Because of rapid changes in technology and the development of new media formats, many businesses find themselves in the position of operating poorly integrated marketing organizations. Companies are dealing with new channels, a surplus of data and a lack of control. As a result, businesses need to invest in better ways to integrate their marketing efforts. Doing so will allow them to control costs and present a more unified front to potential customers.
The Direct Marketing Association recently tackled this topic and points out that 98% of business use more than one medium for marketing. As a result, they have attempted to integrate their marketing elements as follows:
- Messaging across channels: 93.4%
- Timing of deployments: 88.6%
- Customers/prospect data: 85.5%
- Data analytics across channels: 83.9%
- Sequencing of channels: 81.4%
- Digital asset management: 78.5%
Unfortunately, these efforts are falling short. Only a little over 25% of businesses say their marketing integration efforts are effective. Two of the biggest impediments to integration are “organizational legacies and unclear business rules.”
While it can be difficult to institute organizational change, businesses are trying. And the change often starts with reducing duplicate creative teams. Currently, 46.4% of businesses operate with 1 creative team in place while 20% have 2 teams. An astonishing 11% of businesses are struggling to integrate 5 or more creative teams. In addition, the personnel charged with marketing oversight these days are also expected to be analytical. The heavy emphasis on data analysis also means that creative personnel must work well with the IT folks. That’s a big change from the past.
Bruce Biegel, Managing Director with Winterberry Group expects to see businesses reallocate people, design new technology platforms and populate them, and make a myriad of business process changes. In doing so, the most efficiently run organizations will have a jump on the competition with respect to managing their marketing programs.[Source: Rowing As One: Integrated Marketing Today. Direct Marketing Association. 2011. Web. 24 May 2011]