Marketing integration used to just refer to coordinating various channels so your audience would receive consistent messaging and greater frequency. This meant across traditional and digital, through paid, earned and owned media. However, true integration now means more: interacting with prospects and customers in ways that build a real relationship with your brand:
The customer’s voice has become an important part of the integration. This means we need to make the most of every customer interaction – marketing, sales, PR, customer service. This can be sending a teaser for additional products with an order confirmation, or providing an offer with a short survey after a customer service interaction. Better yet, don’t always promote, but trade off with valued content from care instructions to related articles.
Integrate with multiple screens and live events. Take advantage of digital media to ensure that it is magnifying your message instead of distracting from it. Think about the integration achieved when you live tweet during events, or offer additional content online during live events. You don’t have to be the Academy Awards to pull this off – local events and B2B conferences are providing additional, related content and interaction in ways that add real value for their audiences.
Exciting stuff… For larger companies, the greatest roadblock may be the silos of traditional business structure that make it difficult for departments to interact and communicate smoothly in real time. The Southwest Airlines social media effort, for example, now includes team members from operations, marketing and customer service all working together. While communication across the company can be easier for smaller companies, they often lack the bandwidth to stay on top of the fast evolving technology. At either end of the scale there are challenges – but also great opportunities.