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Integrated Marketing

Whatever does guerrilla marketing have in common with a boomerang? If you throw a stick, it flies about 30 feet. Frank Donnellan once threw a boomerang 377 feet, longer than football field. A boomerang uses gravity and air resistance to aid its flight. Guerrilla marketing uses other weapons to aid its flight. Single-weapon marketing has nothing to aid its flight.

That’s why one of the key factors in marketing tody is integration. Integrated marketing gives your campaign a life of its own.

I've been reading Michael Kiely's "Marketing Globe" newsletter from Australia for a few years now. Good stuff every time. To subscribe, his number down under is 011 61 02 484 5491.

I recently read his "An Introduction to Integrated Marketing" -- which is Aussie for guerrilla marketing, and felt it had such good things that you as a guerrilla should know them. His integrated marketing coordinates efforts which in many cases are already in place. They're just yet integrated.

For example, a direct mail campaign can go just so far. But, if during that campaign, your prospects read articles about you in the newspaper, if they've invited to a special event you're sponsoring, if they hear you interviewed on a radio talk show, if they see your ads, if they read you'll be giving a talk somewhere -- that's when your direct mail campaign becomes infused with the physics of the boomerang and flies much further than it would ordinarily. Your efforts have breathed life into it.

If your TV spots are saying one thing, and your designer came up with print ads that say something else, and your telemarketing is off on a third tangent and your direct mail is doing its own thing -- that kind of non-guerrilla marketing is not integrated and it will not work. To make these well-selected weapons operational, they all must be pulling in the same direction, saying virtually the same thing, helping to clarify instead of confuse the consumer. Everything in the boomerang's flight is designed for maximum air time -- and accuracy.

The incisive Mr. Kiely tells us that boomerang integration is cost-efficient, focused and comprehensive. Where possible, PR opportunities and fusion marketing should be employed. To reduce marketing costs by generating return business and referrals, a marketing database is a must.

An integrated solution to a marketing problem begins with close inspection of yourself, your target audience and your marketing environment. Your prospect's state of mind, lifestyle and media usage are the best clues you have to which combination of tactics and weaponry will bring about maximum results. And every element of your mix should spring from and reinforce the single strategic throughout behind the campaign. Divergent approaches baffle the prospect and put a drag on the thrust of your campaign. Without integration, you've got a shapeless stick doing battle for you. With it, you've got a sleek, aerodynamic flying machine.

Back in the days of early advertising in the 1920s, integrated marketing was the happening thing. From Pepsodent to Palmolive, from Pepsi to Penney's, the guerrillas of the day integrated advertising with in-store signage, sampling with "club" type memberships, sales promotions with special incentives. Even as late as the l960s, integration was a byword of marketing.

And then, the creativity hit the fan. The creative revolution which took hold of advertising in the l960s, led advertising to become fascinated with itself and lose interest in the client's business. Building portfolios got divorced from building sales. Awards proliferated, but most celebrated clever art and copy, not the ringing of the cash register. Hey, I saw it happen. I was there. I was appalled. I saw clients force wan smiles on their faces as they picked up first prize awards for advertising while knowing that they lost 21% market share and $34.6 million that year.

I left advertising agencies during this reign of the creativity cult. The loony bin was indeed being run by the loonies. And I was one of them -- a Creative Director in a creative agency. Twilight Zone. So I up and left.

The l970s and l980s were characterized by ad agencies obsessively producing ultra-expensive 30-second TV spots, and anything not related to stylish, creative TV spots was seen as unworthy. But then, in the l990s, three things happened to bring marketers to their senses:

1. Mass media fragmented. Network TV no longer reigned supreme.
2. The mass market disintegrated. The time was ripe for niche marketing.
3. The economy decimated marketing budgets. Direct marketing grew.

Twenty years ago, 75% of marketing budgets went into advertising. Today, 50% goes into trade promotions, 25% to consumer promotions, and a bit less than 25% to advertising. Bye bye hip advertising. Howdy profits.

The result of all this by the year 2000 has been the growth of the guerrilla, the executive who brings talent and judgment to many marketing areas. These people aren't scared of marketing, aren't intimated by media, know how to do research, realize the abundance of free weapons, and believe fervently in operating from a plan. They're fascinated with online marketing, love the accountability of direct marketing, and are as intrigued with newsletters and customer follow-up as they are with TV. When they use it, they spend $1,000 to produce the spot, not $200,000. When they run it, the cost is $15 in prime time, not $15,000.

Integrated marketing is the hallmark of the present and future. Great news for guerrillas, but hardly what award-lovers living in the past want to hear.

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
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