Stepping into a new world
The boundless iterations of marketing integration can be paralyzing due to a massive shift in the marketing paradigm over the last decade. Two forces have created this change: the evolution of the marketer-consumer communication model and the accelerating challenge of conceiving and managing brands in vastly more complex world. Acknowledging and stepping up to embrace this new world takes courage, resolve, and more-robust brand stewarding at all levels.
Much of the advertising world is still uncomfortable, or at least inexperienced, in shifting beyond broadcast or one-way communication models. It is much safer to send messages out to the great beyond, imagine a receptive audience, and wait for client praise. However, the alternative world we now inhabit forces advertisers to embrace two-way marketing strategies, which means marketers cannot hide behind the anonymity provided by mass communication models.
We are now marketing directly to individual target consumers, and creating cohesive marketing strategies in this world -- one where consumers can control the flow of information -- can be unnerving. This is a simple concept to grasp, but implementing integrated campaigns requires overcoming the branding mentality (circa the mid 20th century) in which marketers conceived, built, and nurtured iconic brands while somewhat protected from the consumers they sought to attract.
Even after a marketer has accepted and adapted to the changed communication model, the new challenge of campaign conception and management is doubly difficult. The lines have blurred between communication media, and marketers must do more than simply translate a campaign to "fit" into various channels. Effective campaign integration now requires a marketer to build complementary, poignant, and perhaps synergistic messaging and core value proposition strategies. In most cases, marketers are not equipped to transition to a completely integrated world. This is evidenced by eMarketer's finding that the three biggest impediments between a marketer and campaign integration are technology struggles, organizational inefficiencies, and managing multiple vendors.
Daunting as it might seem, marketers must wake up from their tunnel vision and complete the evolution toward integration. Starting with the acknowledging the paradigm shift, the following is a look at how to overcome the top roadblocks preventing marketers from the achievement of holistic campaign nirvana.