Tracking the Challenges of Integrated Marketing

Mar 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

One of the bigger issues planners must grapple with today is integrated marketing. A recent survey by Advertising Age and the New York American Marketing Association indicates just how hard these efforts are to execute and measure effectively.
When asked what the toughest part of integration was, 89 of the survey’s 208 respondents said “ensuring strategy is consistently executed in all forms.” Separately, 67 respondents said the second-toughest aspect of integrated marketing was “measuring the success of different aspects of a campaign.”
However, when one breaks down these answers by clients surveyed vs. agency executives surveyed, it is only the majority of agency executives who see that the toughest part of integration is making sure strategy is executed consistently across all platforms of an integrated deal. That answer only ranked as the second-toughest part of integration, according to clients surveyed. Their No. 1 toughest issue was measuring the success of various elements of the campaign.
The No. 3 concern of clients was “devising strategy that works across numerous platforms.” That was the No. 4 concern of the agency executives surveyed.
One participant, Drew Neisser, president-CEO of New York-based guerrilla specialist Renegade Marketing Group, said that a basic problem is in defining what “integrated” actually means. He was surprised to hear some advertising executives describing campaigns as “integrated” purely because they employed TV, print and radio. Mr. Neisser prefers to see “integration” instead as a strategy that employs a variety of marketing disciplines.
Just who is in charge of integration efforts is also up for some debate. While a majority of respondents (107 executives) said it is the client, most ad agencies-74 percent-said they were in charge. But only four client-side executives-or 7 percent-cited their agencies as the lead party on integration.
Survey respondents also expressed thoughts about some barriers to integration. Said one agency executive, “The compensation of integration programs is a problem. Clients need to understand that each discipline has a cost that is different.” Working with companies that were organized into silos was another major issue cited. Another executive wrote: “There’s never enough money to do a fully integrated marketing effort.”