Not a lot of people know this, but the Directors of Financial Marketing are all musicians – in fact guitarist, bassist and drummer. A client once remarked that our work for them was ‘very rock and roll’, which made us smile!
Now what has this got to do with integrated marketing? It all comes down to ensemble playing. Integrated marketing is ensemble playing. The song is bigger than the band and the band works together to deliver it and engage the audience.
Many instruments are not built for soloing. Our drumming colleague frequently makes the point that drummers should never solo. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, courtesy of virtuoso players like Buddy Rich or Neil Peart. But for the most part, the drummer makes or breaks a band by keeping time and rocking, swinging or grooving the piece along. They can bring in some game changing technique absolutely. You only have to listen to the first few bars of 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, or Smells Like Teen Spirit, to hear the indelible way Steve Gadd and Dave Grohl respectively elevated those songs to being iconic. But that’s not soloing, that’s musicianship – playing for the music.
In the same way very few media, channels or marketing techniques are built for soloing. For example, on average we need to spend 7 hours with a B2B prospect to convert them. In that 7 hours we need to give the prospect everything they need to make the right choice. We aren’t going to achieve that with one email programme, even if that email was launching sliced bread.
It’s very easy to start with what you can afford in the marketing tool kit and work the plan out from there, but that never maximises the budget’s effectiveness. With so many of us locked in the planning and budgeting cycle for 2017 we need to think about how we can practice integration to the greatest effect for our businesses.
Rather than bring in some fancy acronyms and mnemonics, let’s break integrated marketing down into plain English.
Who do we want to talk to?
What do we want to say to them?
Where are they going to for information?
When’s the best time to engage them?
How do we allocate our budget to make sure we get our 7 hours on connection?
Did it work? How did it work?
Then take it from the top again
Here’s the best drumming joke ever to end on, with a moral to the story for integrated marketing.
A tourist is going through a mountain pass and all he can hear is drums…drums everywhere. An hour goes passed and they are still going strong.
He says to his guide ‘Do these drums ever stop?’ His guide replies ‘No, no, that would be very bad indeed’.
Three hours go by and the tourist is being driven mad by the incessant drumming. He turns to the guide and asks ‘When will these infernal drums shut up?’
His guide stops. Looks at him and says ‘If the drums stop it’s very, very, very, very bad’.
‘But why oh why oh why is it so bad?’ says the tourist.
The guide replies ‘When the drums stop, the bass solo starts’.