Developing Integrated Campaigns

According to a survey of 200 CMOs conducted by the CMO Council, campaign execution and management is one of the top 3 priorities for CMOs in 2021.

Join us for this exciting, informative expert panel discussion where you will hear from our panel of expert marketers as they share their stories, tips, and best practices to creating, executing, and measuring integrated campaigns. In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What is an integrated campaign, and how is it defined?
  • Frameworks and resources for creating an integrated campaign
  • Executing at both the top and bottom of the funnel
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the campaign

Michelle Lowe
Senior Manager of Integrated Campaigns at AWS.

Michelle has 15 years of experience leading Integrated Campaigns that have inspired and nurtured leads for B2B tech companies including AWS, IBM, and Rackspace.

Samuel Chapman
Head of Global Content at DataCore.

Sam has over 13 years of content experience, developing and creating content strategy, designing global integrated campaigns, and executing them in the field.

Christopher Mitchell
Demand Generation Manager at Siemplify

Chris was the recipient of the 2020 Killer Content Award for Best Nurture Campaign, presented by The Demand Generation Report.

Art and Science of Integrated Campaigns

Tom: Hi, everybody. This is Tom Riddle from Virtual Intelligence Briefing. Thank you for joining us today for another edition of the VIP Success Series, art and science of integrated campaigns. And so I’d like to introduce today’s panelists.

Introducing Panelists

We’ll start with Michelle Lowe. Michelle is a senior manager of integrated campaigns and category marketing at Amazon Web Services, AWS. Michelle manages a large team of experienced campaign managers, digital marketing managers, and program managers to deliver a cross-functional strategy and execute integrated campaigns across the Americas. Prior to AWS, Michelle spent 15 years leading integrated campaigns at IBM, a startup AffiniPay, and Rackspace where she designed and executed a $20 million campaign and developing AffiniPay’s first ABM campaign.

Our next panelist, Christopher Mitchell is a demand generation manager at Simplify, a cybersecurity startup where he managers full-funnel integrated campaigns. Hired at Siemplify, Chris co-managed all the generating marketing channels for Carbon Black, a publicly-traded cybersecurity company which was acquired by VMware, Chris was also named the recipient of the 2020 Killer Content Award for best nurture campaign presented by the demand generation report.

And finally, Sam Chapman. Sam is the head of global content at DataCore. Sam has over 13 years of content experience developing and creating content strategy, designing global integrated campaigns and executing them in the field. At DataCore, Sam was responsible for launching their recent new product global campaign, which he conceived and sold the idea to the executive team. DataCore’s CEO, Dave Zabrowski said it was the best campaign and campaign results execution that he had seen in years. So with that, let’s get started with the questions. Michelle, what is an integrated campaign and how is it defined?

What is an Integrated Campaign and How is it Defined?

Michelle: Hey, Tom. Thanks. So integrated campaigns are multiple channels. You think about your content, your email that you’re going to get it out in the other channels like paid media, paid advertising, all those ways that you can get a message out, but getting a consistent message. So that’s the key to making it an integrated campaign. It’s all those ways that you’re reaching your people at the right time, but with a consistent story.

Tom: Thanks for that, Chris. How about you? What are your thoughts on what an integrated campaign is and how is it defined?

Christopher: I think my thoughts on what an integrated campaign are are very similar to Michelle’s and how I would choose to define it is as a strategic, unified, omnichannel, full-funnel, go-to-market program. Forgive all the marketing buzzwords there. Basically, you’re going to market with a single unified message across all of your marketing and sales channels that really span the full customer journey, so as Michelle mentioned, from content to DemandGen, to like SDR outreach, having that sort of, again, single unified message that you’re going to market with.

Tom: And, Sam, what are your thoughts? What is an integrated campaign to you?

Sam: Well, as a kind of, you know, in the trenches content guide from days of yore my develops philosophy, for content anyway, and this filters up into integrated campaigns is everything is integrated. You have to think that way when you develop anything. So the message is very important.

And then thinking of everything you develop and build together as you architect the campaign, mentioning all the channels that the panelists have already mentioned, the message is unified and consistent. And then each of those channels have a particular context that you should consider in terms of where and how you’re reaching your audience. So that’s going to be equally important. And then also, I really like to think of integrated campaigns through the scope of singular personalized experiences. So a targeted content experience.

Why do Companies Launch Integrated Campaigns?

Tom: That’s great. Thanks for that. And now let’s talk about what are some of the reasons companies do integrated campaigns, some of the initiatives I’ve heard, you know, time to time product launches, cooperate responsibility campaigns, things like that. So Michelle, what are your thoughts on that? The reasons that at the companies you’ve worked at, you’d launch an integrated campaign.

Michelle: Yeah, you might have a new product launching that you want to gain some awareness for. Maybe you acquire a new company and you need to integrate solutions and do some training or education around what’s been integrated. You might know that you have the awareness, but really need to build consideration or preference for your product. There’s lots of different use cases, I think. There’s a reason for each and different channels that work well for each. So it just depends on what your goal is, what you’re trying to do. If it’s awareness consideration, the people that you’re trying to reach, it’ll differ.

Tom: Okay, thanks for that. And, Chris, what are your thoughts on some of the reasons that Siemplify or your time at Carbon Black that you launched an integrated campaign?

Christopher: Yeah, I think for us at Siemplify, really, the driving force behind integrated campaigns is the ability to be more strategic with our marketing efforts. So I know like a lot of teams, especially us being a startup, what we’ve done, historically, are those random acts of marketing, so to speak, whereas I think an integrated campaign is sort of that next evolution that gives marketing activities, more structure and more planning, and ultimately leads to a more efficient and effective program with better ROI, better results. So I think it’s, for us, it’s just being more efficient with our budget and more effective with our results.

Tom: Thanks for that. And, Sam, how about you at DataCore and other companies you’ve worked at? What were some of the key use cases or reasons that you’d launched campaigns?

Sam: Yeah, real quick on that. And then I want to pick up on something Chris said, but yeah, product launch or rebrand, some of the most fun I’ve had with integrated campaigns, it’s been a full-scale rebrand from website to swag. And then, within the IT, enterprise IT software, you’re always, you know, doing these campaigns with partners. So bringing them in and educating them on what matters to them and how they reach their specific customer through the channel.

And then anything with ABM or target accounts or if you have, you know, a directive to, let’s say, this quarter we’re going to pursue solution selling, that’s another way to kind of rally the troops to architect an integrated campaign. Real quick, just the random acts of marketing and integrated campaign gives, I’m sure every marketer is no stranger to once in a while throwing their hands up and saying, “Why are we even doing this?” Having that kind of organized, structured strategy really, you know, unifies the team and builds cohesion and gives you goalposts to really rally around. It’s great for team building and morale.

What are the Key Elements in an Integrated Campaign?

Tom: Great, thanks for that. And, Michelle, let’s take a moment and talk at kind of a deeper level about integrated campaigns. There’s so many pieces to a campaign and so many different vertical, horizontal, orthogonal elements. So what would you say to the audience today about, say, the key elements in an integrated campaign?

Michelle: I think the key elements are going to depend on who you’re speaking to again. So if you’re looking at starting with the customer, what’s the pain that they’re trying to solve? What can I do for them to make their lives easier? And how can I work backwards from that to find out, how are they trying to solve that right now? Are they looking at videos on YouTube? Are they searching? And so you can look at paid search. Are they just diving into the data, like in white papers and eBooks?

So, you have to look at your target audience and what you’re trying to sell for them and work backwards from there, and then when you get those channels, you can look at, okay, what’s the type of content that really gets digested there? What are they looking for in those channels if it’s LinkedIn, if it’s YouTube, if it’s, you know, whatever the channel is, create that content that they’re going to find helpful?

Tom: Thanks for that. And, Chris, how about you? What are your thoughts on? What are the key elements behind integrated campaign?

Christopher: Honestly, I mean, I completely agree with everything Michelle said. At the end of the day, I think the most key element is just putting your customer first and thinking, you know, not necessarily like, “Why is my product great?” But really, “What am I solving for the end customer and how can we make their life easier?” And then, again, working backwards from there.

I think it’s important to consider, again, as Michelle mentioned, different types of content, long form, short form, video, PDF, and then going that extra layer of seeing which type of content performs best on what channel. So whether it’s, you know, email, social, what have you, the website. And then I think also, again, maybe even layering in persona or vertical, as you mentioned, so, you know, how would we message this like maybe with a slight tweak to executives for sort of the end-users of the product? As well as maybe how do we message to service providers versus large enterprises and that type of thing?

Tom: Great. And, Sam, your thoughts on that? How would you articulate to the audience today the key elements in integrated campaign?

Sam: Yeah, I think, it’s, again, it’s echoing my colleagues. I see all of this as you’re identifying, again with the experience, identifying content pathways of how you want to nurture and what you want them to see. It’s always be thinking about your desired intent or their desired intent. And then what you…the way I like to think about is you’re trying to map customer perception.

So I see, for example, one of the questions in the chat about multiple business lines and should you run one for all of them or, you know, individually? The answer is that you need to determine your goals there. Like, if say, it’s a rebrand to go on the previous example, it’s going to be across those business lines. But for something that’s product-lead, you’re going to want to evaluate those goals that are probably more surgical, and more targeted, and develop that customer perception that you’re seeking to get in the desired intent and actions.

Tom: Great. Thanks for that.

Michelle: I want to build on a little bit. Because that’s a great point that it might be different things for different people. And there’s a question from Linda in the chat about consistent unified messaging doesn’t necessarily mean identical, that it can change based on the vehicles or the channels that you’re using.

One experience I had was we got a lot of eBooks and technical white papers, but we didn’t get the video. And so I would take that content that we got in an eBook form and turn it into a video. You can turn it into an integrated kind of interactive PDF or something that would work better in a channel like YouTube or Facebook.

Just think about the channel and what you can do with the content that you have to repurpose it for the people that are going to digest it in different ways.

Christopher: Yeah. And real quick, Tom, if you don’t mind, there’s something that absolutely has to come up for me. And this is just in terms of, you know, whether it’s internal Digital Asset Management or for a specific campaign, the kind of mantra centralized to decentralized. So you want to have a centralized message, a centralized repository of your content assets that everyone gets visibility on. But it’s centralized in such a way that allows you to pivot like that to augment per channel. And so having that centralized area repository library, what have you, really helps be able to execute that.

How to Determine the Best Channel to Use in Integrated Campaigns?

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And let’s talk a little bit about the channels. How do you determine what channels to use? And what’s the superset of all possible channels if anybody likes to take that?

Michelle: Sure, I can talk about that. One of the things that I did that was a lot of fun was an awareness campaign, a brand awareness campaign, and with awareness, you can look at some different channels that aren’t so traditional like the email and, you know, paid media that we always lean on. We got really innovative with it and kind of going back to the old traditional channels like billboards, and radio, and TV. You can even go to streaming TV now and do ads there.

Some of the fun things with the airports like the displays in airports helped not just with the awareness for the product or the offering, but also with recruiting, you know, and morale for the employees. Employees would be in the airport and see their company that they hadn’t seen before on a billboard and take pictures and share it on social media. And that helps sell the campaign to the recruiting team as well. HR might pitch in on your campaign if you’re going to do something that’s going to help with morale and recruiting.

Who Comprises the Team of an Integrated Campaign?

Tom: Thanks for that, Michelle. And so let’s talk for a moment about the players in a campaign. You know, there’s sales content team, executives, and so in your organization at DataCore, Sam, who would comprise the “team” for an integrated campaign?

Sam: Sure. You mentioned the kind of core groups our product marketing content and creative. DemandGen and field and within, you know, DataCore specific because it’s 100% channel-led company, you need to have your channel account managers, and, you know, the field marketers who support and work with the channel every day.

They have to be out there getting feedback and getting this information and plans to the partner so they can educate them, get feedback as you’re building the campaign. Because at the end of the day, we’re going to be funneling leads to them. It’s the same thing if you’re not a channel organization, you’re involving sales. That’s the key thing because you can do great things but if you haven’t educated your, you know, salesforce or your partners, it has a potential of falling flat.

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And, Chris, your thoughts on…?

Christopher: Yeah. So I think at Siemplify, we’re a startup, so almost everyone winds up getting involved. So from the marketing side, I know like product marketing, for example, does a lot when it comes to driving the theme and the messaging. Content obviously creates the content, whether it’s like thought leadership, including, you know, reports, white papers, you know, product marketing, again, with maybe product demos with like a slight like theme to them.

Myself being in DemandGen, I’m the one sort of promoting all of this content with the messaging across all of our marketing channels, digitally. And then obviously, we also get our field marketer involved for any sort of more physical marketing. And that even includes, although I guess, technically, it’s virtual, but there was an event last week, again, virtual I guess.

But at the event, we had a speaking session and then so even the speaking session was still the same topic, the same theme as our integrated campaign for this quarter. So, you know, across all of marketing channels, we’re using that same message and that integrated campaign theme. And then even we also incorporate our sales development manager or business development manager, whatever you call them, that might also be a more tech business industry thing than maybe potentially other industries for those of you who may not know what I’m talking about. But our BDR manager, also getting them involved.

So that way when we are generating all of these leads for their team to follow up on they have the same messaging that we do so they know how to appropriately follow up. Like, “Oh, if you if you read our, you know, thought leadership report on this topic, you might also be interested in, you know, sort of that next layer down datasheet, what have you.” So really, again, because we’re a small, scrappy team, pretty much everyone gets involved. But that’s sort of how we plan and operate our integrated campaigns.

Michelle: I will just add onto that. There’s a question in the chat from Sarah about aligning multiple teams and making sure that there’s one message that’s unified. I think it’s really important to get all the teams involved very early in the ideation and content creation of the campaign. Because they want to feel like they have a seat at the table and everyone’s got value to give. You get a lot of good feedback when you start to bounce ideas off of each other and just get people in the room together or even on a Zoom together, whatever it is now, and get the ideas flowing very early together.

Marketing Messages vs Sales Messages

Tom: Thanks for that. And a question, now, you know, three years ago, there was this big theme about marketing and sales alignment over the last year. So that’s transition to marketing and sales integration. And now salespeople have platforms for outreach, sales engagement, like outreach itself, are starting to develop their own messages. So I was curious now, is there a coordination between what you folks are doing and what may sound more like or be typified as marketing messages versus what sales are doing? Or is there some sort of coordination or alignment on a campaign?

Christopher: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, at Simplify again, like we get our SDR manager involved. The SDR team uses outreach, as you mentioned. So when it comes to those sequences and snippets and their email outreach, there is sort of that unified message that we all work on. And, again, we kind of take at a high level what product marketing gives us and then we work down from there.

And I think by having both marketing and sales involved in sort of that sort of language process and that messaging process and make sure that those outreach emails aren’t too salesy, they’re not too marketing, they’re sort of that right mix of, “Here’s how we can help you.” And then hopefully, if we do our job successfully, then, you know, want to come back to us and progress further.

Tom: Thanks for that. And I see, Michelle, you’re nodding your head. Any thoughts on that?

Michelle: Yeah, I think sales and marketing alignment is so important, especially with things like an ABM campaign where you’re going to be reaching out to the same people you’ve got accounts that you’re really targeted on. And you want to have the same message as the seller that’s reaching out to them to follow up. It’s so key to be telling one unified story there and making sure that your sellers are enabled with what have these leads seen. Making sure whether it’s in Salesforce or whatever management system you use that, that you’re able to tell your sales team, this is what this lead has seen. This is what they downloaded. This is what channel they came from, you know, whatever they’ve engaged with.

Difference Between an Integrated Campaign and a Nurture Campaign?

Tom: Thanks for that, Michelle. Question, what is the difference between an integrated campaign and a nurture campaign? Are they one and the same or how do you articulate the difference in that? Chris, thoughts on that?

Christopher: Yeah. So I think nurture is, I mean, should be part of like everything, I guess, in the most simplest terms, it is to a degree, just like an email campaign, and its simplest form, but I think nurture can truly be a full-funnel platform or, excuse me, campaign, and… What’s the word I’m looking for? Forgive me. Anyways. I think so for example with our integrated campaign themes as one of the many channels we incorporate, that includes email, and that also includes nurture.

So we do have an ultimate, more general nurture path. But before a lead gets into that path, they first go through an accelerated track and each accelerated track is based on integrated campaign theme. So when someone comes in and downloads an asset related to one topic, they then will get a series of emails that are also related to that same topic before they get maybe more general marketing collateral. So I think nurture can be incorporated into integrated campaign themes. But I think nurture can also be its own beast, if you will, and that they can work together.

How Many Integrated Campaigns and Nurture Campaigns to Run Per Month?

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And, Chris, another kind of follow-on question. How many integrated campaigns combination of that and nurture campaigns do you typically run a month? Are some of those simultaneous? Are they separate?

Christopher: Yeah. So most of our integrated campaigns are around the length of a quarter. Then depending on the theme and topic, we’ll usually do one or two, just based on how we’re structured to go to market. So we kind of have two target markets. One being service providers and then the others being actual enterprises. Obviously, like within our platform, the functionality that each uses is different than the way we sell to each is different, our messaging is different, so sometimes it makes sense if we have two separate integrated campaign themes, sometimes it makes sense if we have one. And then on top of those, obviously, there’s the sort of evergreen always ongoing stuff like nurture, for example.

Tom: Thanks. And, Michelle, you manage a large team and AWS is, you know, an enormous company, you know, the leader in cloud computing, I mean, how many campaigns do you have going on at once and how often do you launch a new one?

How Often to Launch a New Integrated Campaign?

Michelle: Yeah, I think it’s really important to look at each audience and see what’s touching this audience. So we have teams of people that are focused on, whether it’s SMB, or enterprise, or this certain persona, you know, someone in a contact center that’s a BDM, a business decision-maker in a contact center versus a technical decision-maker. You want to know what are all the campaigns that are going to touch my audience this week, or this month, or this quarter because, to your point, it’s a huge organization, we have lots of different campaigns that are going on at any given time. And so we have to align on the calendar sometimes to say, “Okay, this is the campaign that’s going to touch this audience at this time. And then this campaign is going to touch this audience at this other time.”

So that’s also important when you’re looking at paid media. You don’t want to bid against each other, or overbid on the same people and with paid search as well.

Sometimes, we get things documented at Amazon within a document, like a Word doc, instead of a PowerPoint because that’s really important to think of all the way through your approach. And who’s going to talk to this audience at this time with the right message? And that way, it also helps get alignment and keep that alignment. So it’s the same message, the same document that’s going up, to Amanda’s point, in the chat about getting alignment with the executives. All the executives have to then align, “Okay, this is the campaign that’s gonna go to these people at this time, and it’s going to be consistent in that document, can go up through all those executives and get their alignment” so that then everybody has an agreement, “Okay, this is how we’re going to go to market for these segments.”

How to Plan and Design an Integrated Campaign?

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. So, next question is how do you plan and design integrated campaign? Sam, let’s start with you on that. You know, I understand that you had a campaign that you conceived that you sold the executive management on the idea. And your CEO subsequently said it was the best performing campaign. So, there’s a lot of pressure there, right, selling to the CEO an idea of your own and executing on it. So if you were to describe, you know, from left to right, what were the steps that you went through, you know, from initial concept ideation through execution?

Sam: Well, it’s a great follow-on question from what Michelle just spoke to. And it’s amazing how much can stem from a single Word doc. You know, that’s kind of my core competency as, you know, a writer, you know, when you boil it down building everything conceptually there. And then, of course, using what’s available. For me, my life is always audit, audit, audit. So working with product marketing because it was a product launch, what have we created since the beta? Looking at all of our data sheets, all of our web pages related, videos, analyst reports, white papers, digging back into the archives on things that can be repurposed, blogs.

And then in the short term, what needs to be developed to fill those gaps from a content perspective. And then working with the CMO on the identified three customer pain points that this product solves. Because I saw on the chats some really great points on, you know, leading with the customer pain point rather than the product, and when it’s a product launch it’s very easy to quickly get into the bits and bytes and the performance, you know, all of the…rather than saying the ultimate driving machine, they’re talking about, you know, the chassis. So what we did is build out that core list of content, our personas and pain points. And then we built three different nurture streams that all had personalized or tailored content to that persona and to that customer pain point.

Then, of course, that’s going out and getting everybody on board from product management to product marketing. And then make sure that fits in with DemandGen’s goals. When you get everyone aligned, then you can go and sell it internally. And I think that’s really what we did. We worked really hard to get a cohesive deck together. So from a Word doc became a…I mean, it was a gargantuan doc but we probably trimmed to maybe 20 slides to pitch kind of our goals, regional goals, our reasonable responsibilities. And this was global as well. So it involved DIMIA, translation and localization of assets. But all of that would be moot if we didn’t have that core kind of pitch together in the buy-in from those key stakeholders.

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And just curious, Sam, as far as project management or program management tool, is there something that DataCore uses?

Sam: Yeah. I mean, anything like that, you have to have a built-in shockproof tolerance for excellent project management. And we use the tool called Wrike, which was recently acquired by Citrix. And that really helps get visibility on everything from especially when you’re dealing in multiple geos.

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And, Michelle, had you plan and design an integrated campaign at a huge company like AWS with so many stakeholders?

Michelle: Yeah. Well, like I said, we try and document everything in a Word doc. We want to make sure that we’re spelling out all the details of the plan. And thinking through every aspect of it, not just putting bullets on a chart, right, the Word doc and writing it out, like Sam said, really forces you to think out all those details, and then getting alignment.

So starting with the customer, what are we trying to solve for them? What’s the channel that we’re going to reach those people in? And then what are they trying to consume when they’re on those channels? How do we solve it in an easy way so that it’s snackable? You know, first, just get them through the door, and then nurture them? We want to make sure that we’re giving them as much content as they can binge at one time, without overwhelming and inbox, right?

So we’ve recently started using Uberflip to make sure that they can binge on that content all at once as soon as we get them in the door. An advantage there is they don’t have to fill out a form for every different asset that they download. They do it once and then we get all of their data as far as what they’ve engaged with, how much of it they’ve engaged with.

So they might have viewed 30% of a video and then dropped off. Or viewed the whole video and then went and downloaded something else. And that’s really key to our lead scoring too. We want to know what they’ve engaged with and then give them the next step in that journey.

Tom: Great. Thanks for that. And, Chris, how about you? How’s planning and designing integrated campaign done at Siemplify?

Christopher: Yeah. So, I mean, I think it starts, we have our like full marketing team quarterly planning meetings. And that’s sort of when we decide as a group what sort of themes and integrated campaigns we want to tackle for the next upcoming quarter. I think it’s a mix of feedback from customers, feedback from sales on sort of what’s relevant to them right now. Then also what’s sort of relevant in the industry.

So, for example, our integrated campaign this quarter is around remote security operations. And then from there, once we’ve sort of set on our topics for the integrated campaigns, we use Asana as our project management system and we sort of have built out an integrated campaign template that we can clone and then assign out. That has pretty much every potential thing we might do whether it comes to like creating a report or a datasheet or a video or all the channels we could potentially push that out on. It’s very comprehensive.

And then obviously, depending on the integrated campaign itself and what theme we choose, and the direction we choose to go in, we obviously don’t do every single task on that template. But that just makes sure that we’re not forgetting any potential aspects to the campaign. And then to Michelle’s point, it’s definitely important to have that content that spans the full-funnel that you can have them binge on.

So like at Siemplify, we use PathFactory, but does the same exact thing as Uberflip. Whereas like, again, I guess using the campaign we’re running right now we have like the state of industry, like security operations report, then we have our recommendations on remote security operations playbooks and how to prevent the most common remote threat vectors and things of that nature.

We have, you know, quick videos and then all the way down to we did a product demo. But during the product demo, we specifically showed here’s how we would recommend responding to like a VPN alert or a data loss prevention alert, or a phishing attack, or like whatever the most common attacks are that are happening right now as a result of quarantining, right? And, yeah.

Measuring Performance of an Integrated Campaign

Tom: Thanks for that, Chris. So, hey, Michelle, how do you measure the performance of a campaign, determine whether it’s successful or not? What are some of the KPIs for campaign metrics that you report on?

Michelle: Yeah. So the one that we’re all marching to is revenue and pipeline, right? That’s the end game. But we watch a lot of KPIs to get there to make sure that we’re making progress on our way before it becomes pipeline, before it becomes revenue. Things like engagement with the campaign. So click-throughs through email, downloads on the website, clicks and engagement on social media.

We want to make sure that we’re progressing things and that the leads aren’t just sitting there. So from an MAL to MQL, we want to make sure that that lead gets qualified by marketing and then accepted by sales to an SAL. We score them up by what are they engaging with at different weights, right?

So if they register for an event, they might get a certain number of points and then get even more points if they actually attend the event, and we look at those conversion rates and think, how can we move them from one stage to another even faster? So how do we accelerate them through the funnel? If they’ve been in this MAL stage for 60 days, how do we bring that conversion down to, you know, 30 or 40 days so that they’re converting faster and we’re getting them sooner to a seller?

Tom: Great. Thanks for that, Michelle. And, Chris, how about you? What KPIs do you measure and report up to other people in your organization?

Christopher: Yeah. So I think there’s sort of the primary big three that the executives care about that I like, definitely report on to the CMO. And that includes MQL’s opportunities and pipeline. And then after those are kind of the secondary metrics that are still important, as Michelle mentioned, so it’s the velocity and the conversion rates.

So, again, like how many are progressing from MAL to MQL to SQL? And on top of how many are progressing in that rate, but also at what speed to which are they doing so, obviously, you want a higher rate and a faster pipeline and velocity to get maximum results for the three primary metrics.

And that’s sort of what I would report up. But then what I would report maybe out laterally are sort of the more marketing metrics. So as mentioned, like my content, my head of content, he cares about how his content is performing. How many downloads is it getting, what channels is it being promoted on? Which channels were most effective? What types?

So like PDF versus video. How’s everything being consumed? So he definitely cares about that. I care about like click-through rates on ads. I care about email performance, open rates, click-through rates. So I think sort of that like in the weeds marketing metrics, that’s what I would report laterally. Versus like vertically, I would report sort of the more like sales-oriented metrics.

Tom: Thanks for that, Chris. Sam, how about at DataCore? How do you keep track of performance of a campaign measure success and who do you report that information to?

Sam: Sorry. Similar to Chris’s head of content, we built a custom dashboard in Google Data Studio to track all those content metrics and see what are performing, but also using all the tools in your stack, so Uberflip has some pretty good granular data points to pull from. Also, if you’ve got a social media automation tool, like Sprout Social, or if you’ve used TrendKite which is now Cision for more of those PR-related metrics, Share Voice, etc., using all of those metrics to develop…

And, you know, from my perspective, I’m always trying to tell a story. So, getting a robust understanding of everything down to the downloads, the click-through rates on the website, engagement with social content, and ads, using all of those tools at your disposal to build a narrative. And that also helps you kind of in the post-game to build a narrative to either, let’s say, let’s, you know, iterate on this or allow you to, you know, break down what worked and what didn’t in the postdoc.

Marketing Technology

Tom: Thanks for that, Sam. And you had mentioned the tech stack, an important part, important investments for the whole process. Michelle, what does the marketing tech stack look like at Amazon?

Michelle: We use a program management tool, we use Workfront, and that we keep consistent with our agency. It’s important to be able to talk to our agency within their program management tool as well. So we all use Workfront together. We use Marketo for our email database. Salesforce to track our leads. And make sure that the sales team has all the information that they need to follow up on our leads. I talked about Uberflip, we use Uberflip a lot and Sprinkler for our social media measurement.

Tom: Thanks. And Chris, how about at Siemplify? What does your martech stack look like?

Chris: So we use a variety of marketing technology solutions. But I think sort of the three big ones that maybe apply to this conversation is, first, Marketo. That’s our marketing automations platform. That’s where we send all of our emails out of, we do all of our lead scoring through Marketo. And I know someone asked a question about lead scoring. So like, for example, we have a demographic score based on company title, things of that nature. And then obviously, we also have an engagement score and combined, that gives them the total score.

And our engagement score is actually becoming increasingly more robust, which I’m pretty proud of. So we do instead of just saying, here’s 10 points because they downloaded a PDF, we’re actually able to see using Path Factory, which is one of the other solutions, you know, if they actually consumed it. If they consumed, you know, up to 50%, you actually only get 5 points, and then if you consumed over 50%, then you get like the whole 10 points.

It’s more involved there. And then similar to what someone else said in the chat, there’s sort of like we do a small score if you register for a webinar, but you actually get a primary, like, the larger score once you actually attend or watch it on demand. So we use Marketo as mentioned, PathFactory is our content management system that we deliver our content on encouraging bingeing.

It allows us to see actual consumption rates and things of that nature. And then I think the last thing I’ll say is huge shout-out to my boss because he has created one of the most robust analytics systems using Visible that I have ever seen. So it makes my life so much easier because it’s very easy for me to report on MQL’s opportunities, pipeline. And Visible I think is Marketo product actually. But I think the framework he’s built is very impressive. We use the like multi-touch attribution. So that way, every action gets some percent of credit. And it helps us tie back everything we’re doing to revenue and to an ROI.

Michelle: Yeah, I think Tableau run for us too. Tableau helps us visualize the data that we see in Salesforce and Marketo and put that together. And it’s really helpful for rolling things up to…like Chris talked about the metrics that you want to share up the chain to the CMO and other leadership.

Hottest Marketing Channels Today

Tom: Thank you for that, Michelle. And now, we’ve got a question from the audience about channels. What are some of the hotter channels now? And what are ones that are maybe making a comeback that were big a few years ago? Any thoughts on that, Michelle?

Michelle: Sure, yeah. I think hotter now are things like podcasts and streaming TV, all the streaming stuff that’s getting hotter now. The things that are making a comeback for me are places like airports, and this is pre-pandemic when people were actually traveling, but we had to be really careful there because we were doing an awareness campaign and looking at airports and had to think about our audience of executives that we were trying to reach. Usually, don’t go in the bag, they usually don’t check a bag.

They might travel for a day and just take an overnight bags, but they’re not going to check a bag and stay all week, like someone who’s more technical, going to a week-long conference might do. I think radio is making a comeback. And there’s lots of old is new, like print magazines that are in the back of an airplane seat. You’ve got a captive audience right there. And so we’ve done print in airplane magazines, too. I think, all valuable just depending on who you’re speaking to.

Podcasts

Tom: That’s. Interesting. Anybody else have the experience one way or the other with podcasts? Sam, Chris?

Sam: Yeah, I think there was a question earlier kind of throwing up the podcast versus blog more to focus. I think it’s both and also the influencer marketing of using that to not only create video, create audio, and then leveraging that by transcribing that directly onto your website, and then chunking that up into digestible bits either for a blog. But all of that is so robust that you can get a lot of distance out of it. And then just to the point of going kind of old is new, especially with COVID, we’ve seen great success with direct mail.

The only challenge is getting info on where people actually live, because you can’t send it to their office, because it’s just piling up. But for some new partner acquisition, we created this handbook, really nice-looking book on our top assets, information on what it means to be a partner with our organization, some success stories, case studies. And we did an outreach to ask for their, you know, permission to send it to them. The response is actually quite good. We had a response from, you know, some feedback, where it’s like, this is actually on my coffee table. And that was really nice to see.

What Types of Content are Trending?

Tom: That’s awesome. And kind of a follow-on content. Sam, giving your expertise there. Are there certain types of content that are trending up or trending down in terms of their impact?

Sam: I mean, I can’t stress the importance of video enough. And video has always, I think traditionally been seen as something that is expensive to do. But today, you know, going along with the humanization of marketing, let’s market to humans and let’s get to them where they want to be found, let’s not make the mistake of assuming they want to consume all of the content that we offer on our website. So, you know, using video in a humanistic way, you know, our phones are amazing technology in terms of video.

You don’t need to spend, you know, $12,000 for a quick explainer video. There’s a lot of innovation that can be done and inefficiencies that can be done from going at more direct, like, as you would, you know, send to a group of friends, for example. And that’s great for social. It shows that you understand that there’s a human element. There’s a human behind this marketing push to get you to trust them. You know, a lot of that top-of-the-funnel stuff, it’s very much like dating. So you want to kind of establish trust and use communication methods that people understand and can vibe with.

Michelle: I think that’s a great point. These are humans that you’re marketing too, and they want to see you as human too. So you can get them in channels, even when they’re not on their day job, right? They might be on vacation. Or just traveling home from work. Listening to podcasts, on a subway or a train, you know.

But they also want to see you in your off-time environment. They want to see not just the social media feed from your SME, talking about his product, but also, “What is he doing in his downtime?” They want to make sure that, you know, if he likes to play baseball, or goes on vacation and goes skiing, they want to see that step, too, and see the human side of your SME.

Is a Website a Marketing Channel?

Tom: Thanks for that, Michelle. Now, is the website a channel as well? Would that be considered a channel in the integrated campaign based on that?

Chris: Yeah. I think the website is absolutely a channel. I think, you know, to a degree, depending upon how you’re structured, maybe the organic inbound isn’t super high. But it’s definitely still a subchannel, because a lot of your emails or ads or Google AdWords, like what have you, a lot of that ultimately does get back to your website. And then the important thing is that, once someone gets to your website, is that you do an effective job of keeping them there and engaging with them through your website. So I think it’s absolutely a channel or subchannel, depending on how you want to look at it.

Sam: Yeah, especially when you add something like Uberflip to the mix, because you can start to design, you know, those content pathways and kind of desired intent. And also, once they get X way through white paper A, let’s serve them up case study B, and things like that. I think that’s… You know, and then you can think of your website as it’s a functional channel, where you can also start to merchandise experiences where they get deep into a product page or a features page.

And maybe we use intercom or something to engage with them directly at a certain point in the experience that will increase the likelihood of a conversion. And I always like to think of, you know, when you have the face of your company on your homepage as the top of that, you know, entrance to that channel, the primary job of the homepage is to get you to leave the homepage, not bounce, of course, but deeper into…so let’s just like, for any of the web folks out there something to food for thought.

COVID Effect on Marketing Strategy?

Tom: Thanks for that, Sam. Now, we’ve had a bunch of questions, I think seven or eight here about the COVID effect. Has COVID had any effect? Is there anything anybody wants to say on how maybe that affected their strategy, their channels? I see Michelle you’re nodding your head?

Michelle: Yeah, I think it’s hurt us a lot with telemarketing and making calls even just from the sales teams. The phone numbers that they have for desks for people in offices, they’re just not there anymore. They’re not answering. And it might be a different phone number that they have at home or a cell phone. But you can’t rely on the old data, the old phone numbers that you have. It makes other channels more important.

Tom: Right. Anything anybody else would like to add to that? I know with physical events not being a reality for a while, has that caused an increase in other channels to compensate?

Sam: Well, I’d say real quick, I think everyone’s no stranger to webinar fatigue. That happened to us very, very early on. And the traditional format of webinars and webcasts had to be broken down, kind of like what we’re doing today. We, you know, started implementing some kind of tech panels where we’d get a group of experts together, partners, and have a roundtable where it wasn’t like, “Let’s drill through these slides and get down into the weeds and, you know, dangle some gift cards in front of you so you stick around.”

And it became more…again, one thing I think about this is, everyone’s reassessed not only their personalized but how they want to, you know, execute in business. And it is about being more personal and understanding the empathy that we’re all involved in. It’s kind of an empathy economy. I think if you put that, you know, on as a filter, you’ll be more and more successful, even post COVID.

Fundamental Learnings from Integrated Campaigns

Tom: That’s interesting to note. You mentioned empathy. I just want to let the audience know, we have a webinar coming up on empathy and marketing in March. And we’ll be sending out everybody an invite for that. So that sounds great. So I guess I’d like to close here and maybe take a couple of questions if we have other time on, the biggest learnings now, you’ve all been doing integrated campaigns for a long time, there’s probably unforeseen or interesting learnings, both positive and negative. Chris, any thought on that? Is there any fundamental learning that you’d like to share with the audience today?

Chris: Yes. I think honestly, my biggest piece of advice is to just get started. I think a lot of people might view these like, robust, integrated campaigns as daunting. Or, you know, it requires a lot of strategy and a lot of planning and a lot of meetings. And I think you’re far better off just getting started. Maybe you make some mistakes along the way, but that’s okay. I think you can just use whatever you have going as your own benchmark. You don’t need to compare yourself to what another company is doing by any means.

I like to go back to, there’s a book called “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. And that talks about just the minimum viable product, like, what can you get out the door right away? So that way, you can learn immediately what your customers are interested in, what prospects are interested in, what works, what doesn’t work, so that way, you’re not spending too much time overthinking anything and you can get right into sort of effective results.

Tom: Thanks for that. Michelle, how about you? What would you say would be a significant learning that you’ve had in executing, or ideating integrated campaigns?

Michelle: I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is to stay really close to sales. You want to go make some friends in sales. Make sure there’s a continuous feedback loop so that you’re hearing from them what’s resonating with the customers that come in. What’s not resonating? What doesn’t work? What are the leads that are just garbage that we shouldn’t be putting in the system? Because they hate following up on those. Make sure that they know what you’re putting into the system. If you’ve got an event, make sure they know ahead of time so that they have time on their calendar to go follow up on those leads. Just make some good friends in that sales org.

Tom: That’s a great point. Sam, how about you? What would be a learning that you’ve had through your process with integrated campaigns?

Sam: I absolutely second that one, first of all. That’s super valuable. And then, I guess, expect change. This campaign that you mentioned earlier that we ran was right during COVID. And we had to do a lot of pivots in order to kind of nurture its own success. So expect change, employ agile marketing techniques, and just be ready and be flexible enough. Integrated campaign doesn’t mean it has to be rigid, even if it’s completely planned and plotted out. So, yeah, flexibility and agility.

Conclusion

Tom: Thank you for that. If you’re interested in becoming a panelist, email us with anything about your expertise that you’re passionate about. And you can reply to the email invite for the webinar or reply to me at this email below. Love to hear your ideas and your thoughts on becoming a panelist as well. And in closing, I’d like to say, first of all, panelists, thank you very much. It’s been a great session. I’ve learned a lot. And I’d like to thank our audience as well for all the great comments. Wanted to, again, say thank you, thank you very much for everybody’s time today on this session. Thanks again.

Upcoming Webinars

Additional Reading