The integration philosophy is born from seven concurrent trends (for more on this, stay tuned), but the challenge is that each “one” tends to function in its own differing ways. In effect, true integration often stalls very quickly because we look for limited bridges between one or two areas in our organization, versus looking for customer-led moments where we can test, prove and broadcast the value of integration across a much wider gamut.
Seven drivers of integration:
1. Wastage: Marketing is increasingly under pressure to show ROI. Integration portrays much less of a “waste-oriented mantra” than channel-only or share of voice (driven by awareness activities).
2. C-suite lexographic shift: Increasingly c-suites talk about customer journeys and pathways. These views need a more customer-based lens. Integration offers a logical step towards achieving this by talking about combining elements through the journey.
3. Online makes it much easier to track and act faster: Social and digital allow you to track activities in near real-time. This means it is a touch easier to monitor, or at least correlate with simple regressions. For example, what happens when activity A and activity B happen together or in sequence? It is about measurable baby steps to some (apologies for misquoting Bill Murray in the film What About Bob).
4. Budget shortsightedness: SOX forces a lot of late-in-the-quarter investment models and it rarely gives marketers time to roll out large, complex programs. Integration offers a simple process that feels closed-looped enough to quickly justify a change in short-term available funds by the next quarterly scramble. It feels a little like trench warfare (a few inches at a time), but it is the reality of where we are, especially in U.S.-led organizations.