- B2B organizations may spend countless resources on planning and executing misaligned marketing tactics that don’t achieve the desired results
- Organizations need an integrated campaign planning and implementation approach that orchestrates execution and optimizes resources
- Marketing leaders must ensure the right conditions for success and provide support at critical phases in the campaign process
Bliss is defined as a state of supreme happiness, utter joy and contentment.
That is hardly how you would define the atmosphere within most marketing departments today. What I see at many of organizations can best be described as the tactic treadmill — lots of activity, but much of it not hitting the right audience with a compelling message.
At Forrester SiriusDecisions, we have long extolled the virtues of an integrated campaign approach, which we call the SiriusDecisions Campaign Framework. In our view, a campaign is an integrated set of programs and tactics that engage customers with messages that address their needs, instead of touting products. And the tactics do the jobs of driving demand, improving reputation, enabling sales to close demand and engaging current customers through their lifecycle. Such an approach turns a campaign into a long-lived initiative that requires collaboration across product, marketing and sales functions to be successful.
It is a challenge to achieve this campaign bliss with the typical disarray of the tactic treadmill. However, it’s a challenge that marketing leaders must undertake, not just for the sanity of their teams, but to deliver better outcomes for the business.
Marketing leaders must pay attention to four key areas to guide their teams to experience a peaceful, harmonious campaign planning and implementation process.
Build on Your Marketing Strategy
Many organizations struggle with how to reconcile marketing strategy with campaign strategy. They feel pressured to rush to execution and suffer from having far too many campaigns in play at one time.
To establish a sense of order, capture the organization’s current marketing strategy and annual plan to use as inputs to the campaign strategy. Break down the individual components of each to understand the role that campaigns play. What are your revenue goals? Who are the target audiences for driving revenue? How do they express their needs? What offerings address those needs? What is our best route to delivering your message to the market? Answers to these questions are the inputs for developing a campaign, because a campaign is simply an initiative designed to execute on your long-term strategy and annual plan.
Design a Campaign Architecture
This is the key to simplifying how your campaigns address your prospects and customers. The goal is to minimize the complexity of your campaigns across all your target segments. It takes two steps to get there.
First, identify the audiences you need to address and group them by distinct needs. For each need, we define a campaign theme whose pervasive message illustrates that you understand and can address that need. We call this a campaign architecture, because when it is aligned with your corporate (or master brand) message, you have developed a hierarchy of messages that tells your prospects clearly how your organization is positioned to solve their business issues.
Second, take a look at each campaign to see how it addresses each of your audience segments, including regional, industry or firmographic sub-segments. The main theme should remain constant but may need to be translated for how it is expressed across these variations. The simplification occurs because it is more efficient to make minor modifications to core campaign content than start from scratch for every segment and sub-segment.
Align Investments to Business Objectives
A campaign is an inherently collaborative process, and most marketing budgets are not designed for collaboration. Funds are typically allocated to functional and regional leaders (e.g., communications, regional field marketing, the demand center). Campaigns are initiatives that cut across these silos, so fund the initiative and develop own program plans that include a mix of activities across all these teams.
Now you can measure the ROI of a campaign, because you have aligned revenue outcomes to the investment.
Ensure Organization Readiness
Campaigns don’t execute themselves — teams do. The tactic treadmill is inefficient due to the duplication of efforts, bottlenecks, execution that takes longer than expected, and the competition for scarce resources.
Enabling your teams to “find the joy” in campaigns means ensuring a level of organizational readiness. That begins with having the right campaign competencies, establishing ownership and accountability for campaigns, defining clear roles and responsibilities and balancing execution efforts across multiple teams — from portfolio marketing providing the insight into the buying audience to marketing ops and content operations supporting planning and content development.
These efforts must be orchestrated by a campaign leader with strong organizational knowledge, ability to collaborate across teams, and skills to communicate effectively up and down the organization. For the company leadership to be content with campaign results, the campaign leader must be able to develop the insights and analysis that assess performance and ensure achievement of business objectives.
For more on this topic, plus a view into how marketing technology can support blissful campaign management, attend my webinar with NewsCred CEO and Founder Shafqat Islam on March 31.