The evolution of integration

Published on
October 14, 2012

In The New Marketing Paradigm: Integrated Marketing Communications (Schultz, Tannenbaum, and Lauterborn, 1994), the foreword by James C. Reilly stated “integrated marketing communications is emerging as one of the most valuable “magic bullets” that companies can use to gain competitive advantage”. He went further to state that through advancements in information technology, “companies can now reach into homes and businesses, in a matter of weeks or even days”.
Now, almost 20 years later, the phrase “there’s no such thing as a silver bullet” comes to mind.

Not only have few companies managed to harness the opportunity presented by truly integrated marketing communications, they face the challenge with fear, in the knowledge that the explosion in the number of channels due to advances in information technology – some disruptive, some evolutions – mean those weeks or days have turned into instants.

Consider the evolution of ‘traditional’ channels, such as television and print advertising, sponsorships, media relations and direct mail, over the past 20 years. Combine those with the disruptive introduction of online advertising, company websites (including Facebook pages), smart phones, blogs and Twitter. The web of complexity and the ability to target specific messages to individuals across channels makes integration of your marketing communications critically important. Furthermore, achieving consistency requires careful planning and precise execution.

It is pleasing, though, that the industry’s response to this situation is also evolving. The 1990s saw the proliferation of specialist providers across the integrated marketing communication spectrum, such as digital agencies managing websites, creative houses developing brands, direct marketing companies arranging and implementing direct mail strategies, and advertising agencies creating and buying media. Managing this suite of suppliers was not only difficult, but put brands at risk.

Today, Rowland is part of a global trend where communication agencies are taking the lead in responding to this risk. We understand the importance of consistency of message and also appreciate our clients’ need for a single supplier with expertise across the integrated marketing communication spectrum.

Rowland has this expertise, with a Creative studio, Multimedia team, Digital and Social Media team, expert market researchers, and a specialist Integrated Marketing Communication team. Together, we design and conduct market research, develop and enhance brands, plan and prepare programs, create and implement tactical campaigns, and, ultimately, measure the results of the integrated activity.

No such thing as a silver bullet? Call Pip McConnel-Oats, Executive Group Manager Creative, today to find out more on 07 3229 4499.