For marketing managers, getting siloed teams on the same page can be one of the hardest – and most time-consuming – parts of the job. According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021, surveyed respondents said that they spend 60% of their day on “work about work” instead of meaningful work. That includes busywork like searching for information, communicating project updates, and chasing down deliverables.
That’s why Asana and Drift teamed up to host an AMA all about how to run integrated marketing campaigns smoothly. Russell Abdo, Brand Marketing Manager at Asana, and Matilda Miglio, Senior Marketing Manager at Drift, answered questions from the audience, sharing their best practices and advice for running integrated marketing and ABM campaigns. They discussed how marketers can break down silos and cut way back on that busywork to get better work done with less stress.
Here is a condensed version of that conversation.
Want to watch instead of read? Access the AMA recording right here.
How do you think about account-based marketing (ABM) and integrated campaigns?
Russell Abdo: It starts with understanding how your company defines ABM, because it can mean so many different things. For some companies, it can mean giving white-glove treatment to 10 or 15 targeted accounts. For others, you might target 100 accounts with content syndication and display ads. No matter what your company’s definition of ABM is, you need to remember that, at the end of the day, ABM can easily be an extension of your existing integrated campaign.
It’s important to look at the programs you’re laying out, the offerings you have, and the audience you’re targeting. Dial in on where you can get really tailored to those specific companies in a way that feels like an extension of the integrated campaign you’re already running.
Let’s say that the campaign’s theme is about marketing. Can you create an ABM component where you invite CMOs from target companies to a roundtable about digital transformation? Or is it a direct mail offering that only goes to operations managers at a small subset of companies you’re focused on? It’s all about looking at the scaled approach for your integrated campaigns and then finding tailored opportunities for the accounts you care most about.
Matilda Miglio: For integrated campaigns, we have the really high-level campaign or theme that we’re focusing on and within that, we have multiple programs. These programs could be focused on a different persona, on a different angle, on a different title. There are so many different ways you can relate programs back to the core theme. And then, from each of those programs, we have all the different offers, whether that’s an ebook, an event, a webinar, and so on.
When creating the campaigns and themes, we first start with product marketing – they help us develop our narratives. We then partner with the brand team to develop a brief and understand, “Okay, this is really what we want to drive home.” And from there, the team works to develop the program, offers, and channels. We forecast, we budget, and then it all rolls up and everybody knows the game plan for the quarter.
You can cut this in so many different ways. You can also add in the different buyer journeys, like acquire, engage, or accelerate. You could cut it by business unit, so each business has a different priority or level to look at. You can add in as many layers as you’d like. However, I would encourage you to start simple and then, maybe every quarter or every six months, go one level deeper or pivot into a different way to really test out and get in that groove.
Can you provide some examples of how you’ve measured the success of integrated campaigns? Do they really help align things and move the bottom line?
Matilda: It’s crucial that you have goals and understand why you’re doing integrated campaigns in the beginning of your planning cycle. That means level-setting as a team about why the campaign is important and then drilling into the numbers you need to hit. How much pipeline do you need to generate this quarter and how will you do that? That’s where you can plan through your campaigns and ensure they’re impactful.
Often, at Drift, we measure our success by the number of people generated, the number of conversations sent, the number of demos our team has, and then pipeline. For most campaigns, we’re hyper-focused on those four key metrics. Then, of course, there are different metrics for different activities. Blogs and content may be judged through a different lens, like page views or the amount of content consumed. Those teams are going to really focus on that subset of goals.
Broadly though, the entire marketing team is aligned on the metrics that we consistently show to the company, which really boils down to pipeline. We show pipeline through campaigns in our CRM. There is a hierarchy and we build them out every quarter, or every time we go through the campaign planning process. It’s really easy to go in and say, “Oh, how much did this asset generate?” The campaign’s already set up. I can just run a report and see all of the different offers that roll into that program and how they impacted our funnel.
Russell: In the beginning, it is important to establish the goals of the campaign. Is this a demand generation campaign? Is it a brand campaign? Be thoughtful around what the campaign objectives are versus what are the actual measures of success. A campaign objective might be to raise awareness, build pipeline, or establish enterprise credibility. Accordingly, the measures you use in your campaign might be a lift in your brand awareness, a certain number of MQLs, or revenue target.
How do you think about the process for approving all campaign components?
Russell: The key piece of this is to establish your ownership upfront. Whether you like to use a RACI model or DRI (Designated Responsible Individual), put that information in your campaign brief. When we’re building integrated campaign plans, we say who is responsible for what and who should be informed of progress. We make this information super clear, even when they’re reviewing the content of the brief itself, because they might have no issues with the messaging of the campaign or what’s being offered, but a lot of issues with who’s actually approving things.
Another point I would add is to specify where and how you approve something. If something can be approved asynchronously, call it out as such. If something needs to happen in your weekly product stand-up, you need to make sure the right people are there and that you leave that meeting with the approvals you need. Having approval processes hashed out has saved us so much time because we’re not going back and forth.
Matilda: At the beginning of a campaign, approvals may be easy to get through, but you’ll soon come to realize there are a lot of brainstorms and conversations that can slow things down. A meeting you thought was for checking a box may turn into a good conversation – but not help you accomplish your original goal of obtaining an approval. So that’s something we learned and have now baked into the process.
A while ago, we used to brainstorm at the beginning of a campaign and have one meeting with everyone involved. We’ve since realized that we actually need two meetings for that process – for brainstorming and setting approvals – so we’ve baked that in.
At the beginning of a campaign, in one of those meetings, we go through and approve all of our offers. With approvals in place, the person who runs events, for example, can just say, “Great, I got approval on this event. Now I’m going to go run through the process that I need to do for events.” They’ll check in with the legal team and then kick off the process to get those contracts executed. At that point, the process moves to the individual who’s executing that offer.
3 takeaways for running successful integrated marketing campaigns
Integrated marketing campaigns may seem complex – which they can be – but, like Matilda said, if you start off small, you can learn the basics and then grow your programs out as you finesse the processes.
These were the three most important takeaways from Matilda and Russell’s conversation:
- Create a cohesive experience with a theme
- Set clear goals and metrics at the beginning of the project
- Decide who approves what before you kick off
The best part? All three of these takeaways can be applied to any integrated marketing campaign, no matter the size or scope. If you can do those things, you’ll instantly cut out much of the work about work that slows your team down and makes execution difficult.
Molly Talbert is a Content Marketing Manager at Asana. When not working, she is probably chasing after her two small dogs.
Want to continue the conversation and learn more about how Asana and Drift run integrated marketing? Watch the entire AMA (with additional questions) for more inspiration.