Want to Speed Up Your Sales Cycle? Try an Integrated PR/Marketing Strategy

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Michiko Morales

Peanut butter and jelly. Pancakes and syrup. Gin and tonic. Some iconic duos are so inextricably linked that you rarely acknowledge the parts, only the sum. It’s just a fact of life that some things are simply better together. PR and Marketing are no different. Though each serves individual purposes, they are best when their collaborative performances are indistinguishable from one another to the public eye.

PR has, in the past, primarily functioned in somewhat of a silo, focusing on media relations and building relationships with key public figures such as investors and employees as well as journalists. Similarly siloed, Marketing oversaw advertising, promotional materials and gathering customer information through surveys and focus groups. PR focused on safeguarding the brand’s reputation and optics while marketing concentrated on boosting leads and sales.

Today, these worlds have collided and PR and Marketing overlap, intertwine and meld together like a perfect, delicious PB&J — provided, of course, that they are managed properly and seamlessly. They both shapeshift and either may handle social media, manage a company blog or submit contributed articles to trade publications. Whether intentionally or not, these two entities have merged for most organizations.

To amplify your company’s messaging, support your brand and drive quantifiable results, PR and Marketing need to simultaneously work in unison. Here’s why.

Defining and targeting a common goal

There are many pathways to success, but the overarching destination and goal for both PR and Marketing should be the same. Is your company prioritizing brand awareness or lead generation? More importantly, are your departments aligned in that focus? PR strategy can complement Marketing efforts. If you are looking to branch into a new market, PR can devise a plan to target that vertical. This way, if a buyer were to consider your product or service by doing their own background research, right away they will see your company is established and trusted in this space. If you are focused on lead generation, Marketing can place ads on the publications that PR knows the audience relies on for credible information. Having a common goal will produce better, targeted results.

Ensuring consistency in messaging

Messaging needs to be universal across the board. As PR messaging is created, build in SEO research findings to interweave into that messaging. Everyone needs to be on the same page and saying the same thing. This not only helps SEO but also makes your overall brand image universal and consistent.

Start with integration and alignment of keywords. The phrase you want to be known for should appear prominently in everything you do (marketing assets, blogs, website copy, but also interviews and press releases). You want to be easily discovered in basic searches through common industry verbiage.

Achieving clarity about your intended audience

All messaging needs to be customized for each audience, but the same keywords, descriptors and themes need to be consistent across a company. Buyer personas are useful in understanding not only your target customer but your audience segment as well. Buyer personas can assist with audience messaging profiles. It’s always important to know who you are talking to and what they specifically react to: What are the pain points, the goals, and the incentives of your audience? This will help define media targets and paid campaign targets. Put the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.

Creating a system for sharing knowledge

PR and Marketing need to work closely together with a system in place to easily share knowledge between departments. The Marketing team can share what campaigns are in the concept phase, currently running, and what is planned for the future. The PR team can let Marketing know what news outlets are considered for pitching, what press releases are in the works and what coverage is going out. The advantage of knowing the type and when a campaign or coverage is targeted for release is that the timeline can align, which results in the effect of a campaign being doubled. Sharing news of up-and-coming projects can expose opportunities that the other department can take advantage of for integrated campaigns. Also, Marketing can inform PR about the types of content, messages and delivery channels that best drive customers to purchases. PR, in turn, can listen to influencers and customers in an attempt to validate that data and report what they learn to Marketing.

Both entities need to maintain transparency so inter-department opportunities are obvious and can be taken advantage of. Once you have systems in place for alignment in messaging, audience as well as sharing marketing assets and press coverage, you can leverage the information to further drive your strategy and repurpose content across departments.

Enabling campaigns that are truly integrated

PR efforts can also be used to support Marketing efforts of lead generation and paid campaigns. While PR teams can use Marketing knowledge in pitching media interviews and contributing to articles, the latter department can coincide media coverage with Marketing material like case studies, white papers, blogs, or refreshing website pages. A written case study with the primary intent to drive leads can become talking points about the product or service within an interview. Secured media coverage can be repurposed within email campaigns or blog posts. There are many opportunities for these two to work together to further drive their common goal and speed up your sales cycle. 

For example, PR can help generate leads by synching editorial calendars. Here’s how:

  • Digital ads can be strategically placed and used in targeted campaigns: Deploying display campaigns in the same outlets that you target for publication will expand your brand name recognition to target buyers and influencers.
  • Media coverage can be amplified on your website: An online newsroom or a section that lists and links to recent coverage will increase your visibility and showcase your active work. Your business partners and prospective customers will see it as well – media coverage makes a big impression and instantly contributes to credibility.
  • Social media can deliver extended mileage: PR coverage and marketing assets can be promoted on your social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as they’ve become the first choice for news for many.

Once all the above pieces are established, it will be easy to create integrated campaigns that further drive goals and speed up your sales cycle. By working in unison toward a shared goal that supports your brand and vision for the future,  you will be successful in driving measurable results faster with aligned departments. 

Not sure where to get started? We’re here to help.

Food metaphors aside, striking a harmonious balance between PR and Marketing– like that of the black and white keys on a piano — appeals to your customers’ senses. It’s seamless and captivating, and positions your organization to have an emotional appeal that draws them into your funnel. 

Conducting this symphony is what we do best at GMG. We seamlessly integrate our PR and Marketing efforts into one holistic approach that gets results for our clients. Our team of pros is 100% focused on helping your company grow. FAST.

Contact us today to discover how we can move the needle for your company by taking the right approach with an integrated PR and Marketing strategy.

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