The New Oreo, Part 2: The Integration Layer

Over the past two Drift posts, I've suggested that sales leaders need to think about their business on three levels in order to maximize revenue. In this post, we explore 'the Integration Layer,' in which marketers want their brands and messages to truly become a part of your user experience.

First, let me say emphatically that this is not your father's sponsorship business. The 'Integration Layer' of your business involves deals and ideas that may take weeks or months to incubate and plan. It necessitates going beyond the confines of ad inventory and into the realm of larger marketing goals. It's almost always client (not agency) facing. And it involves a different breed of seller. As you the sales leader considers how and how often you go to bat for these kinds of relationship deals, here are some rules of thumb to follow:

  1. Enterprise Sales call for Enterprise Sellers: Some team members will be good at pushing digital paper back and forth with agencies, optimizing buys and so forth. They're not your front line people on Integration Layer deals. Consider sellers who can handle matrixed decision making, can stay with a deal for weeks or months, and can draw clarity from confusion. Ex-enterprise software sellers, those who've sold events, or agency account people thrive in these roles.
  2. You'll Always Know They're Coming: Integration Layer deals don't fall off the back of 48 hour RFPs. You'll want your hand-picked team of Enterprise Sellers sniffing these opportunities out months in advance.
  3. Build Collaboratively: This kind of deal is not a talent show or a beauty contest. As talented as your marketing and creative people are, de-emphasize the pretty pictures and slick demos. You'll earn the deal through hours of hard work and whiteboarding in the clients office.
  4. Even When You Lose You Often Win: As I wrote recently in "The Downstream Effect," you won't get every integration deal you pursue, but the act intelligently pursuing them will feed the overall success of your business.

True integration of clients brands and ideas into your site experience takes time and effort. It's not a part time job for a full-time transactional seller. Think hard about the staffing and execution you put around it.

Next Up: The New Oreo, Part 3: The Audience Layer