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Brian Gilbert

Why is ''integrated marketing'' important?

Brian Gilbert | Vice President, Integrated Marketing
4.22.2008       Comments (0)

Marketing Charts says "integrated marketing communications" is the number one priority of senior marketers. They surveyed 157 members of the Association of National Advertisers.

That's nice. But it looks like it may be putting the cart before the horse. The number two concern is "marketing accountability." And number six (!) is "advertising creative that achieves business results."

Dang. Integration is more important than getting results. Excuse me?

Don't get me wrong. I believe in integration. It's my job title, for Pete's sake. But if you can have cave men in one commercial and a gecko in another and make it all work for your brand – by which I mean "achieve business results" and ultimately grow revenue and profit – that's fine with me.

If your creative isn't achieving business results, why the heck do you care if it's integrated with anything else? If you don't have accountability, how do you know integrated marketing even works?

It makes me wonder… Do most firms in the U.S. run their business without a scorecard and disciplined approach? I don't think so. So is it just the marketing departments within them that tend to operate differently? Has marketing become a haven for people that love "creative" and "cool campaigns," but forget why they have a job and how their company makes money?

This study is another example of people drawing conclusions without having a clue about the big picture.

"The rapidly evolving marketing landscape demands an integrated approach," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. "The survey findings confirm that integrated marketing is one of the foundational pillars the ANA believes are critical to create a transformed marketing environment."

Come on. "Transformed marketing environment"? We’re all grownups here. Business is competitive. Frankly, business is cut-throat. Every CEO expects employees to show up every day and play to win. If they aren't, they shouldn’t be there if you ask me. Marketing shouldn't be held to a different standard than their colleagues in Sales or Manufacturing.

If you're not measuring everything against your business results and holding people (and your creative) accountable, how can you expect to win? Heck, are you even competing?