • Create cohesive messaging and promote the right content at the right time. Understand where your buyers are in the process and make sure you are delivering content that speaks to their pain points.

Session: Legendary Creative Strategies for Customer Acquisition and Retention
Another great session, featuring Grant Johnson, Measureable Marketing Strategist at Johnson Direct, and Anthony Policastro, Senior Web Analyst at Martin Agency, discussed the importance of brand storybuilding with integrating marketing. Both presenters stressed the importance of combining multiple channels with creative and carefully crafted stories to engage new business and keep customers coming back for more. Your story should be present throughout your branding, content creation, and tactical execution. Policastro points out that brands and products with the most clearly defined personalities stand to be the most successful in the future. For example, think of the Geico Gecko and Tony the Tiger. These are familiar characters that consumers connect with, and that emotional connection is what influences the buying decision. Make your brand stand out!

Getting Started with Integrated Marketing
So how do you get started? Here are some final takeaways:

  • Create a roadmap for cross-channel relevance by identifying the right message and method for each stage in the buying process
  • Identify opportunities to integrate data from offline (print and direct mail) to online (email and social) communications
  • Remember to tell the story with your content. Buyers will respond to the emotional connections and personalization that good content can create.
  • Always coordinate with internal teams to have a holistic view of what will resonate with the customer

Are you incorporating integrated marketing into your marketing strategy? We would love to hear about it!