In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Association of National Advertisers has created The Marketers' Constitution. Its goal is twofold: to acknowledge the marketing industry's many
contributions to our society, and to help the marketing profession move beyond the inefficiencies, limitations, restrictions and unknowns of the past to a new, effective, transparent, economical and
socially responsible model of marketing and media for the future.
The Marketers' Constitution sets forth what the ANA believes are ten essential "musts" of marketing for the next
100 years. These will help ensure that the industry thrives and continues to contribute to the growth of the nation's businesses -- as well as to the economic and social wellbeing of our society.
Read the entire Marketers' Constitution and show your support for its tenets by digitally signing at www.ana.net/constitution.
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The fourth tenet of the
Marketers' Constitution states, "Marketing must become more integrated and proficient in managing expanding media platforms." Marketing must flawlessly weave aligned brand messages across multiple
media and marketing channels -- including general advertising, digital, PR, direct marketing, event marketing, social networking, and other emerging disciplines. Including both online and offline
functions, this holistic approach to marketing communication guarantees a consistent and straightforward message and a corresponding use of media.
In ANA surveys, marketers consistently tell
us that integrated marketing represents their most significant challenge. There are many "moving parts" that must be considered. Managing them proficiently and simultaneously often confounds the very
best of marketers. Here's an array of challenges that the average marketer faces:
- Brand messaging must be consistent across multiple media platforms. These platforms are often targeted
at different audiences but must communicate similar brand impressions. One of the more obvious examples includes the integration of messaging across diverse multicultural and general market media.
- Business system integration is especially crucial -- particularly among multiple agency groups. Agencies may have responsibility for different media platforms. Often marketers
assign someone - either at the agency or the client -- to act as "integrator" to insure consistency. This is particularly necessary as marketers leverage digital and social platforms where tendencies
can diverge substantially among all players within the agency / client framework.
- Creative execution. Marketers' most persistent issue is consistency in the creative process.
Integration was far easier when digital executions were nothing more than "knock-off" television commercials. However, with the increasing importance of less traditional media like digital, social,
sponsorship and event marketing, tailoring fresh, intriguing creative executions is not an easy task.
- Media selection. As "media has become the new creative," media selection is as
imperative to reaching multiple targets - but doing so with aligned messaging. Critical to this task is the marketers' need to stay true to the brand's positioning. Integrated media selection must
reflect the brand values and the ability to successfully reach target audiences to generate product awareness and consideration.
- Marketing mix modeling. Integrated marketing
specialists need tools such as updated and rigorous marketing mix modeling to insure "bang for the buck" investments. Successful integrated marketing relies as much on understanding the appropriate
balancing of media selection as any decision a marketer must face.
- Accountability / Metrics. Understanding the impact of integrated marketing campaigns is as difficult and
perplexing as any for marketers. Of course marketers must have processes that help them understand the outcomes of the integrated effort. But, as important, marketers must determine how to evolve
brand campaigns from the analyzed metrics and measurements. This has become especially difficult recognizing that marketers are pouring increasing resources in media that are relatively young in
metrics and analytics.
- Skills / Staff development. Proficiency in integrated marketing is directly related to the proficiency of staff. With increasing integrated marketing
complexities, more training and development is absolutely essential to insure rising capability for marketers and other support individuals -- particularly at agencies.
A prime example
of a successful integrated marketing campaign is the American Express Open Forum for small businesses. It is a robust, conversational communications channel that serves multiples purposes. It is a
publication, a blog, a virtual Rolodex, a tech-enabled community, and a collaboration platform. This comprehensive, integrated initiative informs and inspires small business owners and continually
reinforces American Express' steadfast commitment to helping them succeed.
As ANA's fourth Marketers' Constitution tenet suggests, brands such as American Express will thrive when
organizations becomes increasingly proficient integrated marketers.