Where Has 'Integration' Gone?

It’s quite interesting that in today’s integrated world, where consumers are always "on," we no longer see elegant examples of integrated work.

Many case studies present models of consumer disruption from a single channel, whether it’s mobile, social, or even out-of-home.

So it leads me to ask: How does that help you, the harried CMO, who is trying to find efficient ways to build consumer engagement and deliver consistent omni-channel brand experiences that drive transactions?

Modern marketing is a combination of persuasion and influence. In this model, brands and agencies work together to create preference through various channels with strong messaging tied to a product's rational and emotional benefits -- and sometimes complemented by offers of discounts. We build influence by creating engaging experiences and utilities that create demand and brand advocacy. The combination of these two moves our consumers from a purely transactional behavior to a rich and mutually beneficial experience with our brand.



So why do some advertisers and agencies look at the world one silo at a time when, in fact, our media world is cross-referenced but brand messages across them are not completely integrated?

What if we looked at the world this way?

  1. Distributive value. The world has actually become very simple; if you don’t bring value, no one will buy your product or service. Marketers and agencies can spend all the time in the world developing what they think will be the best, most cost-efficient way to design underwear or aggregate travel vacations -- but if they don’t add intrinsic value, customers will not bite. Or buy. Moreover, value must trickle down from product to marketing. Jeff Bezos may think that “advertising is the price you pay for an unremarkable product,” but I would counter that advertising is only as powerful is your ability to unlock the value of your product and distribute it through your advertising. This model is about building platforms that engage at the sensory level, and at the moment of truth to convert intent to transaction at the site where transaction is possible -- in-store or online. This model will build an ongoing relationship with the customer.
  1. Interactions to transactions. If transactions are a measure of success, marketers must understand how to build interactions to drive transactions. These are not fleeting moments of check-ins or posts. This is about building the complete social layer throughout the total marketing/product ecosystem. Interactions are not deemed as a two-way street between brands and consumers, but rather a platform that also enables consumer-to-consumer relationship development within the context of a brand. In that context, you -- the CMO -- are the hero for enabling the conversation instead of being the inhibitor or the infiltrator. When applied throughout the path to purchase, interactions -- not the channel -- are the primary solution to driving transactions.
  1. Bites, not bits. The world is filled with "bits" of experiences, from the small engagement on YouTube to the sharelink you tapped while reading this article to the check you cashed with your app. It is through the alignment of touchpoints that we can drive material transactions and relationships. Instead of looking at each of these as discrete moments and actions in time, marketers need to look at the total ecosystem and understand what the "big bite" tastes like.

While many speak of this overly complex world we live in, I believe that it is really quite simple and logical. To win, marketers and agencies must take a leap together and not think one channel at a time. Product innovation is necessary, messaging to connect it through is critical, and building advocacy is paramount. A platform must be integrated from the ground up.

1 comment about "Where Has 'Integration' Gone? ".
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  1. Jeff Bander from Sticky, October 22, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

    Well said. The first step in engagement is did they see your communication. How does a Brand know? Click throughs are not relevant for Brands. 30% of all Screen impressions are not seen. No more guessing. EyeTrackShops patented biometric online eyetracking will tell you what was seen, not seen, how long it was seen and what percentage of people saw your communication. Eye's don't lie.

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