Learn how to plan, develop, execute, and track an integrated marketing campaign:
- Plan for integrated marketing campaign success
- Cross-campaign coordination and tracking
- Six metrics to understand in marketing campaigns
- Integrated campaign planning and calendar
- Four keys: Leadership, People, Progress, and Adjustment
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How to Plan, Develop, Execute and Track an Integrated Marketing Campaign
Audiences no longer consume media in silos. As a result, taking a holistic and integrated approach to the creation, optimization, distribution, and measurement of all your digital marketing efforts should be your marketing norm. Building successful, integrated, and scalable integrated campaigns require that people, resources, and sometimes entire companies be mobilized to achieve key business goals.
Launching integrated marketing campaigns requires comprehensiveplanning, adequate development time, clear objectives, reliable tracking, budget, and staff.
Successful integrated campaigns -- both in terms of efficiency and impact -- are integrated and delivered via multiple channels and media. In this report, we’ll explore a high-level overview and prescriptive approach to planning, executing, and evaluating a successful integrated marketing campaign.
How Multiple Marketing Channels Multiply ROI
According to data from Econsultancy and Oracle, “there is a very large gap between the percentage of companies saying they prioritize the cross-channel integration of marketing activities (67%) and those that understand their customers’ journeys and adapt the channel mix accordingly (43%). Furthermore, only 30% are facilitating integrated marketing using cross-functional teams, providing further evidence that many companies are not ‘walking the walk’.”
Using multiple channels expands the integrated campaign reach and frequency better than a single channel because not everyone in the target market uses a single media. The most successful marketing campaigns deliver their message through a variety of channels and media, including:
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Search engine marketing (SEM)
• Email marketing
• Social media
• Speaking engagements
• White papers
• Research reports
• Press releases
• In-store marketing
This multi-faceted content messaging creates a “cross-channel” effect, sometimes described as synergy, and means that the whole is greater than the simple sum of the parts.
Simply put, the integration of channels and media together have a force multiplier that enables 2 + 2 to equal 6. The Challenge: Cross-Campaign Coordination and Tracking “Narrow” marketing campaigns of any type that lack sufficient resources and coordination are liable to fail. Even those that involve dozens of people and millions of dollars often lack the comprehensive planning and project management used for engineering projects.
Despite this, all brands want to be able to measure their marketing efforts well. You may have heard the surprising data point that the chief marketing officer’s budget will soon exceed that of the chief technology officer’s and the chief information officer’s.
In fact, BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu predicts return on investment will likely be the prominent metric by which CMOs will measure success in 2015. The challenge for many agencies and brands is that people involved in a brand’s marketing often work in silos with competing goals, weakening integrated marketing campaigns and the efficiency of the marketing investment and undermining scalability.
Lack of an integrated, comprehensive plan can make integrated campaigns unwieldy, strain professional relationships and waste time and money.
6 Metrics to Understand in Marketing Campaigns
When planning a cross-channel, cross-media integrated campaign, the following six steps are key for both marketing professionals and media planners:
1. Understand the Target Audience. The target audience should be clearly defined in demographic terms for media planning, e.g., “women 25 to 34, earning more than $50k, living in NYC.” Where differential demographic data are less relevant for your marketing campaign purposes, a customer persona can be used instead.
2. Know Your Reach. Reach is the percentage of the target audience exposed to the message needed to generate desired results for a campaign goal. From the example above, this could mean a 35% reach among women 25 to 34, earning more than $50k, living in NYC.
3. Understand the Frequency of Exposure Frequency. is the number of times the target audience is exposed to the message: e.g., women 25 to 34, earning more than $50k, living in NYC will see the integrated campaign an average of four times. The frequency number is an average result generated from the campaign exposure.
4. Get to Know “Effective Frequency”. Effective frequency is the minimum number of exposures needed to influence behavior: e.g., research shows this message will register with the consumer and influence behavior after three exposure events.
5. Get to Know “Effective Reach”. Effective reach is the percentage of the target audience that gets the minimum number of exposures: e.g., 20% of women 25 to 34, earning over $50k, living in NYC will be exposed to the message at least three times.
6. Explore Scope. The human mind draws conclusions and makes inferences to save time and energy. Cross-channel exposure will cause people to regard it as a more significant marketing campaign due to breadth, even if it is not necessarily more expensive than, for example, a premium TV campaign. Total campaign and crosschannel scope is determined by budget and the degree of cross-channel integration. Research also shows that cross-sensory communication has more impact than the same frequency in a single sense, so using both text and images, as well as sound, touch and smell where possible, will create a more powerful impact than appealing to a single sense.
Integrated Marketing Campaign Planning: The Marketing Calendar and Campaign Brief
Initially, you should start with an annual marketing calendar and map out the following events for the product release and marketing cycles, such as:
1. Product launches
2. Relevant holidays
3. Major trade shows
4. Sales targets
Decide which of the items on your calendar need – and can thematically support – a major campaign. In the context of your annual budget, calculate how many integrated marketing campaigns you will fund. Campaigns, by nature, help organize, orient, and focus marketing department activities. Integrated marketing campaigns require a “big idea” or a major piece of content around which to build and align messages and assets.
The primary integrated campaign framework should include:
• The message and theme
• The product release story
• Key images, artwork, logos, slogans, headlines and defined benefits
• The key goals and the measurement system
Make sure these marketing assets are all consistent with the brand. These materials should be combined into an integrated campaign “brief.” Try to keep the length of the brief to two pages for efficiency and readability. From these core resources of the campaign framework and brief, various marketing personnel can then create marketing campaign materials for their respective channels. With larger integrated marketing campaigns, there can be more than 20 media and marketing channels, so a project manager usually is involved. The project manager is charged with planning and tracking marketing campaign progress, and generally does so via a spreadsheet or project management software. It’s important to leverage project management software that everyone can readily use to minimize internal friction.
4 Keys to Integrated Marketing Campaign Success: Leadership, People, Progress, and Adjustment
The four operational keys to integrated campaign success are leadership, people, progress, and adjustment.
1. Leadership. To be successful, a marketing campaign needs a primary champion that will lead and push the project along. Without that leader, the complexity of the cross-channel effort can lead to confusion, lack of accountability, delays, and likely, failure.
2. People. Integrated marketing campaigns involve many people, so the brief needs to be communicated broadly and regularly to build awareness and support. Include enough people to get the work done, but avoid corralling too many, as doing so can dilute accountability.
Confirm that the selected people have the capacity to work on the marketing campaign and understand the priority relative to their other responsibilities. Identify the specific roles and responsibilities at the kickoff meeting to avoid confusion about who is delivering what. It’s also recommended that you create an email alias to make publishing information to the team easier.
Typical integrated marketing campaign roles include:
• Project manager or campaign manager (often the “leader” role)
• Creative director or content strategist
• Designer (in-house desirable over contract for speed and consistency with prior art and brand elements)
• Writer (in-house or contract)
• Data analyst for tracking and interpretation of results
• SEO manager
• Email manager
• Display ad manager
• PPC manager
• Social media manager
• Video media manager
• PR manager
• Site manager or product owner
• Web developer and Web quality assurance
• Executive sponsor who provides air cover and support
3. Progress. Regardless of the project management tool employed, all tasks should have a delivery date and progress should be measured and reported at various points in the timeline. Any item that is blocked or behind schedule should be given additional resources and attention until it is on schedule. Keep all key personnel up to speed by tracking and reporting the campaign’s progress towards the defined marketing campaign goals through meetings. Use a simple visual reporting method like the colors red, yellow, and green to indicate the relative status of the campaign’s key initiatives and to identify where attention needs to be focused.
4. Adjustment. Adjustments to an integrated campaign are to be expected. Avoid changing the key messages and themes unless absolutely necessary. Try to keep adjustments to a reasonable number and communicate changes broadly to the group so everyone is on board.
A 4-Step Guide to Marketing Campaign Development and Execution
As you plan your marketing campaign, consider scalability first. As all integrated marketing campaigns need “content,” be it a post for a blog, a presentation for a webinar, or a commercial for a TV advertisement, think about how to develop the larger assets first, which then can be broken down and recycled for use in other channels. For example, a heftier research report can be “sliced and diced” for a presentation or email drip campaign. This approach extends the lifetime of information-rich content, allowing for efficiencies at scale in multiple channels. But remember: the topics covered in the assets must support the over-arching integrated marketing campaign themes. Now you’re ready to start planning. After circulating the campaign brief to the key players on teams at your company, you’ll want to check off the following as a “punch list” for planning, development, execution, and evaluation.
1. Integrated Campaign Planning. As you are planning your campaign, start to think about the channels and assets you have available to you in support of your content and messaging. For example, if you are planning your annual event or trade show, consider the following elements:
✓ Channel: Define and develop the website with the program details and dates of the event
✓ Media: Leverage video from prior events; optimize video meta tags and ensure other video SEO best practices are accomplished
✓ Operations: Review partner and sponsor participation and look for co-marketing opportunities, blogs and reputable backlinks
✓ Operations: Define a place on a server or the cloud to store and share integrated campaign assets, reports and material
✓ Messaging: Create speaking points for all outward facing people to use
✓ Channel: Decide if a mobile app will be part of the campaign
✓ Media: Plan the blog’s editorial calendar and the social media posting cadence
✓ Messaging: Test key messages in a qualitative research group or at a minimum, test with employees
✓ Operations: Create a program dashboard that captures performance results from multiple data sources, making sure all media is tagged to provide appropriate reporting granularity; integrate key performance indicators with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform where possible
2. Integrated Campaign Development. Your mix of channels and assets will depend on your budget and goals. During development, keep the following ideas in mind for a holistic campaign: This graphic from econsultancy helps visualize the activities that drive integration and create alignment and synergy across channels.
Integrated Marketing Campaign Development Checklist
✓ Check that the website’s campaign pages are optimized for search engines
✓ Create or update FAQs about the campaign message and products, again ensuring they are optimized by your SEO analysts
✓ Begin conducting research to release or publish as a report at the event
✓ Create email templates and art for the campaign
✓ Create graphics and slide deck presentations for key audiences that need to know what is coming and how to leverage it, e.g., employees, customers, prospects, and vendors
✓ Create an optimized infographic, placing it on the site as well as promoting it via the blog, social media, and in email; track results
✓ Start creating display banners, refreshing them with two new sets each month to prevent banner fatigue
✓ Create sales collateral and data sheets the sales team might need, taking into consideration both translation and localization for international campaigns
✓ Create and host a webinar about why to attend, how to get approval, and how to maximize value from participating
✓ Plan the lead time needed to print any physical assets and signs needed, and produce them
3. Campaign Execution
✓ Send an email to prior event participants
✓ Start an automated email nurturing campaign to follow up with event registrants
✓ Start a series of blog posts about the event
✓ Create relevant testimonials, reviews, and case studies
✓ Promote the blog posts in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (or relevant social network)
✓ Set up the paid keywords for PPC and tune the Quality Scores of the ads and the landing pages at lower budget levels prior to scaling up the budget
✓ Develop a series of PR announcements about the event, as well as the relevant research and community, and track results
✓ Enable community participation and feedback on the site, and track results
✓ Add presentations to slide-sharing sites
✓ Conduct press and blogger outreach on the event and key topics, tracking results
✓ Amplify the press pickups in both paid and social channels
✓ Deploy other media channels and track results
✓ Conduct the event and live-post to social networks, again tracking the results
Integrated Marketing: A Case Study Salesforce.com published a review of an integrated campaign it ran through multiple channels: social, site, influencers, email, guest blogging, PR, and paid placements. The campaign promoted an e-book they created to support the community and generate leads.
The results were significant, including:
• Traffic for month of January was up 80% year-over-year
• Traffic from social sites was up 2500%
• 6,500 newsletter sign-ups
• 10,000 ebook downloads
4. Campaign Evaluation. Evaluating an integrated marketing campaign requires that you tag elements separately; ensure your website tracks media sources as people enter the site, navigate and convert. Free platforms, like Google Analytics and paid enterprise platforms, like BrightEdge allow you to review and understand the performance of the campaign. If you integrated with a CRM platform like Salesforce, it also allows you to set up tracking dashboards that display the contribution of each of the channels. Calculate the ROI of each channel separately after making some adjustments for attribution. Compare your actual results to the goals of the integrated campaign plan. Write an integrated campaign evaluation report for the team and the executives.
• After the event, take down the campaigns and modify the site accordingly
• Capture results and recommendations for the next integrated marketing campaign and archive them for reference
In closing, an integrated marketing campaign will improve the impact and efficiency of your marketing resources. A comprehensive approach that crosses channels and uses a wider array of communication tactics will improve reach, awareness, understanding and results.
BrightEdge Marketing Elevation Series
BrightEdge is committed to the success of our customers and sharing insights across the wider digital community. As part of our continued investment in peer-to-peer collaboration we have created the following practical and insightful white papers to support wider community based marketing success. They are available for downloading from our resource center:
1. 7 Effective Ways to Elevate Your Email Marketing Program
2. How to Plan, Develop, Execute and Track an Integrated Marketing Campaign
3. Dashboards & Management Marketing Success
4. Enlightened Onboarding and Training Best Practices
5. SEO for Site Migration
6. Display Retargeting and Retargeting Creative
If you would like to learn more about how large and small brands are using BrightEdge for integrated content marketing and SEO success, you can contact us or request a demo.