Marketing integration

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Where do key marketing insights come from? Where does creative inspiration come from? Where do sales come from? Nice questions, no?

Key market insights come from people (consumers or business buyers) and market data. Market data, however, is just an aggregation of consumer activity and the patterns they throw off. 

Creative inspiration, in this machine that is the marketing and agency business, comes from the creative brief. Where on the brief?  Many would like think it jumps from the boiled down “selling idea,” “key thought,” or “engagement trigger” — whatever it’s called these days. But realistically it comes from anywhere on the brief.  Inspiring creative people can’t be mapped, it just happens. People are complicated.

And sales? Sales come from stores, catalogs and websites but really from the hands and minds of people.  

So duh, the common denominator in this serial journey to a sale is people.  The most effective marketing teams are those who make all three legs of this stool work together.

This is your silo issue, not revenue by agency type or department.  It’s not about break though work. It’s not about sales spikes. Or the most powerful media tactic or database.  It’s about getting people to see patterns, inspire others, and learn what sells in a specific category – then forming a community around the brand that fosters those activities. Agencies come and go. Campaigns come and go. Communities (unless you’re the Aztecs) not so much. Peace!

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Here’s the thing: In marketing, part of winning is understanding your competitors’ weaknesses. Some marketers spend time shooting arrows. Others focus on building and presenting strengths — a less overt negative focus.  When I worked at a big NY ad shop with mondo-million dollar budgets, if the client wanted to do a formal acquisition program and use our direct arm, the agency begrudgingly agreed and teamed it up. It wasn’t quite Yankees and Mets — more like Mets and Binghamton Bisons (the farm team.)

As we saunter forth into the digital world we’re seeing more marketing silos grow daily. The silos will come down but it will take a while and a good deal of wealth redistribution in the meantime. Just as media was once siloed (print, TV, radio, OOH) and now better integrated, online and offline will come from one house.  Smart business people recognize this and are trying it out.  Ouch, they say, as the arrows hit them. Other smart business people are going negative, protecting their silos and they’re making money, if not friends. The web is often about removing boundaries. The sooner siloed ad, digital, direct and PR shops get on board, the sooner client market ROI and ROS (return on strategy) will hockey stick and change will really occur.   Peace!

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