Integration for Success

It seems like everyone claims integration in the industry; working cohesively and collaboratively in the communications world. One thing feeding off the other and building a story across the touch points our customers engage with. But is this really the case? Have you really seen “integration” anywhere in the industry? Over my career, I have been on the receiving and planning end of many marketing communications campaigns and I have yet to seen what I would call “integration.” Sure, there is one or two conversations between the traditional, digital, shopper, and PR agencies, but cohesion and collaboration… a far cry from reality.

One thing feeding off the other and building a story across the touch points our customers engage with.

Working in Silos where ideas are generated internally in one organization only to sneak up on the other agencies during an “integrated” presentation. Where does this all go wrong? Is there a need for a MEGA Agency that covers all functions or would that hurt too many egos? Or is there something simpler? Is there an opportunity for expanded collaboration?

We all have our strengths, we all have our focus, but we need better communication. At the end of the day we all have a job to do, whether it’s develop a banner ad, write a PR strategy, produce a commercial, we are just a piece to the puzzle. Connecting these touchpoints is where true brand greatness will be. By a series of ongoing collaborative meetings with singular executions, we would begin to see working as one mind, elaborating off each idea with our given expertise, expanding messages and creating a seamless, evolving conversation with our consumers. Imagine that world. We could even begin to map out each interaction and fulfill promises in exciting ways.

Here’s a couple tips to facilitate collaboration and extend success of the brands we represent:

  • Collective Briefing: Have all key players involved with briefing meetings, across all functions, to ensure everyone gets the same information and is on the same page at the outset of any project or campaign.
  • Mandatory Collaborative Meetings: Set up recurring meetings with the individuals involved with a campaign or project to download their thoughts, insights, and directions. Then facilitate a collaborative conversation to expand the great ideas.
  • No Secrets: I know all too well that we have to fight for every dollar we get for a project. This creates an environment of secrets. We begin to think that if we “Wow” the client, we’ll get more of the pie. This is Anti-Collaboration. Don’t allow secrets. Have an agnostic member on each team to ensure open communication.
  • Communicate Collaboration with Clients: The largest opportunity for success is the collaborative thinking and #winning in the client’s eyes. Having this level of groupthink and collaboration will push the strategies of engagement and success in top line and bottom line results.
  • Drive. Drive. Drive: Constantly push for more collaboration and engagement within teams. Push for the best each team has. Make sure that everyone stays focused and driven. Drive for results; drive for success.

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr – nickweinrauch

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