OPINION: RICHARD PINDER ON ... INTEGRATED MARKETING

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 our people.’

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

our people.’



Jack may have missed his true vocation. Substitute the word ’marketing’

for ’government’ and you have a very credible mission statement for our

industry.



Joined-up marketing communication is nothing new, whatever you call it:

integration, whole egg, total branding, orchestration or 360O

branding.



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

consumer.



At the risk of sounding like Alvin Hall, a disciplined four-point

approach would surely read something like this: insights, ideas,

execution, evaluation.



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

strategies.



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.



Sound familiar?



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