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 reporter’s package 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 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). Yet others see it as a force-field that locks 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’s the hoary question of whose job it is to marshall the whole process. Are chief integration officers the answer? Aprais UK argues that client marketers need to step up to the plate and lead the interconnectedness piece 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, CMOs are projected to spend more on information technology 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.