Marketing Integration: A Well-Orchestrated Symphony of Efforts
If you have ever attended a live symphony concert, you have witnessed how the conductor coordinates a very talented team of professionals to collaborate on a given musical piece. With a keen attention to fine detail, the maestro calls upon each individual musician to execute his or her specific portion of the performance. By staying on task (the musical score) and lead by the conductor, the various musicians/instruments harmonize to deliver the beautiful music.
The symphony can serve as a metaphor for marketing campaigns; every individual effort matters and each element has a designated purpose. Proper marketing integration can help deliver impressive results (beautiful music), but it needs to be well-coordinated and disciplined. Without proper strategy and integration (musical score and maestro) marketing plans often disappoint their sponsors, despite very capable individual efforts (musicians). Quite simply, individual efforts are only valuable for their contribution to the larger effort. Rogue efforts can only diminish the collaborative effort. That is true for both orchestras as well as effective marketing campaigns.
So maestro, as a marketing executive, what steps can you take to ensure you are creating beautiful music? Consider these two simple things you can do improve your marketing integration and orchestrate an effective marketing campaign that will support your overall marketing strategy:
1. Challenge The Merit of Every Single Marketing Activity (a.k.a – “There are no small efforts”)
Many companies do a lot of marketing “things” and do not have a clear marketing vision. Frankly they confuse activity with accomplishment. Be aware that EVERY customer touchpoint (large or small) is either enhancing or detracting from your brand. In other words, there are no “small efforts”. They all matter. By definition, marketing is intended to change behavior. You want the target of your effort to do something different after they experience your initiative.
For each and every individual activity you must ask the question: How does this activity enhance my brand and increase the chances I will grow my business as a result? If you struggle with a positive response to this question, then skip the activity you were considering. You will be better off spending your precious resources elsewhere.
2. Define Success Criteria Up Front – and Measure Purposefully (a.k.a – “If it’s worth doing it is worth measuring”)
Considering the goal of changing behavior, now you need to know to what degree you are affecting change? At a recent meeting I was informed, “the Wed designer is building some new pages”. I quickly learned this was being done with little direction/strategy informing the designer. Those involved didn’t thing too much of it – “just a couple of new pages on the site” “What???” I thought to myself . . . After I finished cringing at the thought of a unfettered Web designer building pages “willy nilly” I asked two questions:
1. What are you trying to accomplish with these new web pages (what change are they affecting)?
2. How are you measuring how successful they are?
As you might have guessed, these questions were not asked up front before assigning the work to the Wed designer. Unfortunately there is a high likelihood that this was just a waste of time and money.
Do yourself a big favor and always ask these two questions before you consider ANY marketing effort. It will probably lead to other questions, and that is a good thing!