Is your company producing great marketing that connects with your target audience and inspires action? If you’re like most organizations out there, the answer is no. Sure, there are pieces that stand out — a great tagline that sticks in our head or an innovative use of technology that gets a message out at just the right time — but, if we actually look at a typical marketing campaign from top to bottom, we’re going to see a lot of holes.
How do we make customers happy?
Having holes in a marketing campaign hurts performance and makes your customers unhappy. Your audience already feels overwhelmed by advertising and 69% feel that ads are more intrusive than ever. So, if you’re going to interrupt their day, you better get things right and the question is how. The answer is actually pretty obvious — through integrated marketing. Easy right? We all know that we’re supposed to work as a “team” in an integrated fashion with a singular focus on our customers and their experience. So why does this rarely happen in reality?
From my experience with dozens of companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small family businesses, three specific things get in the way of actually pulling off an integrated marketing strategy.
What gets in the way?
Data: There is so much data available to us right now. We can track the performance of our marketing campaigns to a greater extent than ever before. The problem is often teams looking at different data sets. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in a meeting where one team is talking about eyeballs and reach while another is talking about ROI and cost per acquisition. What’s the actual business goal and how are we measuring progress toward it?
Process: Most individual teams have standard operating procedures. Often, they were created by a department manager and work well for them. What happens when we need a cross-department process created? Who owns it, and how does it get created to each team’s liking? This can be a major pain and there are few volunteers for the job.
Politics: This is a nice way to say “ego.” To me, this is probably the biggest obstacle to integrated marketing. I’ve seen the absolute nicest, most team-oriented people in the world turn into total tyrants the moment they feel their value is being questioned and their livelihoods threatened. The irony is that this is almost never the case. Once an integrated campaign is running, you can quickly identify how all the pieces work together to drive results.
Notice the Obstacles
Be on the lookout for these three potentially blocking you from developing an integrated marketing strategy. They are difficult, but best addressed head on. Once you overcome them, it will be well worth the effort and your customers will thank you.