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Why the Best-Performing Marketing Organizations Use Integrated Campaigns

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Integrated campaigns are the only campaigns worth investing in. And here’s why.

Ask any two marketers about their approach to campaigns, and chances are, they’ll be vastly different. The word “campaign” can run the gamut of any type of coordinated marketing activity — big rock campaign, product campaign, email drip campaign — to name a few. But the marketing ecosystem has shifted, and the loose definition of “campaigns” is not setting us up for success.

And while there is a myriad of valid ways to approach campaigns, there’s only type that will connect the buyer journey seamlessly across all marketing channels and truly maximize results — integrated campaigns.

We define integrated campaigns as a series of coordinated, omnichannel activities, designed to elevate marketing performance by breaking down internal silos and delivering a unified brand experience through content. So, why do they matter so much? Here are four key reasons you should ditch your current campaign model and adopt integrated campaigns.

Give customers what they want

A study from PWC shows that by 2020, the demand for an omnichannel customer experience will be amplified by the need for near-perfect execution. What does this mean? Marketers need to start shifting to integrated campaigns and solidifying their processes in order to produce the seamless experience that consumers have already begun to expect.

The way organizations are set up (read: silos) and the current lack of collaboration between teams is creating fragmentation across the content ecosystem. Customers don’t care about corporate silos, so it’s up to marketers to present a unified narrative across all channels. We also need to remind ourselves that today’s consumers have an intolerance for poor brand experiences and have become adept at filtering out information (and brands) that are irrelevant to them. Customer expectations will continue to grow and we need to be ready to meet them.

In fact, Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report revealed that  67% of customers say their standard of a “good experience” is higher than it has ever been. Audiences are expecting a superior brand experience; and they want that experience to be personal, consistent, and purposeful. So it’s not just about having best-in-class offerings anymore, it’s about providing an elevated customer experience, too.

Boost brand awareness

The response to an integrated marketing campaign is both obvious and subconscious. It attracts attention with a creative hook or campaign tagline and bolsters share of voice by virtue of its consistent (note: this is key) messaging across channels. It reinforces brand salience, aids in brand recall, and generates top-of-mind awareness. This omnichannel approach to campaigns means that when people are in a position to buy, they’re more likely to think of your brand. 

Salesforce’s “End of Software” campaign lends itself as a great example, generating an immense amount of publicity before their launch at DEMO 2000. The then-relatively-unknown brand was a newcomer in a crowded market, and also in a phase of trying to shift from buying to renting software. Their integrated campaign spanned a staging of an “End of Software” protest (a mock protest that was performed in front of a software conference), a military-themed “End of Software” ball, and additional media outreach campaigns around the same theme. This attention-grabbing, integrated campaign garnered national publicity and ended with more than 1,000 organizations signing up for their service (and this was nearly 20 years ago — before Salesforce became the tech giant it is today).

That’s another good reason to invest in integrated campaigns — reaching new audiences. According to influential author and professor, Byron Sharp, the biggest impediment to growth is usually that most buyers hardly ever notice or think of your brand. Thinking bigger (larger and more integrated campaigns) can help you build mental availability (make people more aware of your brand) and boost awareness beyond the current customer base to drive acquisition and grow market share. 

Drive action through consistent messaging

According to Google, 88% of consumers research before they buy, consulting an average of 10.4 sources. Integrated campaigns provide your target audience with various touchpoints that lead them down the path to purchasing, following them across the (ever-complicated) customer journey with consistent messaging and customized creative. The key is for each individual asset and channel to provide a seamless content experience. The purpose of this is twofold: it increases the likelihood that a prospective buyer will complete the desired behavior, action, and/or purchase, and also helps to maintain the perception of your brand.

Consider Coca Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign. It has a direct and simple call-to-action and has experienced immense online success. According to Investopedia, within the first year of launch, more than 500,000 photos were shared using the #ShareaCoke hashtag, over six million virtual Coke bottles were created by consumers, and Coca-Cola gained around 25 million Facebook followers. The prevalent nature of these integrated campaigns reminds audiences to take action through consistent messaging and brand reinforcement — fostering familiarity and protecting brand integrity.

Gartner study corroborates the efficacy of integrated campaigns as action-drivers, stating that campaigns integrating four or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300% from a performance perspective. So while it’s tempting to launch several, smaller campaigns because they require less cross-team coordination, the return on investment can be exponential if you make the effort to take an integrated approach.

Optimize resources, time, and budget

Most marketers are all too familiar with the pressure on marketing teams to produce more while being given less budget and therefore, access to fewer resources. It’s a frustrating cycle that often leaves marketers to question whether they can even execute effective campaign
s under such limitations. However, if marketing teams work collaboratively, they can build high- performing campaigns that don’t necessarily require more budget or resources. How? By repurposing existing content and assets, which limits duplicative efforts and content waste. This is a staple of a truly integrated campaign, which by nature, is more efficient than producing one-off, siloed campaigns.

An EConsultancy report reveals that 20% of organizations with a cross-team approach that is centered around the customer are more likely to significantly exceed their top business goals versus other organizations who were half as effective. A fully-integrated approach to campaign planning and execution is one that unifies the content experience across all channels by optimizing resources, and therefore, marketing investment.

In summary

Much like the business case for integrated marketing, the reasons for shifting to integrated campaigns are clear. They:

  • Deliver an elevated content and customer experience
  • Build brand equity and make your brand stand out
  • Guide consumers to take action
  • Optimize resources through collaboration

A growing intolerance for disruptive marketing, an increasingly ad-avoidant culture, and higher-than-ever customer expectations mean that there is no option but to integrate — it’s just a matter of how quickly marketing organizations can make the shift and operate using integrated campaign best practices.

Are you looking for a solution to unify your marketing organization and seamlessly execute integrated campaigns? Request a demo of NewsCred’s Content Marketing Platform.

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