18 September 2008

Marketing Integration is a Journey, not a Destination

Integrated marketing. It seems like such a simple concept -- a common sense notion that a brand's marketing teams, both traditional and digital, need to be united in their efforts and messages. But in practice, is it really that simple?

Yesterday I was realized how difficult to find the solution within the meeting agenda, no one interested to discuss about the future activity, only stress on last week performances and upcoming targets. Same time we must think about innovative and impactful promotional methods, which is really impact (positive) on our future marketing plan.

However, David pointed out, "Meetings are an important part of mix, but they aren't a panacea." In integrating marketing efforts for hexpress portfolio, he said many of the needed changes involved shifts in mindsets rather than schedules. After all, Internet marketing departments will instinctually try to hold on to their power and budgets. True integration of efforts requires buy-in among top executives, he noted.

"If you want integration to happen, you have to be clear about your goals and objectives, as a leader, you have to throw yourself into that."

Overall, I identified three major challenges when it comes to integrating marketing efforts. The first is integrating digital with non-digital efforts-- a fairly straightforward challenge. The second challenge is integrating digital efforts among themselves and being able to measure the value of an entire digital campaign.

However, collectively, the audience members were optimistic that their integration efforts would be making great strides over the coming year.

"It's interesting how optimistic we are about the future; we face both people challenges and technical challenges. But the technical issues, we can overcome. At the end of the day, it's not a tools issue. It's an organizational issue."

Regardless, the panelists pointed out that the goal of "getting integrated" is not a finite task. that digital marketing integration is coming about because digital media have become widely accepted. However, new applications and techniques are emerging every day. And as new opportunities emerge, marketing organizations will continue to be challenged to integrate those opportunities with their existing efforts.

Integrated marketing is an ideal that has yet to be fully realized. It’s a quest that has no concrete destination. Marketing integration is being discussed within their organizations, but efforts are not as organized as they should be. The largest obstacles to integration, according to me, exist silos within different marketing units.