Integrated Marketing for B2B Organizations
For a good reason, B2C businesses have used integrated marketing strategies for decades. A well-executed integrated marketing strategy helps companies increase customer awareness, generate quality leads, increase conversions, and build momentum toward growth that any business would be happy to experience. These are just a few advantages that integrated marketing offers.
B2B companies are starting to realize that they might be leaving money on the table by ignoring the power of integrated marketing but are hesitant to dive into uncharted B2B marketing territory. It’s understandable; traditional B2B marketing strategies are different, and any company has to consider the return on investment when implementing a new initiative.
However, B2B companies will likely find that when they take the plunge and execute a well-thought-out strategy, the rewards are well worth it, and the world of B2C marketing translates over to B2B quite well.
What Is B2B Integrated Marketing?
B2B integrated marketing is a strategy that leverages multiple channels to connect with prospective partners and customers. (For this article, the term customers will refer to other businesses that B2B companies can work with for strategic, mutually beneficial, prosperous transactions.)
An integrated approach coordinates messaging across channels to create a cohesive experience for all prospects wherever they are in the customer cycle. This enhances brand messaging, connects effectively with quality leads, and ultimately increases conversions.
- Organic search strategy (SEO), driven heavily by content marketing
- Online and offline advertising
- Direct marketing
- Social media
- On-site user experience
- Direct messaging
- Customer service
How an Integrated Marketing Strategy Can Help B2B Businesses
When integrated marketing is executed well, your brand reputation is enhanced because your customer has gone through a positive and cohesive customer cycle while delivering beyond their expectations because they know what to expect at every step. B2B companies are given a unique opportunity to provide an experience that not only delivers on their customers’ expectations but also perpetuates their mission, vision, and values powerfully and positively.
Put simply, some of the benefits of integrated marketing for B2B companies are:
- Increases trust
- Adds a marketplace advantage
- Provides consistency internally and for customers
- Creates more customers
- Builds customer loyalty
- Grows the bottom line with unique opportunities for building unstoppable marketing momentum
Creating an Integrated Marketing Strategy
The steps to creating an integrated marketing strategy for B2B companies are the same as it is for B2C, with the exception that the customer is an organization, not an individual. Just like individual consumers, organizations also have pain points, desires, and needs that can be tapped when creating a marketing strategy. In addition, organizations have goals, mainly to have their business survive and thrive, and different ideas of how to be of service in the marketplace.
With that in mind, here is a high-level how-to for creating effective integrated B2B marketing strategies.
Know Your Objective
Integrated marketing will reveal efficacy and improvement opportunities over time. Your efforts won’t be helpful if you aren’t clear on your goals before taking action. Look at your entire customer acquisition cycle and determine what metrics you would like to produce.
- Number of leads generated
- Open and click-through rates for email marketing
- Conversion rates
- Unique website views
- Returning website users
- Number of sales calls
When you apply these goals against the data you generate, you’ll have clarity around what is working and where there is room for improvement.
Know Your Customer
What is the ideal business for your company to serve? What are their mission, vision, and values, and how does your service or product help them achieve those in the marketplace? What are their fears, goals, desires, and dreams?
The more you know about the collective psychology and culture of a business you want to serve, the more poignant your communications will be. You want to create marketing that speaks to the heart of what they desire, fear, and needs help with all while providing a top-notch customer experience.
Your sales team has a wealth of knowledge regarding customer insights, but you can also learn more about your customer through surveys and by speaking to previous customers.
Refine and Develop Your Brand
Now that you understand your customer, you can align your messaging with your mission, vision, and values in a way that captures their attention. Next, work with your team to refine brand messaging and standards so consistency across all distribution channels is as consistent as possible.
Choose Your Channels
Determine what distribution channels you would like to focus your integrated marketing efforts on. Understanding your customers also means understanding where they are most likely to see your messaging. Are they on social media? Are they looking at blogs? Would traditional marketing reach them best? Focus your efforts strategically, and don’t try to be everywhere at once when first starting.
Create Campaigns With Your Customer Experience in Mind
Empathizing with your customer and understanding their purchase cycle from their perspective will give you key insights into building a consistent and quality campaign that makes it easy to convert a lead into a customer. The higher the quality of experience from first contact through purchase and delivery, the more likely you’ve used the power of integrated marketing to create a long-term, strategic, and prosperous relationship with another company.