Is a Chief Integration Officer the Answer for Marketing?


We recently came across an interesting article by Bryan Kramer, President and CEO of PureMatter, where he argues that the Social Gold Rush is over. He describes likes, shares and retweets as shiny objects that are still important for businesses but says that Social must become the underlying platform that powers growth and opportunity. People drive technology, and people drive social, but integrating both to truly humanize a business, introduces a huge challenge.

He goes on to say that empowering people to be social within big brands is a pretty scary prospect for most executives. Traditionally, a CMO would carefully craft its brand position and aesthetic, architect a brand hierarchy and release it into the wild as a one-way conversation. But today, as a social business, the role of a CMO is very different; the necessary skills and qualifications are shifting with the shift toward social business. They must understand the digital landscape, its tools and technologies, and how the people within their brand and their customers, are using them. They have to understand the boundaries within and outside the walls of their brand to develop a voice, a response strategy and active listening and engagement models to scale the many simultaneous conversations taking place in infinite places across the web. And they need to have the confidence in their infrastructure, trust the undulation of their brand, and come to terms with the fact that their brand is co-owned by everyone.

Kramer says that arguably this role is not suited for a CMO and perhaps focused on a Chief Digital Officer, or Chief Experience Officer. But the truth is we do not need another “C” role at the top. Creating more silos is not the answer. Stop changing titles and adding more people, and let us start admitting the role is simply changing.

At Flock we agree. Social changes the way businesses need to think, structure and process. And, due to its nature, it requires a higher degree of integration within organisations.

Of course in marketing, above the line, Digital, PR, and Corporate Communications need to come together, and depending on the business, many other departments as well. But customer service also needs to be built into brands’ very heart.

So do we need a CSO – a chief social officer? Or a CIO – a chief integration officer? Certainly a CIO would bring broader benefits to the organisation than a Social Officer! But should integration be the role of everyone within the organisation or as Kramer says, is adding another “C” at the top, simply adding another silo?

Flock has helped brands like Currys PCWorld write a content strategy and helped them source the production resources to create social content.

We build customer journey focussed communication plans and content calendars across all media from advertising, digital, social, mobile, direct, event and PR.

We select the best channels and the optimal amount of each, scheduled at the most effective times.

Benefits of Flock’s channel planning service include:

  • More effective integrated marketing communication plans, developed fast and efficiently
  • Agency time cost savings
  • Optimised return on marketing investment
  • Defined key performance measures for each media channel

If you want to discuss how to integrate social into everything you do, and how to do it successfully, you can contact us here.

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Snudden on November 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I held this position at Saatchis and Apl at the end of the nineties ? Too right it’s about time others thought about it!!!
    Fancy catching up:)

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