Your Marketing Plan: Integrating vs Aligning vs Separating

by Kate Brodock on 16 June 2011

Posted in: Discussion,Social Media

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A few days ago, Eric Brown wrote a good piece over at Social Media Explorer about “un-integrating” your marketing program.  Instead of trying to please everyone or go with the newest “here’s what you’ve got to do,” he sees the best approach as asking:

“What marketing venue or platform are you going to stop doing, before you start doing social media marketing?: The best way is NOT an integrated marketing approach. Businesses simply cannot add more things. More marketing equates to spending more money. A more appropriate question would be, “What are we going to stop doing in order to allow room for worn out ways to pass and new ways to emerge?”

Eric then urges readers to create a “Stop-Doing” List.

To me, the difference isn’t necessarily a matter of integrating or not integrating, separating or not separating.  These are nestled inside the idea of aligning the different facets of your marketing program together. Alignment is a word I probably use too much, but for good reason.

Alignment implies assessment. In order to to make sure all of your marketing efforts are moving in the right direction, you need to make an overall assessment of what’s working, where your market is, what tools and tactics will best help you reach your goals, etc. This implies that you’ll be adding and removing features based on your resources. You prioritize the tools and tactics.

Therefore, alignment allows for, and almost forces, a Stop Doing List. We remind all of our clients not only of the fact that we’re adding new processes to the marketing plan, but also that these particular processes also consume  a lot of time, energy and in many cases financial resources to “get right.”  Social media marketing efforts need to be aligned with overall marketing efforts and business strategy, so we better darn well sit down and get a full plan up about how it’s going to fit into the overall picture.

At times, we take away hoped-for social media marketing components because direct marketing or something else is still the better way to go. As Eric implies, it’s not just about piling on, and adding more to the pot, which is what the word “integrating” suggests.

It’s about looking at the whole picture, and making sure that whatever is being added is done so with the full program in mind, and this full program is built – or rebuilt – together.

I vote to use the word ALIGNING a lot more when talking about these things.


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