Consider the following from a recent speech by the minister for the
Cabinet Office, Jack Cunningham: ’Our aim is ’joined-up government’ -
removing the barriers between different organisations so they can work
together to achieve our policy objectives in a coherent and effective
way, to deliver services that are more responsive to the real needs of
Jack may have missed his true vocation. Substitute the word ’marketing’
for ’government’ and you have a very credible mission statement for our
Joined-up marketing communication is nothing new, whatever you call it:
integration, whole egg, total branding, orchestration or 360O
We all claim to have invented it. Secretly we all know that much of it,
though not all, has so far failed. Why?
Conflict of interest is one reason. Too many attempts at integration
have foundered on the internecine wrangling between agencies and their
various ’partners’ over issues of separate P&Ls and unseemly scrambling
for the largest slice of pie.
Somewhere in this volatile mix the client, not to mention the brand and
the consumer, can end up relegated to second place or lower. True
integration has to be about the pursuit of media-neutral ideas that can
be executed at every point of contact between the brand and the
At the risk of sounding like Alvin Hall, a disciplined four-point
approach would surely read something like this: insights, ideas,
The insights need to include business insights as well as the consumer
insights traditionally supplied by planners.
Generating business insights will help to push agencies back upstream
towards the boardroom, but it means having a proper understanding of
data and knowledge management technology, modelling and financial
Ideas must be flexible enough to translate between whatever discipline
best suits the brand profile. Unfortunately, many creatives feel that
the move towards integration has downgraded their role. Nonsense! They
are more important than ever.
Execution must be of uniform quality across any number of media, not
just TV, press and poster. Some can probably be outsourced, but quality
control remains the agency’s responsibility.
Crucially, evaluation must be rigorous enough to withstand the scrutiny
of client finance directors, not just the marketing department. It must
also be fed back properly into the on-going process.
OK, so it looks daunting, but there are enough good examples around -
AA, The Gap, Nike, IBM - to demonstrate the size of the prize. For any
agency not content to be a standalone niche player, it is likely to
become the only game in town.
To return to our marketer manque, Mr Cunningham, he’s about to deliver a
White Paper outlining the four aims of joined-up administration: more
strategic policy making, joined-up delivery of policy and services,
achieving information-age government and renewing trust.