Interconnected: Marketing manoeuvres amid seismic shifts

Marshalling interconnectedness is a minefield and a task made harder by the increasing demands put on marketers

Malicious obedience, jeopardy, hand grenades… are we really only talking about marketing?

We recently hosted a meeting of marketing minds around the breakfast table at London’s Haymarket Hotel to discuss the challenges and major wins of interconnectedness.

Despite it being a hugely genial affair, some of the descriptions that bubbled up during the conversation would have found a natural home in a war correspondent’s report for News At Ten.

It’s a telling reflection of the myriad intricacies, minefields and invasion tunnels that beset anyone charged with making interconnectedness work. 

The very notion of interconnectedness itself is up for dispute.

For some, it’s about the connective tissue that runs through a communications campaign. For others, it’s the embodiment of the brand within its communications (see Iris Worldwide on brand integrity). But others see it as a force field that binds together consumer needs and a satisfying user experience across platforms, devices, content and journeys (check out MBA and TVC Group’s takes on this). 

Then there is the hoary question of whose job it is to marshal the whole process. Are chief integration officers the answer? Aprais UK argues that client marketers need to step up to the plate and lead interconnectedness much more than they currently do. According to its evaluations, agencies appear to be doing a better job of collaborating than marketing teams are doing of leading. 

Perhaps that should come as no surprise, however, given the rapid metamorphosis of the chief marketing officer role. And this expansion of remit is only set to grow – Accenture reports that, by 2017, chief marketing officers are projected to spend more on IT and analytics than chief information officers. 

With such a shifting of ground rules and the explosion of interconnections and interconnectedness, we should bet on more friendly fire, not less.

Suzanne Bidlake, commercial editor, Campaign Content Labs,
Haymarket Brand Republic Group

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