Marketing orchestration is a powerful approach in marketing automation and ABM. It focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns but on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that together make up an individualized customer experience.

Marketing orchestration is an elegant concept: By coordinating all the interactions your revenue team has with a customer, you provide a pleasant buying experience—and realize more pipeline and revenue while you're at it.

Although the concept of orchestration is relatively simple, putting it into practice can be less so. That's where "plays" come in.

In orchestration, "a play is a series of steps that orchestrates interactions across departments and channels to achieve a business purpose for one or more buying centers at target accounts," according to ABM company Engagio. It divides plays into five categories:

  1. Intent and engagement plays are a good way to make sure you're getting the most out of your intent and engagement data, hence the name. Use them when a potential buyer is in the research and discovery phase.
  2. MQA plays should be used when a prospect has reached Marketing-qualified account status and you're trying to get them to take a meeting. They shouldn't be receiving communication from Marketing, since those are designed for a different stage of the funnel.
  3. Shake the tree plays are great for when you've had prospects talk to Sales, but then they've gone dark. Letting go of these prospects means letting go of potential deals, so it's worth the effort to re-engage.
  4. Closed won plays (retention, expansion, advocacy) are important in a SaaS environment, since you have renewals, cross-sell, upsell, and customer advocacy to consider. Customers deserve orchestrated marketing too...
  5. Closed lost plays are here to catch you when the deal falls through. They can help you learn what you did wrong so that you don't repeat the same mistakes, or they help you to poach them from your competition (or a little bit of both).

To see example plays from each category and more information about orchestration, check out the following infographic and download this e-book (reg. required) from Engagio:


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What Is Marketing Orchestration? [Infographic]

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image of Vahe Habeshian

Vahe Habeshian is the director of publications at MarketingProfs and a longtime editor. Reach him via

LinkedIn: Vahe Habeshian

Twitter: @habesh