Marketers today and brands have many more choices than even a few years ago about the promotion of their products and services with integrated marketing campaigns. So, which channels will be used? Will traditional advertising be included, all digital, or a mix of both? Which social channels are most effective for the product or service? Will email marketing be used? If so, what is the health of the email marketing list, have the emails been vetted, and are they updated?  Will the integrated marketing campaign use multiple social channels like Facebook and Twitter? Will YouTube video be used alongside mobile marketing?

Regardless of the channels, brands and their agencies have learned that the content from each will require modification across other channels. To illustrate this, we can look at traditional print marketing. Does a print ad translate well for the web or does it need content? And if it needs content, what will the tone be, and should it be keyword rich or use hashtags? If so, which ones? As it moves beyond print, does the content need links? Which outbound and inbound links are the best?

One thing’s for sure, for integrated marketing campaigns to be successful, marketing teams must be working in sync.

If several team members are working on one integrated marketing campaign, the teams will need to be working in sync and towards the same goals and objectives. There are a few reasons this is important:

—Working as a team helps ensure each member is on the same page.

—When multiple teams manage one integrated marketing campaign, the brand and its message can get lost. Keeping everyone working together helps the campaign messaging stay consistent.

—When outside teams are involved, the potential for the message to get lost increases. Teamwork becomes even more critical when any part of the team moves outside. When this happens, having an in-house touchpoint, such as a creative director, review all pieces helps ensure consistency and the campaign not lose strength across the touchpoints.

—While many aspects are involved in creating and managing integrated marketing campaigns, taking steps to get—and keep—teams on the same page will support the campaign’s outcome.

Here are three of our favorite tools for creating efficient and in sync creative teams.

—Use collaboration tools. Research shows that approximately 20% of the work week is spent tracking down internal information to accomplish a task. At Savy Agency, we use Asana and find it to be one of the most accessible tools for teams to stay in sync. We use Asana for both projects and campaigns to track work and get results.

—Human time. We’re in a digital era. But that doesn’t mean human interaction isn’t necessary. In-person team meetings are a great way to accomplish several items at one time. And they also diminish the amount of back and forth questions or other details typically sent by email.

—Encourage creativity. Especially during campaign ideation phases but also useful as a standard practice, team brainstorming sessions are great ways to get the creativity moving within work teams and especially team members working on different phases and aspects of a campaign. We sometimes use our bi-weekly team meeting time to engage in non-screen activities. This can help to encourage engagement and help everyone improve team skills. Team building activities are also great ways to discover strengths and talents of team members.

—Creativity isn’t perfect. It’s messy. But it does need structure, especially for efficiency and productivity when it comes to managing integrated marketing campaigns. Creativity and creative thinking can exist alongside the tools and processes to create work that’s both creative and powerful.

In addition to using well-synced teams to develop and manage integrated marketing campaigns, there are a few other essential steps to developing a successful integrated marketing campaign.

Know your market. As with any marketing communications, knowing who you’re marketing to, including distinct demographic and psychographic profiles, will help develop messaging that connects. Additionally, this will assist in both the placement and demographic targeting, as you’ll have a leg-up on preferences and interests.

Know your mediums. Just because Twitter and Pinterest exist doesn’t mean that’s where the customer is. Early research into channel usage will help in selecting channels. In the end, the more tightly-targeted integrated marketing campaigns are, the higher relevancy they have. The means less wasted spend and a better experience for the user.

Know your brand. What is the visual identity of the brand, the key messaging of the campaign and how do the two collide to create something beautiful? There should always be an intended connection with the message sent.

Know your channels. Does one team manage the paid search campaigns while another manages the social campaigns? With integrated marketing, you’re driving traffic through different touchpoints. Ensure that the messaging is integrated and appropriate for each channel and that the final touchpoint, whether it’s a store, a website landing page, or another channel, is optimized for the experience of the user.

Know your tracking. With most everything online, most everything can be tracked. Are you using campaign-based extensions, barcodes, and landing pages? Are you tracking the success of the keywords used? And are you collecting the data to track the metrics? With tools such as Analytics, Search Console, Moz, Supermetrics, Data Studio and more, campaign tracking is easy. It just takes some knowledge—and teamwork.

Evolve always

Remember, at the end of the day, integrated marketing campaigns take work, time, creativity and well-synced teams working together. Things won’t always run flawlessly, and collaboration won’t always be perfect. And that’s OK. As creative director at Savy, I’ve seen some of our most innovative concepts and ideas following imperfection. So learn from the process, and make your teams tighter and your campaigns stronger.

—Have fun out there, Christina