"Marketers realise the benefits of using multiple channels within their marketing programmes but many are struggling to integrate them effectively. "
Claire Lamb, director of Skout PR
Research has shown that B2B marketers struggle to create and deliver multi-channel campaigns that successfully align with their marketing strategy. This is despite an understanding that the ‘Integration Imperative’ is critical to achieving marketing goals, maximising exposure with target audiences and boosting return on investment.
B2B communications agency Skout surveyed 100 senior UK marketing professionals, and found that 63% feel they are not taking advantage of the different marketing channels available to them. 46% struggle to integrate channels, claiming that this is the biggest obstacle to successfully delivering their marketing activities.
Failure to create content that can actually be used across multiple channels was also identified as a challenge to successful integrated marketing. 40% of marketers don’t reuse content because they feel that it’s unsuitable for other formats, while 35% are concerned that content has lost its value after its initial use and don’t believe it can be used again. 32% blame ineffective campaign planning for not reusing content, suggesting that many marketers don’t fully consider their goals and objectives before developing content programmes.
Interestingly, 42% of marketers agree that using multiple marketing channels is the most important aspect of campaign integration. In comparison, 40% believe it’s the need for marketing and sales alignment and for 36% the imperative is good teamwork. Despite this, respondents admitted to not using content effectively.
For example, 85% of marketers think that case studies should be created for use across many channels for maximum impact. This could include video, podcast, website testimonials, long form PDFs and press stories all from one source. However, many felt these crucial content assets are significantly underutilised.
Reassuringly, 80% of marketing professionals agree that PR is a vital element of improving SEO and link building alongside building targeted brand awareness. 87% also agree that developing a PR programme can also improve social media performance. However, 57% still struggle to integrate PR, social media, SEO and link building when planning and strategising. Over half of respondents understand the value of integrating channels – both online and offline – but many don’t know how to do it effectively, or feel that they can convey a consistent message across all outlets to achieve campaign goals.
97% of marketeers surveyed identified training, skills and budgets as the things holding them back from improved integrated marketing. Only 16% feel that they are equipped with sufficient training and skills, while just one in five believe that they have the adequate budget in place to support integrated marketing.
Claire Lamb, Director of Skout, says: “Clearly marketers realise the benefits of using multiple channels within their marketing programmes but many are struggling to integrate them effectively. If a business fails to communicate through all the correct channels to reach their audience they’re limiting the exposure of their content and brand. It’s also crucial to integrate Paid, Earned, Owned and Social media, so that they maximise their target audiences in more ways than one. If businesses don’t embrace and work across all channels together, their content won’t gain maximum reach, and they could miss out on new prospects.”
To overcome these issues marketers need to ensure they consider which channels they want to use to reach audiences ahead of campaign scoping and development stage.
For more information on how to develop an integrated marketing campaign, visit www.skoutpr.com/integration where you can view our infographic, read some of our success stories and watch informative videos from the Skout team. You can also download a detailed white paper that examines the industry landscape, discusses the merits of taking an integrated approach as well as offering advice on how you can adopt and deliver a fully integrated marketing strategy.