The Real Joke About Marketing: Lack Of Integration

Yesterday I made a joke. It was April Fool's Day and in my April 1st blog post I decided to announce that I would only focus on the "right now" and devote my blog to talking about Twitter. Some people got the joke, while others loved the idea of another blog about Twitter. My point from the beginning of that post was entirely truthful – there is indeed something amiss in the world of marketing. And it cannot be solved by focusing just on what's happening right now, or by focusing on any one tool.

There is a plague facing the marketing world today, and it has to do with lack of integration. Strategy, advertising, PR, direct, interactive, social media, search, and many other marketing functions are all separated by departments or outsourced to a combination of agencies. In each case, internal or external political battles over budget and responsibilities ensue, and the end result is usually a marketing impasse at the expense of effectiveness. Not only does the right hand of a marketing group often not know what the left hand is doing – most of the time they end up arm wrestling.

The mission of this blog will always be to share useful marketing lessons and stories that go beyond just one tool, channel or category. The real power of marketing comes through integration, and the tragedy is how easy that is to forget. So the next time you hear someone suggest a Twitter strategy without talking about anything else around it, don't accept it. Seek more integration and demand it from the people you work with. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. Think in terms of hubs and extensions instead of single channels for a marketing effort.
  2. Respect the fact that marketing tactics you may not understand can actually work as well.
  3. Make integration someone's job to manage and ensure that it happens.
  4. Stop thinking of media consumption as an "either-or situation" – most people use multiple types
  5. Have consumers settle disagreements – ask them what is more important and focus there.

Now I can officially put the "twinfluential marketing blog" to rest.

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