Cross Media: Not a Sure Thing Yet

It just might have been the most hotly debated topic in the advertising world for 2002. But where does “integrated marketing” stand in the New Year? According to a new survey in the online magazine Reveries marketing execs still aren’t sold on the concept.

The survey, of 200 marketing executives showed the audience noncommittal about the current state of Integrated Marketing. However, none questioned the value of this approach. “This would seem to indicate that the disconnect lies more in the area of implementation rather than a faulty vision for the concept itself,” says Reveries.

“Some of the most common obstacles respondents cited for implementing Integrated Marketing are organizational silos within companies, a lack of clear agency leadership and the need for better and broader cross training of staff members,” says Caren Berlin, CEO of Arc Marketing, who sponsored the study. “They also mentioned the need for improved information resources, better measurement capabilities and even changes in compensation structures that would gauge total performance, not just discipline-specific work.”

When asked to what degree has the promise of integrated marketing been delivered, 10% responded “not at all,” while another 79% answered “somewhat.” In terms of gearing up for integrated marketing, both agencies and marketing departments appear to be falling far short of the mark. One-quarter of those surveyed (25%) feel that agencies have not organized themselves to deliver on the promise of integrated marketing.

The survey asked marketers to identify the skill sets they feel marketers need to make integrated marketing a reality and how they can be acquired. “It was interesting, the responses seemed to crystallize around several recurring themes,” Berlin says. “They encompass the need for better top-down communications of company visions and goals, more media-neutral behavior, a broader use of research and, perhaps most interestingly, a willingness to take risks with different communications options.”