The secret sauce for SMB marketing
Have you ever tried to bake a cake with just one ingredient? If you did, chances are you weren’t very successful. The same can be said for marketing your B2B business. If you’re only using one tactic, there’s a good chance you’re not getting the results you were hoping for.
Just as different cakes call for different ingredients, no two businesses are alike so it would stand to reason that in order to market your business most effectively, you have to follow your own unique recipe for success.
Integrated marketing is a strategic approach that seeks to unify piecemeal aspects of marketing into a holistic (and so, improved) customer experience. For many B2Bs this approach is being met with much success, whereas companies that continue to put all of their marketing eggs in one basket, such as only doing social media or just running ads with no other tactics in play, are falling behind. A slight adjustment to your marketing formula can generate far better results.
What is integrated marketing?
A marketing strategy typically includes multiple tactics (emails, social media posts, and articles, for example) aimed at generating results (sales or leads). In the past, some companies have relied on separate vendors with expertise in one or two areas or on a single vendor claiming to be able to generate leads with a single solution. The first—a piecemeal approach—can be disconnected and lead to confusing or even opposing messaging while the second assumes there’s a one-size-fits-all solution (spoiler: There isn’t.) Integrated marketing seeks a unified approach, one that incorporates a wide variety of communications to result in a seamless experience for your customers.
Why does your business need an integrated marketing strategy?
B2B companies require multiple tactics in order to market effectively and generate results. If you only focus on one tactic, you’ll only reach people at a single point in the marketing-sales journey. Every other lead goes unaddressed so you miss out on a great deal of revenue-generating opportunities.
Take, for example, a wholesale widget company that’s invested in an excellent website but nothing else. They’re relying on one tactic (albeit, an essential one!) to make or break their sales targets. What they’re missing is a plan for how their customers will find them online (advertising, social media, and excellent SEO, perhaps), or how they will nurture their leads. Done right, integrated marketing can capture customers and move them down the sales funnel in a cohesive way.
How can B2B brands capitalize on integrated marketing?
If this all sounds like a lot, don’t be deterred. An integrated approach doesn’t mean you need to plan for every tactic. What you include in your tactical plan will depend on your business goals. For example, a perfectly actionable integrated marketing approach might include digital advertising, website, PR, email, social media, and print collateral but not trade shows or webinars.
Connecting the dots between your marketing strategy and business goals is not for amateurs. When we take this on at Hop Skip, we design everything around the journey a buyer takes from first learning about your business to becoming a customer—and beyond. This means developing a strategic way to:
get in front of potential buyers
anticipate their questions at various points in time and furnish the perfect answers
deliver content in the best format according to customer preference
identify and speak to all decision-makers involved in the purchasing decisions
address the sales team and align messaging between sales and marketing
create an excellent customer experience at every point of contact
Although integrated marketing is best understood as a holistic approach, the details in the design of a successful strategy are as crucial as the overall plan. For B2B brands looking to maximize their sales, an integrated strategy is the very first step to a successful year.