3 Ways Marketing Organizations Must Integrate to Successfully Reach Customers

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Marketing today is more than advertising, drip email campaigns, website pop-up ads, social media and point-of-purchase displays. It’s all about long-term relationships between a brand and a consumer. It’s about building trust. Sharing information. Accepting criticism. Responding quickly to compliments and complaints.

It’s about being human in a world that relies more and more on digital technology to get the job done. No matter what that job may be. While digital technology is critical to the success of business today, it’s the human marketing team behind the technology that makes it work.

For instance, my colleague Antonella Bonanni recently wrote about the importance of thick data in marketing outreach and success. Thick data is collected by digital means, but human marketers are the ones who make sense of the information.

Working with the premise marketing communications always uses data to inform decisions, it will be the members of the marketing team who sift through it to build customer-centric campaigns. The marketing organization must be fully integrated through its core structure to really make sense of and apply any of the information collected from data.

Marketing Organization Structure Creates Success

A strong leadership team willing to experiment with new technology and collaborate across departments can make the entire marketing team successful. The objective of the integrated structure is the creation of many internal strategic partners who fully understand the brand, messaging, and the company’s products and services.

To build a successful, true marketing organization, three elements are necessary:

Campaigns must be omnichannel. Automated email drip campaigns, white papers, marketing collateral, webinars and social media and tradeshows all are important elements of a successful campaign. All tactics must be coordinated down to the date and time the pieces are sent or posted. One email to one person on one subject is not a campaign.
Digital marketing is an absolute. Having a sharp, clean, relevant and easy to navigate website is a must. To do this, make sure the website is updated often with new content: infographics, articles, blog posts and video. In addition, social media is essential these days and having effective and active accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are indispensable. Each social media platform must be evaluated individually for message relevance. Content, whether it is copy, an infographic or a video, which works on Facebook likely won’t have the same success on LinkedIn. Detailed research and planning will ensure the mediums are used properly and often, but not so often as to cause customer fatigue.
Marketing should never sit in a silo. Every member of the team must get to know and work hand-in-hand with the sales and product development teams. Making these new friends can help guarantee the marketing group’s future success, as well.
Integrating the following areas of marketing under the auspices of a single organization will help make all programs more successful:

Social media;
Marketing communications;
Advertising;
Digital/Website;
Writing;
Thought leadership;
Graphic design;
Webinars;
Tradeshows; and
Campaigning. 
While this all looks and sounds great on the screen, bringing this type of large marketing group together takes time, patience, commitment and, importantly, buy-in from senior leadership, who generally OK the funding for more people and resources. Demonstrating how a larger marketing function—the number of people, funding and digital technology—will bring more sales to the organization ensures, at the very least, your voice will be heard and the request taken seriously. The more genuine ROI that can be shown as a result of the collaboration, the better the argument.

Nevertheless, everything—success, deliverables, ROI—depends on collaboration and cohesion within the team and with those internal organizations from which marketing gets information. The internal collaboration will ensure digital technologies are used appropriately and in such a way that they build a relationship between the business and the customer.