Posts Tagged ‘integrated marketing’
I just received an interesting comment on my “For Hire” post that asked:
“Are there really any leading authorities – aside from published authors – on integrated marketing and communications? There are a lot of self-promoters who claim expertise in what is usually “the obvious”.
This comment, while obviously an attempt to discredit my experience, made me realized that there are probably many marketing professionals out there that have the same misunderstanding and misperception when it comes to understanding the theory and benefits of true integration.
I want to help fix that.
From the dawn of its time, which would be about 1993, when the “Fathers of Integration” Schultz, Tannenbaum and Lauterborn wrote The New Marketing Paradigm: Integrated Marketing Communications, integration has always been based in customer-centric (putting the customer at the center of the organization) and data-driven marketing. Unfortunately, marketers conveniently ignored the customer-centric, data-driven part of integration. We’ll get to that in a bit…
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Failed icon. Sounds like dismal hook to hang one’s hat on doesn’t it? Especially given that most of us have such an aversion to failure in life and business—or even being associated to failure in any way.
When you think of failure, would you consider someone who:
- has spent a large amount of their career on educating and helping corporations and marketers to become customer-centric;
- is a Professor Emeritus at a well-known university that has a graduate program to educate students in being data-driven to ensure that customers’ needs and wants are met;
- has written over 10 books on subjects like driving and determining brand value and measuring ROI; and
- was named one of the 80 Most Influential People in sales and marketing a failure?
No, I wouldn’t either.
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I have the honor of being a part of the new Social Media Council of Advisors for the Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) and last Thursday we had our first Q&A webinar with MENG members. Other council members include: Amber Naslund, Mack Collier, Drew McLellan, Joe Pulizzi and Paul Dunay.
Last Thursday we had a Q&A webinar with MENG members. There were a lot of great questions, but one question really struck me and I wanted to share it here because it speaks to why integrated marketing and communications is critical.
“All of the panelists agree that social media are exciting new ways to listen and communicate, but they are basically new tools. So how do we get across to the marketing community that boring old marketing disciplines still apply and how do we get rid of this silly dichotomy between social media marketing and classic marketing.”
My basic response was that social media tools are not new and some have been around for ten years or more. And second, there isn’t a dichotomy because social media needs to be integrated.
I think this is a serious discussion that needs to take place because there marketers and marketing executives who have been given the wrong impression or direction when it comes to social media.
Integrating Social Media
First, I am not a fan of the term ‘social media marketing’ because a) it silos social media from other marketing communications tactics and other marketing disciplines and b) because a lot of folks out there are implementing social media tools without understanding the nature (or theory) of marketing as a whole. Second, as an integrated marketing practitioner, I totally disagree that ‘social media marketing’ is replacing classic marketing (or the theory that comes with it).
What’s new and important is how these tools are being used in business; how we have a window into what our customers are really thinking, where they interact, how to engage with them, etc.; and how we now have data to serve our customers BETTER.
But this notion of knowing our customers isn’t anything new…that’s basic marketing (and I mean ALL of marketing here, not just the promotional aspect of marketing), public relations and communications.
While CRM systems have been the tool of choice for keeping track of customers and extracting data they never really allowed marketers to put faces to names (unless there’s some stealth way to take a photo and add it to your CRM), to listen to conversations or to actively engage in a two-way manner. The only tool that allows that is social media.
The key to integration today is simple. Marketers need to be flexible, able to adjust, and most importantly able to provide pertinent AND timely information when, where and how customers/potential customers need/want it. Social media allows for that across all areas of marketing (product, pricing, promotion and distribution).
Who/What Is Creating the Dichotomy?
I think the most important issue here, however, is who/what is creating the dichotomy? Who or what is causing marketers to think that it’s an either/or situation?
Is it that we’ve been siloed for so long and that there hasn’t been a good job with integration to begin with? We only need to look at E-Mail Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Direct Marketing to get a sense of the answer.
As social media evangelists and practitioners we need to truly understand what is going on in our industry. Otherwise, we are doing a disservice to our customers and future as marketers.
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For a long time I focused on marketing, PR and social media, but rarely the integration of them all. The focus of The Harte of Marketing for 2010 (and perhaps beyond) will be integrated marketing & communications. While integrated marketing communications (IMC) is nothing new, the embracing of social media surely puts IMC back in the spotlight as its principles are similar to long-standing IMC principles.
I have often said that social media isn’t shaking the foundations of marketing or public relations; it’s just driving us home to our roots, which seem to be long forgotten. The same is true of the integration of communications (advertising, branding, PR, direct marketing, etc.) or marketing functions (the 4 Ps)…many people have been integrating since the 90s and for them this will be nothing new, but I hope to add a few twists and turns even they weren’t expecting.
The Eight Guiding Principles of IMC
I am a long-time student of Don Schultz (interview with Don), professor emeritus-in-service of integrated marketing communications, Northwestern University, as well as Larry Percy, Clarke Caywood, Robert Lauterborn, Philip Kotler and all the other folks who worked diligently to put customers at the forefront of our marketing and communications. While times have changed since they first wrote and educated on IMC, the need to prove value to management has not. These are the eight guiding principles from Don Schultz’s book “IMC: The Next Generation. Five Steps for Delivering Value and Measuring Returns Using Marketing Communications.(2003)”
- Principle 1: Become a Customer-Centric Organization
- Principle 2: Use Outside-in Planning
- Principle 3: Focus on the Total Customer Experience
- Principle 4: Align Consumer Goals with Corporate Objectives
- Principle 5: Set Customer Behavior Objectives
- Principle 6: Treat Customers as Assets
- Principle 7: Streamline Functional Activities
- Principle 8: Converge Marcom Activites
These principles don’t seem earth-shattering, do they? Then why is it many organizations today still struggle? Helping organizations make these principles a normal course of their business operations (and more!) will be the focus here and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!