The barriers to integrated marketing and how to reduce their impact


Integrated Marketing. It is not a new concept and is broadly understood by marketing professionals, but it remains woefully underexploited and, as such, can still serve as a huge source of competitive advantage for companies.

When the individual elements of marketing are successfully combined, the total value of the creation is far greater than the sum of the individual elements alone. In other words: 1+1=3. Flock Associates engaged with Ashridge Executive MBA student, Chris Unger, to identify the key values that an integrated marketing strategy can bring to an organisation.

So why has integrated marketing not been embraced by more organisations? We asked some of our clients why they thought integrated marketing wasn’t effective. Eight key barriers that affect strategy implementation were identified. How many of these do you recognise from your own business?

  1.     Power, coordination and control issues
  2.     Centralised organisational and cultural dynamics
  3.     Failure to integrate marketing planning into total corporate planning systems
  4.     Overall time and resource availability
  5.     Lack of written objectives and strategy
  6.     Ego & turf battles
  7.     The skills of client stakeholders
  8.     Separation of operational planning from strategic planning

By allocating each of these key barriers to one of the three infrastructure elements (Processes, Resources & Tools and Culture), we are able to see where efforts should be focused to reduce their impact.

Flock Associates Integrated Marketing

Based on these insights, three strategies were proposed:

Aligning strategy implementation type to organisational type can minimise the effects of barriers.

This can be a very powerful first step for an organisation to take in improving strategy success. Trying to apply a strategy implementation type that is not matched to organisational characteristics is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. We’ve recently optimised the infrastructure at a global gaming company, aligning their current and future priorities of marketing, to ensure high quality strategy implementation in line with the business. Check it out here.

Developing marketing infrastructure that mitigates strategy implementation barriers. Continuously reviewing the strategy implementation barriers ensure that there is an effective allocation of resources to minimise these barriers. We specialize in marketing capability assessment that involves identifying skill and capability gaps to develop the most effective strategy.

Aligning processes, materials, and messages to improve integrated marketing strategy implementation efforts.

Applying cross-functional operations and nurturing the integrated marketing process with both internal and external customers and stakeholders can counter the effects of misalignment and avoid barriers. See how Flock better aligned the brand values and core propositions for Golden Square to implement a stronger and more successful service.

Integrated marketing is extremely rewarding, but definitely not something to be rushed. It takes time to coordinate the different aspects and people with disparate objectives. It is for this reason that often companies fail in integrated marketing strategy implementation.

Here at Flock, we understand these barriers and know how to work against them to provide the best strategy to successful marketing integration implementation. If you would like to know more about how you can avoid these barriers, or you’re struggling to persevere, get in touch!

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