Integrated Marketing Communications: From Fragmentation to Integration

According to Steve McKee the No. 1 problem in today’s marketing environment is fragmentation. he states that more and more broadcasters, print outlets, and outdoor media are competing for attention, and new marketing channels pop up every day, from apps to publicity stunts and beyond. Social media is pervasive and everywhere.  The number of places we hit people with marketing messages these days is growing a lot faster than the number of eyeballs that can take them in, and as a result audiences  are becoming increasingly fragmented. That reduces the chance that any message has of getting through to your target audience.

Desktop and laptop purchases are giving way to shopping via smartphone—at a time when many organizations don’t even have a mobile website, to say nothing of e-commerce capabilities. The good news is that there is a powerful way to overcome fragmentation: integration i.e. integrated marketing communications.

Integration is not simply slapping a common tagline onto all your marketing communications, using a single color palette, or force-fitting a message that’s suited for one medium into another.  Integration means communicating aconsistent indentity from message to message, and medium to medium, and delivering consistently on that identity. It requires not only the identification of a powerful, unifying strategy and compelling voice for your organization, products and services but the discipline to roll it into every aspect of your organization.

To fight off fragmentation effectively, everything you do to attract, convert, retain, and engage your customers should be integrated. If your brand isn’t woven beyond your marketing efforts into your human resource practices, your training programs, even your employee evaluations, you’re leaving opportunity on the table.

That raises a question: If fragmentation is so damaging, and integration such a powerful counterforce, why don’t organizations implement an integration strategy more often? It’s not for lack of understanding, desire, or even intent in the minds of most marketers. It’s for lack of perseverance.

Put simply, integration takes time. It’s not easy to integrate a brand into a wide suite of processes, materials, and messages that have been shepherded by different people, driven by different objectives, and brought to life in different places within the organization. Many organizations simply don’t have the patience to see it through.

You may want to read  my article on integrated marketing communications espcially if you work in the public sector


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