To integrate means “to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole” as defined by Webster.
I have learned from my time “client side” that integrated marketing means more than just combining messages into one blended theme across all mediums. An agency or marketing department can only use the content and insights that are provided to them. And many messages that are off target, or voice, come from parts of an organization that are (rightfully) looking out for their own interests.
Integrated marketing means sitting in uncomfortable chairs that rarely have sitters. It means sending unsolicited emails. It means reaching into bowls of candy or nuts that haven’t seen a hand since it was filled.
In short, integrated marketing is relationship marketing. If you want to transform the marketing of your organization, get out of your office and make some new friends. There is an undercurrent of ideas, activities and content right outside your door.
One piece of advice prior to any encounter within your organization. Put yourself in their shoes and answer the question What’s In It For Me? (WIFM). If you come prepared with reasons that pertain to these individuals on why they should buy into your vision of integrated marketing, you will undoubtedly convince them to give up the goods.
And for your troubles, you’ll get two things: a handful of stale nuts and a friend who is less likely to go rogue and more likely to join the brand bandwagon.