Marketing|Demand Creation Blog: Thoughts on strategy, lead optimization, social media and the digital space

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Let’s Get Integratin’

Microsoft recently restructured its entire marketing organization to create a global integrated marketing communications group to better manage its more than $1 billion in 2005 marketing expenditures when previously individual functions had been split among different groups. Speaking about the reorg in a B-to-B Magazine article1, Steve Petitpas, GM-Worldwide Advertising, Microsoft said: “By building an integrated marketing communications capability, our customers will see better message management and more consistent, cohesive marketing communications.”

Well, one certainly should hope so after causing such a disruption. What’s perplexing to me is that the marketing behemoth of Microsoft is only just now realizing the value of a strategic, integrated marketing capability. Working at a healthcare sales & marketing company several orders of magnitude smaller than Microsoft, I initiated an integrated, multi-channel strategy last year where previously the sum of “marketing” was equated to running trade journal ads. Under the single umbrella of the Corporate Marketing & Communications department, the team invested the course of the year in creating advertising (print and online), direct marketing, conference & event and other channel tactics linking and integrating initiatives through specially developed microsites and landing pages. More importantly, we built back-end tracking systems, including a prospect database and lead tracking systems into the lead and sales cycle loop so that early stage leads could be properly nurtured to new business wins while capturing valuable segmentation data for future marketing efforts.

What our home-grown systems were able to tell us was not only that our methods were starting to pay off in lead growth but that, startlingly, over time a multi-channel integrated approach could deliver at least 3 to 5 times the growth potential versus a single channel approach — in only one year!

If Microsoft is doing it, other companies are sure to follow. The lesson to be learned is that the sooner companies get started, the sooner powerful results can begin to happen when the right people and processes are in place to hit the ground running. Time to get integratin'.

1Maddox, Kate. “Integrated Departments Promise Efficiency.” B-to-B Magazine. February 14, 2005. pg 1, 49
Joseph Mann Sunday, February 20, 2005


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