Marketers are faced with a world of conflicting information, and it’s often supplied without evidence or an agenda. So, who should industry professionals trust when it comes to knowing exactly how to deliver messaging that works?
Not every marketing department will be utilising the powers of a great email campaign - especially during a climate that's being challenged to adapt its online comms - but even for those that don’t, simple principles still apply.
When defining what an integrated campaign is, it gives meaning and purpose when providing a single focal message that’s conveyed over multiple direct and indirect channels to an audience. In short, it should follow the ‘PLUS’ principle, that being:
Persistence – messages that are connected and carry a resolute theme
Linked – information via all related mediums
Uniform – they support and reinforce the ongoing idea
Supportive – able to contribute to the bigger picture
However, before venturing into the steps that are involved in delivering a high-performing campaign, marketers must firstly understand the ground rules. They must be prepared to craft comms that are passionate and empathetic, of a high written standard and brimming with valuable content. The artwork should be visually engaging, yet simple as opposed to complex. Now it’s time to think about executing the six steps involved.
1. Understanding the channels
Whether email or SMS, direct mail or push, these are the mediums used to get the message out the door. Marketing departments should understand their customer base’s preferred method of communication – and focus on tailoring to those needs accordingly.
2. Creating a killer idea
For many savvy professionals, this can often begin with a title – it could make for a brainstorming session where a concept starts to come to life. It’s important at this stage to also address why this particular campaign would help the recipient.
In addition, the aim has to come complete with the possibility of being multidimensional so that marketers can talk about it from several angles. Sense-checking the idea with the sales team can prove to be critical at this phase of the process – if they buy into it, the organisation is onto something!
A great tip at this point is to ensure that the investment in artwork fits in with the brand – and always refer to the PLUS acronym for clarity.
3. Producing a messaging framework
With this being an integrated campaign, there’s no point in marketers saying exactly the same thing across each channel – that will cause customers to tune out immediately, and the messaging will ultimately fall flat.
This is where the plan really starts to come together, as organisations each message is as powerful as the next to develop a seamless sequence that nurtures a customer all the way towards a conversion.
A recommendation here would be to apply a six-phase process, beginning with the first email or piece of comms. This should be the introduction to the product, service or offer. It’s a marketing department's chance to instantly engage the recipient and create a level of interest.
Next up is the social proof – which evidences why the customer should continue to be interested in what the enterprise is trying to sell. The third activity is all about gain – simply answering the question for the customer, ‘what will I achieve if I purchase this?’
The fourth stage of the sequence focuses on fear, playing on the consequences of what happens if the recipient doesn’t take up the offer. This is later followed up with logic – i.e. how this makes sense to purchase – before finally what the loss will feel like if the conversion isn’t acted upon immediately.
4. Effectively utilising the messaging across each channel
What’s too much in terms of comms output – and what’s not enough? This is where the ROI challenge comes into play and analyses how the campaign efforts are currently panning out.
At this point, it’s important for marketers to be efficient with budget spend, time and creating a journey that doesn’t break the bank or see the messaging get lost in a sea of increased online activity!
Even though times are tough, it's still important not to send out too much – so that organisations head into ‘spam’ territory – or that they do the bare minimum and risk a warm lead reverting back to becoming a cold prospect.
It’s highly recommended to gate certain pieces of content – such as low and high value downloadable PDFs – so that it keeps engagement high, but also figure out when social needs to be supercharged and when a piece of direct mail can create a conversion. Understanding a customer’s interests here is critical, this previous MarketingTech News article should also help.
5. Delivering the message
Where does the campaign sit, and where is the traffic pointing to? If it can be homed via a microsite or similar, for example, that enables marketers to analyse the level of interest.
In addition, statistics have shown that dynamic landing pages can convert up to 20% more customers – if the content backs up the campaign. And don’t forget to automate!
6. Reporting on the success
Finally, evaluating how an integrated campaign has been delivered can truly tell organisations what has worked – and what hasn’t. There is a problem here in that each channel has its own set of marketing metrics, but there are ways to achieve this such as using Google Analytics and code utilisation.
However, many savvy professionals will be tapping into a powerful piece of data via audience segmentation monitoring – and that’s lead scoring. This allows organisations to understand how each group is evolving and ‘rate’ the most engaged audience members, enabling this information to be fed into the sales team for conversion.
Overall, it’s vital to revisit the basic principles that should come with any marketing campaign. For example, departments should immediately kill any complexity and simplify its messaging, create good quality artwork, and always think about the audience’s needs.
Once these areas are mastered, messaging can be transformed into high-performing integrated campaigns – that work!