By Vin Hoey
How do I reach new customers?
How do I create a consistent campaign across diverse channels?
How can my department better communicate with sales and creative?
If you’re a B2B marketer asking these questions, you’re in luck. The Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) B2B Integrated Marketing Communications workshop, which I lead, will answer your questions about integrated campaigns and show you what other companies are doing right. We’ll cover these five best practices, give you the tools to use them, and answer questions you didn’t even know you had about IMC.
1. Use One Creative Brief
Successful B2B campaigns have one, integrated creative brief that is used by all players— corporate, marketing, sales, creative, and outside agencies. An integrated creative brief assures consistency in messaging and visual identity, congruence between sales and marketing, and coherence between corporate communications and marketing communications.
2. Connect with New Customers
In order to connect with potential B2B customers, you need to meet them where they are. Where are they, you ask? Online. Data shows that 94% of buyers conduct online research before purchasing, and 55% of Millenial buyers research items for their companies from their mobile devices. Effective B2B marketers have a strong web presence; websites are easy to navigate (and easy to find), mobile responsive, and able to answer new customers’ questions (what is it, why you, and how much) before they have to ask.
3. Content is King
Savvy B2B marketers know that it isn’t just their products or services that beckon new leads to their sites. Companies like Lycra, Corning, and Deloitte drive traffic and sales by publishing innovative, informative, and shareable content on various mediums—podcasts, infographics, and videos.
4. Drive Integration
One of the benefits of having one, integrated creative brief (see #1) is that it drives integration across an entire campaign. Successful B2B campaigns are synced and consistent in their messaging and tone across multiple channels. Cross-functional teams share common objectives, know how they are positioning the product and the company, and create appeals to one target audience. Each part of a campaign can function effectively on its own and work seamlessly with other communication.
5. Align Creative Agencies
One of the challenges in driving integration is that marketers, salespeople, and creatives too often become ‘siloed within their own specialties.’ Marketers and creatives aren’t always on the same page and are often not satisfied with one another’s work. Successful integrated B2B campaigns encourage all players to anticipate problems, ask questions, communicate openly, and create consistent content.
Sources: Visually, Summer 2015, CMO.com; Acquity Group, Sourced from www.ana.net