Can’t We All Just Get Along? 3 Big Ideas for Integrating Marketing Disciplines
In preparation for the launch of Social Media Zone and this debut post, I began asking the question “Can’t we all just get along?” across the various disciplines – PR, Marcom, Advertising, IR, and Social Media – and for most marketing professionals, the answer was decidedly NO.
When I inquired further, the story that unfolded was one of misaligned priorities and incentives, lack of coordinated scheduling, combative zero sum goals, and an absence of metric driven performance standards. I found some pretty ugly stuff and a very tangled mess indeed, much of which I could not repeat in polite company.
To step outside of that echo chamber of finger pointing, old school broadcast methods rooted in yesterday’s good enough, and general inter-discipline distrust, I want to share three big ideas I have been ruminating on about the integration of marketing.
You should consider this only a starting point of the conversation and please share your opinions about it in the comments below – all points of view are welcome here.
Big Idea #1: You Will Be Assimilated – Resistance is Futile
Star Trek was all about the future and the future is here. As much as industries and individuals alike are trying to outrun the wind of social, it’s a losing battle. Listen to any cultural anthropologist and they’ll tell you the truth – the tools we use change the very way we think and create our future. Social isn’t just some new tool to use like we’ve always used marketing. It’s more than that and no one will be exempt from its effects. Like it or not, social is The Borg.
Big Idea #2: Best Practices Stink – Do Better Than That
Innovation doesn’t live in the “been there, done that” mindset of best practices. Often though, due to the politic of business life, the risk aversion of bureaucratic corporations, and the painfully slow arc of cultural change, best practices are the go-to hat trick. We use them to justify what we present as good marketing, but justifying our existence is not the goal. Neither is awareness or top of mind or clicks on a banner ad. Our existence is best justified by contributing to a revenue model, by converting prospects to clients, and being able to measure our impact. “Made you look” just isn’t a sustainable best practice – we have to do better than that.
Big Idea #3: R.E.S.P.E.C.T – Find Out What it Means to Me
Here’s the deal – if we can all muster respect for the unique value each discipline brings to the conversation, we will all be better off for it. As professionals, it’s our role to drive the destruction of departmental silos, to reach across the aisle, to unify and align the deliverables and incentives in this New Media Era. It’s our job to speak up about the need to synchronize our efforts.
Most of the marketing professionals I meet are incredibly sincere about serving not only their employer but the customer and the vision of what they are doing. They believe in the unique voice their discipline has to add to the success of projects and ideas. They want this nonsense to stop. The clock is running at an incredible pace these days and tomorrow, regardless of what we see today, will very likely be different than the past. For how passé that seems to write, it’s not being put into full practice.
As a marketing professional and passionate advocate for the power of the internet to unite us, I am often astonished at how often the various marketing disciplines are at odds with each other. My mind wanders to faded memories of my mother reminding me that we should all get along, if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything, and nobody gets ahead if we all don’t get ahead. Now is the time for these three big ideas, because we are the ones your mother warned you about, or we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for, or something like that…Let the conversation commence…