Wunderman SA’s MD, Debi Loftie-Eaton
Jonathan Perloe, Senior VP-strategic Marketing: Wunderman New York shared some insights with the global network that include four strategies to integrate B2B direct response communications campaigns to achieve greater impact:Avoid creating clutter
The first strategy is to avoid creating clutter, especially within a multiple business unit company where each has a portfolio of products, services and marketing communication needs. The clutter often happens when product managers independently create standalone, product-centric marketing campaigns.
To prevent this, Wunderman suggests creating an annual campaign architecture for each key market segment; one that identifies the broad themes to be promoted and aligned with the value propositions of the company's offerings. It's important that the direct response demand-generation activities are supported by the brand-level messages that are also in market.
This will help avoid once-off tactics and allow for a consistent set of messages that establishes and reinforces what the brand stands for and what drives revenue.
Companies that are just starting out need to take a structured approach that documents the capabilities, functional benefits and higher-level business value of each product or service offering. Common business-level themes should be identified and used to build a limited set of benefit-oriented direct-marketing campaigns that address the targets' needs.Use multiple channels
Once a well-defined campaign architecture is in place, the next step should be to identify effective ways to reach the audience. While budget and marketing objectives will dictate the reach and frequency of a campaign, Wunderman suggests using more than one channel. Placement in multiple direct-response channels creates the impression of having a greater presence.
Don't overlook the power of search and social marketing tactics. Informative, relevant content—such as a white paper, a best practices guide, a webcast demo or customer success stories—can be posted online and used to drive a response that will begin a conversation with prospects by getting them to register and provide contact information. The content can be seeded through search marketing and by joining conversations in relevant online forums.
Utilise the different strengths of each channel to tell the brand story in different levels of detail, letting the messages build on each other.Be consistent
The third strategy is to ensure that all tactics carry a consistent set of messages delivered via a common visual idea.
First express the brand story in a compelling manner; in a way that connects with the target audience. Then, ensure the key visual and headline(s) are carried consistently through all the tactics that comprise the campaign. Don't shy away from repetition; it's a key principle of advertising. Saying and showing the same message more than once is one way to break through the noise, especially if it's expressed in a customer-centric, benefit-oriented way.Apply judicious measurements
The final strategy is effective measurement applied judiciously. This is especially true in direct marketing, where the link between marketing activities and results is easier to establish than with perception-changing communications.
There are two categories of metrics:
- First are measures of overall campaign performance: account for and determine how much it costs to deliver qualified leads or sales. Using the potential value of a lead and sales conversion rates, question if the campaign delivered an acceptable return on investment.
- If not, the second category of metrics can help explain why. These are diagnostic measurements such as response and click-through rates, registration rates and lead-conversion rates. They outline which tactics were most effective at engaging the audience.
Use these metrics to fine-tune elements of the campaign and optimise across direct-response channels. But use metrics wisely, because with integrated marketing, all communications work together to drive sales. This is true even though it may look like just one tactic drove the sale, such as a particular email blast or a banner ad.
Wunderman SA's MD, Debi Loftie-Eaton guarantees that together, these four strategies will guide companies from strategic campaign planning through to post-execution measurement. She says, “When followed, this approach can lift a set of disconnected, competing, tactical communications into a focused, insightful story that drives sales more effectively while also building a brand.”