Integrated Marketing Is Made Of People

There has been much discussion about the fragmented and chaotic ad technology landscape.  My thoughts on a solution for this will be a topic for a future column, but one thing is clear:  user interaction with multiple channels is converging rapidly, and technology providers are quickly trying to bridge the gap.  A potential customer is more likely than ever to interact with multiple channels before purchasing your product.  While technology certainly plays a role in navigating these uncharted waters, marketing organizations also need to look inward to discover what else is holding them back.

Marketer, Heal Thyself

Marketing organizations are often made up of separate factions that work off different systems and often strive to fulfill different goals. Imagine a rowing team where every oarsman is pushing in a different direction, at a conflicting rhythm, while not being able to see the others on the boat. They may go somewhere eventually, but it is most likely just downstream.



 This is not meant to be a slam on marketers at all.  On the contrary, each oarsman is rowing as hard as he can in the direction he thinks is best for the team -- but it does little good if the entire team is not working in concert.  This is why, when facing the convergence of media interactions, getting resources in alignment through organizational change is just as -- if not more -- important than technological change.

When Everyone Works Together

There are more de-centralized resources within the marketing organization than ever before. Think about your marketing organization… there are probably paid search specialists, display marketers, marketing analytics, data geeks, software specialists, digital media buyers, web managers, brand marketers, social marketers, and more. Search marketers need to stay ahead of this curve to make sure they are working closely and share goals with other sides of the business.  It is imperative to align all groups to work together rather than against each other. Reward teams on shared goals and be sure that everyone is fighting for more sales overall and not just getting the most credit for the sales that already exist. Track and analyze accurate attribution data and truly understand the paths to conversion in order to take a wide view of the combined efforts.

The Road to Alignment

Organizational realignment may look differently if you are a small or large marketer, part of an agency or of an in-house team, but your goals should be the same:

  • Performance metrics -- If your data is properly attributed, you should be working towards the same metrics whether you are talking display or search advertising.
  • Communication – There should be no barriers in communication across your structure – teams should not feel that they are competing for marketing dollars and should learn each others’ language to be able to work cohesively.
  • Technology – Each department’s systems need to talk to each other (or better yet, be under a single system). To accomplish this, it is important for your engineers and various data pros to be a part of this realignment process.


Of course none of this is easy, and I’ve just scratched the surface of what you need to achieve integrated marketing.  Once your teams and goals are aligned and integrated, there is still much work to be done integrating the rest of your marketing world, but by completing this first step you will be in a much better position to do so.

1 comment about "Integrated Marketing Is Made Of People".
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  1. David Burdon from Simply Clicks, February 7, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.

    A short but too often accurate summation of the problem. The problem is probably worse within clients than within agencies. This problem can only be solved by leadership systems that continuously promote the customer/client value imperative. Its amazing that organisations as small as a typical marketing can become siloed to the detriment of the wider business.

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