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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Jan 4, 2017 8 min read

Integrated Vs. Orchestrated Inbound Marketing: What's The Difference?

Orchestration Is The Key To Successful Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Ochrestrating Inbound MarketingEveryone knows marketing needs to be integrated, but do you know the definition of integrated marketing?

According to the DMA, "integrated marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication, such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media and activities so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer."

But look up orchestrated marketing and you only find a handful of articles placed sporadically over the past few years. When you overlay inbound marketing, we think integration isn’t enough to truly make inbound marketing the lead generation machine it has the potential to be and that orchestration — all inbound marketing tactics working in seamless harmony (like a symphony)  is one of the secrets to success from inbound.

Here’s why orchestration is the key to inbound marketing.

Orchestration Offers More Direction

When you read the definition of integrated marketing, there is no clear direction on how to exactly integrate the different components. It just talks about consistency of message and the delivery of a customer-centric experience. On the other hand, the concept of orchestration implies different types of marketing tactics executing from a single song sheet or playbook. The idea of an orchestra implies that the music was specifically created to include all the elements of the orchestra. This resonates with us from an inbound marketing planning perspective.

Just as the music is created to highlight the winds section, the strings, the horns, the piano and the percussion group, inbound marketing is created with all the necessary elements in mind from the beginning. For example, you should not be building a website without a deep understanding of what keywords, keyword phrases and questions you want your site to rank for on the search engines. You should not be building a website without having mapped out the buyer journey and created a content plan that includes offers for each stage of the buyer journey and every single persona along with the pages on your website to support each of those stages and personas.

In short, you can’t do a website without search, content and conversion strategies clearly thought out and planned. This sounds more like orchestration than integration to me.

Orchestration Allows More Tactical Connections

Traditional marketing supports a more siloed approach that can be considered integrated simply by using similar messages across multiple marketing channels. The TV ads say the same thing as the banner ads and the radio ads.

Inbound marketing is different. Like we started to see above, all of the inbound marketing tactics need to be closely connected — mechanically. Keywords need to impact website work, content creation and any pay-per-click campaigns. Content needs to be delivered efficiently, which means long-form content like e-books need to support short-form content like blogging, social media conversation starters, email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns. Website visitor growth campaigns need to include organic, social, referral and direct sources, which means you’ll need a collection of tactics to drive this key performance metric up and to the right. Simply hiring an SEO firm to get you on the first page of Google will NOT be enough.

Orchestration Adds More Complexity

Orchestrating Inbound MarketingNo one said inbound marketing was going to be easy. In fact, it’s incredibly complex. Instead of a handful of tactics, we typically deploy between 10 and 15 inbound marketing tactics simultaneously for our clients in an orchestrated way. The key here is practice, just like with a symphony orchestra. You give the musicians the sheet music, they practice their part and then the entire orchestra practices together, being led by the conductor until the score is perfect.

The same experience executes with inbound marketing. First you create the music or the plan, developing a perfectly blended collection of tactics all executing at the same time in a way that produces the desired results. Then you build each of the assets required by the tactics, including assets like a website, content offers, email marketing, landing pages, social posts, influencer outreach, sales process improvements and more. You then deploy the new assets and practice getting them to work together. This is the optimization aspect of inbound and it takes time. What looks great on paper doesn’t always execute as designed. Adjustments and modifications need to be made to produce the desired results.

Eventually, you get a beautiful piece of music in the form of a lead generation machine that delivers repeatable, scalable and predictable lead flow and revenue acceleration.

This should start to highlight the reason orchestration is the way to think about inbound, but the real challenge comes from the planning (creating the music), building (creating the individual assets and tactics) and optimizing (creating the methodology that continuously improves performance just like an orchestra practices the music until it is amazing).

The better you are at this process, the better your inbound marketing will perform. This is why so many inbound efforts fall flat. Businesses buy software and attempt to execute inbound marketing with little or no experience doing what we’re showing above. Agencies that have little or no experience with inbound are now inbound marketing agencies, attempting to deliver this for the first time. Even relatively large inbound agencies might only have 10 to 12 inbound marketing clients. What we’re talking about here takes thousands of hours of practice to make this orchestrated marketing produce amazing results.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.