Marketing Integration is as easy as ABCD


At Flock we always try to use integration insight from outside the world of marketing to improve our marketing integration product, and help integrated marketers and marketing procurement professionals.

Previously we have shared examples from building industrial consortia and from creating cancer care teams.

This time we use an example shared by Mark Dickinson, MD of an exciting new property development company (and one of our clients). We are building for Mark a fully integrated set of marketing resources. He is teaching us a lot about how he integrates different resources to build great developments, like when he lead the team that built the Olympic Village.

We particularly liked the way Mark leads his teams to prioritise and order work. It is highly relevant to us who work in marketing.

Mark has spent some time working in Australia, where property developers sometimes refer to things that are “1-0-1”; a reference to the first point in an instruction manual, defining concepts so simple that everyone working within the industry should understand them.

Unfortunately, over-confidence in our own ability can sometimes lead to the most obvious things being overlooked initially; perhaps we assume that these simple things can be covered as we go along.

One such issue in property development is ensuring a proper understanding of your target market before embarking on design work. It is quite common for development teams to start high-level design work as soon as they find a land opportunity. Their first question is always “how big a building can we put onto a site?” or “how high can we build?”. This design work can evolve quickly, sometimes ahead of gaining a proper understanding of the market and, if not controlled, this can lead to future problems.

Creating a “101 manual” system for development, to avoid these problems, was important to Mark, so he created a simple mnemonic to help all his teams: ABCD.

A – Analysing the market. Understanding the market dynamics in which you are aiming to operate: what are the local nuances; who is the competition and what are the current and likely future trends?

B – Buyer profiling. Within this market, gaining a true insight into the target audience and importantly getting an accurate fix on what they are looking for and are willing to spend.

C – Cost base. By defining achievable product value, using this to outline the cost base available.

D – Design. Undertaking design work only once the cost plan is understood.
When Mark told of us of this ABCD, we could see its relevance to marketing integration and the building of integrated marketing solutions immediately.

How many times do we see clients start thinking about the creative work first (a brand identity, campaign, product etc…), without a thorough understanding of the market, the consumer or the cost base? It is of course exactly the same problem that Mark faced with development teams, and solved with his ABCD.

At Flock we know that the best creative work comes from only the best strategies, and that the best strategies come only from the best insight and research, which in turn come from the best briefs, from the best selected agencies etc. This is the ABCD of marketing alignment.

Expanding the ABCD acronym into a full system of marketing integration takes a few more letters than we have space for here. But, here are several more letters, which we also use to create and drive integrated marketing programs:

BRAIN – useful for assessing different courses of action. Developed by MediVac Triage Doctors in the Vietnam War.

  • Benefits
  • Risks
  • Alternatives
  • Information (have we got enough, or the right information)
  • Nothing (What happens if we do nothing)

PROC – useful for building integrated teams for projects.

  • People – who do we need?
  • Resources – what other resources like agencies or marketing technologies are needed?
  • Organisation – how should we organise, what process do we need?
  • Cost – what the economics and budgets required?

If you need help with your marketing ABCD (or PROC or BRAIN) to secure the best work from your resources, get in touch; it is what we do for a living. See what our existing clients are saying about us here.

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