It's a rather simple word to say, just four syllables. It's an easily understood word on the surface - at least I think it is. Its meaning is quite apparent the moment you hear it. Yet so many CMO's and marketers treat this 11-letter word as if it were a 4-letter word.
And I don't know why for the life of me.
The word that continues to elude and evade CMOs and marketers is *I*N*T*E*G*R*A*T*I*O*N.
And as anyone who knows me knows this about me - I am a Scorpio who enjoys hot chocolate in August. No wait, not that.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge proponent of and believer in creating and using an integrated marketing approach. So much so I have written numerous columns espousing the virtues of an integrated marketing strategy.
- In a September 13, 2011 column titled Marketers Still Not Integrating Their Marketing Strategy I quote Mark Fodor, the CEO of CrossView, a cross-channel commerce solution provider in discussing the findings of a study on integration and the lack thereof said "The opportunity for merchants to become more cross-channel is there, but they need to learn how to communicate with their customers across channels and not fall into silos." Silos. Now there's a 4-letter word for they are a major barrier in achieving integrated marketing success.
- In my September September 23, 2011 article Integrated Marketing - The Holy Grail Of Marketing? I make reference to a study conducted by Forbes and Coremetrics called Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing from which the following was gleaned: "Marketing's biggest challenge appears to be presenting a consistent, unified brand across multiple customer touch- points-on the Web, on social media, via mobile devices, and through traditional brick-and-mortar."
- My November 3rd, 2011 post What Schoolhouse Rock And Integration Have In Common where I rewrite the lyrics to a classic Schoolhouse Rock ditty but also share the results of a survey of consumers. Pay close attention to the boxes marked "Consistency" and the big difference between what consumers want (ideal) and what they are getting (current)
- And finally my December 14th, 2011 piece Marketing Integration: What Every Marketer Wants For Christmas where I shared the findings of a survey done of over 500 marketing professionals who identified the #1 thing they want to learn about:
So it's quite apparent that a) I am big supporter of marketing integration, b) consumers want it and, c) not many marketers are doing it.
But Wait, There's More
The latest proof that CMOs and marketers are still not practicing the fine and apparently lost art of integration comes courtesy of a Forrester survey of nearly 100 CMOs and marketing VPs this past February.
In that particular survey 92% of respondents agreed that while social media has "fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands" only 49% of them said they integrated social media into their overall marketing strategy.
However, Tracy Stokes, the principal Forrester analyst behind the survey indicated there may be light at the end of the tunnel saying marketers are "just now stepping back to see how the jigsaw fits into their marketing plan."
Call me cynical but I will believe it when I see it when it comes to true integration across all marketing channels across the board for every single, solitary company on God's green Earth.
Ok, I'll settle for slightly less than that.
Sources: Forrester, Google Images
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review, Steve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email,Twitter, LinkedIn or his website.