Integrated Marketing – The Holy Grail Of Marketing?

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I am beginning to wonder if finding the lost City of Atlantis or figuring out how Pauly Shore actually had a career would be easier than getting marketers to grasp fully the importance and benefits of an integrated marketing strategy.

With all due apologies to all you Pauly Shore fans out there – all 8 of you, I was being quite serious in my contention that an integrated marketing strategy – a real integrated marketing strategy is becoming the Bigfoot of marketing – many have claimed to see it but there is no physical proof.

Of course I am being melodramatic but after this past week or so I am giving more and more credence to my Bigfoot theory. Consider, the State of Marketing Report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, which I wrote about in my Marketers Still Not Integrating Their Marketing Strategy post. In that one I told of how “many retailers and marketers still think being cross-channel (integrated) is as simple as offering in-store pickup for ecommerce sales.” Then came the CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which I wrote about in this post: CMO’s To Increase Spending On Social Media But Integration Still Lacking. That survey revealed that “…marketers admit they have a ways to go toward integrating social media in their strategy.”

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And now comes the “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” survey from Forbes and Coremetrics. Like the aforementioned surveys, high level marketing executives and CMOs were queried for their feedback on a wide array of topics and once again integration or lack thereof stood out to me as a major red flag.

Just replace the word “UNIFIED” with “INTEGRATED” and you’ll see what I mean… (from the survey findings)

CREATING A UNIFIED BRAND
Marketing’s biggest challenge appears to be presenting a consistent, unified brand across multiple customer touch- points—on the Web, on social media, via mobile devices, and through traditional brick-and-mortar. This challenge extends to consistent messaging, a consistent customer experience, and a consistent, unified view of the customer.

TOP PERFORMERS HAVE A UNIFIED VIEW
According to the survey data, marketing executives value broad, comprehensive views of their customers. Indeed, many respondents say they’re focused on customer activity across multiple touchpoints.
Yet, many don’t actually have a handle on how their customers are using these different channels. Too many executives are producing data in silos, and then failing to connect that data to related information. This lack of unified view is hindering efforts to deliver brand messaging—and therefore effectively attract, convert, and retain customers.

Now, an optimist would look at the chart above and point to the 65% of respondents who said they segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior. Well call me a pessimist then because I am more concerned with the 35% who don’t segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior.

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Marketers with a unified view of both online and offline activity find it easier to interpret data from individual channel performance. They’re also more adept at analyzing vendor performance and per-visit/per-session customer behavior. Perhaps most crucially, a unified view makes it easier to interpret longer-term customer behavior—particularly in social media and mobile channels. Marketers with a unified view are more likely to easily interpret multi-visit data. They’re also more able to assess the value of a campaign based on influence and interaction, and nearly twice as likely to find it easy to interpret customer data across multiple touchpoints.

Of the 65% of respondents who do segment and target customers based on an integrated view of customer behavior, this is what they’re integrated view of their customer includes:

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Care to guess which two of the above jump off the screen at me as a major cause for concern? That’s right, the last two. Only 34% and 30% have a view of social media and mobile behaviors, respectively? What? Why?

I’m not going to restate and rehash and pull out the most recent social media statistics. Anyone and everyone knows and see the impact it has so I will spare you that information and accompanying charts. But what about mobile? Were these same respondents who place a low value on social media and mobile behavior not aware that revenue from M-Commerce is expected to increase tenfold from 2010 to 2014 in the United States, alone? Or were they not aware of a Forrester report which predicted that Mobile Marketing spending will have the biggest increase over the next five years among all Interactive Marketing platforms?

What am I missing here, folks?

Integration works. Mobile Marketing, Mobile Advertising and Social Media are the future and the future is now.

So what am I missing?

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By the way, there are a lot of interesting and intriguing findings in the “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” survey and I highly recommend reading it in its entirety and you may come away with a totally different viewpoint or take away, if you will, then I did.

Famous Natural Water Springs

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Whether because of the pristine and clear water and a scenic environment or because of a reputation for healing water therapies, natural springs are fascinating and popular. These are among the largest, the most beautiful and most unusual of the world’s famous natural springs.

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Te Waikoropupu Springs in New Zealand
Located six km to the west of Takaka Township in Golden Bay, these are the Southern Hemisphere’s largest freshwater springs and attract up to 60,000 visitors each year. New Zealand’s Department of Conservation takes great pains to protect the area from erosion caused by divers and to maintain the water’s almost perfect clarity. Guided walking tours are available for groups of fewer than 20 people, and swimming is allowed only in certain areas.

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Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces in Yellowstone Park
Well-known for over 150 years, these springs are always changing color and shape. The terraces are made of sedimentary rock that is deposited when the hot mineral water runs through the Morris-Mammoth Fault. The different colors are created by exposure to the weather, erosion, algae and cyanobacteria. Various sedimentary mounds include Liberty Cap, Opal Terrace, Minerva Spring and Terrace, Orange Spring Mound, New Highland Spring and Canary Spring and Terrace. Located in Northwest Wyoming, the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces can be reached by the Grand Loop Road at the junction of Highways 89 and 212.

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Kangal Hot Spring in Turkey
Known as the “Kangal Hot Spring with Fish,” this spa is the most famous thermal healing spring in Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolian region, the water in the spring is a constant 96.8 F (36 C) and contains an assortment of minerals, such as magnesium, bicarbonate and calcium, and the waters of the spring are teeming with fish as long as four inches (10 cm). These fish are reputed to help in healing skin disorders. The Kangal Hot Spring is located in Sivas province, 13 km from the town called Kangal.