Marketing Minds Think It’s Great To Integrate

    March 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Call it the Minority Report effect on the advertising world, as the Association of Network Advertisers (ANA) has seized upon "Integrated Marketing Communications" as the top concern of some of the most senior marketing executives working today.

Reaching the customer means coordinating an entire marketing campaign so that it persists in its relevancy whenever the customer makes contact with a brand. That’s integrated marketing communications, at least as Wikipedia has it recorded.

ANA blogger Will Waugh discussed his organization’s survey of over a hundred senior marketers at their Marketing Maestros blog. While the formal presentation of the survey’s results won’t happen until an October conference, Waugh listed the top ten issues weighing on the shoulders of the marketing influential.

"Integrated marketing being number 1 does not surprise me, nor should it anyone else in this space as the marketing landscape continues to transform," Waugh said.

The top four results shuffled around from the 2006 list, with accountability dropping from first to second. It could be that marketers are more comfortable with their ability to handle a potential crisis in 2007, enough to concentrate on the more visionary aspects of integrated communications.

The top ten looked like this:

  1. Integrated marketing communications
  2. Accountability
  3. Aligning marketing organization with innovation
  4. Building strong brands
  5. Media proliferation
  6. Consumer control over what and how they view advertising
  7. Globalization of marketing efforts
  8. Growth of multicultural consumer segments
  9. Advertising creative that achieves business results
  10. Attracting and retaining top talent

That last result grabbed Waugh’s attention; he asked, "The real question for those of us marketers out there is, should we be concerned that ‘attracting and retaining top talent’ is the least of their worries?"

There are a couple of people the WebProNews writers keep a virtual eye on, out of the many who comprise the search industry niche and the greater world of tech. Danny Sullivan requires no introduction to our readership, while former Valleywag writer turned contributor Nick Douglas and his nine-month run on that site may have been under the radar to many.

Both guys are immensely talented writers, and have hit the ground running with their new endeavors. One might be inclined to think their former sites, Search Engine Watch and Valleywag, may have suffered from their departures.

Looking at a Compete Snapshot for each tells a different story. Both sites have blossomed in traffic without their best-known talent; it must be cautioned that Compete does not track international visitors, which could impact either of them negatively.

Search Engine Watch dipped as November 2006 ended and Danny left the site. The next month saw traffic begin an increase that continued to rise through February 2007. Valleywag’s unceremonious dumping of Douglas in early November 2006, in favor of a "more money, less sex" edict from Gawker publisher Nick Denton, has seen traffic rise from then until January, when it began to decline.

A site can continue without its signature talent. The marketing executives who serve as movers and shakers feel the same way about their initiatives. Talent matters, but maybe not as much as some may think, especially in the corner offices of senior ad people.