||ANA: More Satisfaction from Integrated Marketing, but Strategy Key
Advertisers appear to be more satisfied than ever with their integrated marketing efforts, according to a new survey from the Association of National Advertisers. But some executives have pointed out recently that the industry could do better.
And the ANA research reinforces that premise. It shows that just 6% of the ANA members polled describe their companies' integrated marketing efforts as "excellent." Another 36% characterize their companies' efforts in the area as "very good." That's a higher percentage than any of the previous three integrated marketing surveys that the ANA has conducted going back to 2003.
More than half the respondents (58%) think their companies could improve, while another 16% rated them as just "fair." A brutally honest 6% said such efforts at their businesses were "unsatisfactory."
Many of the findings from the research are reserved for ANA members. But ANA group executive vice president Bill Duggan discussed some of the data in two recent blog posts on the organization's site.
An "interesting finding" from the latest survey, Duggan asserted, was that 29% of the respondents reported that their companies now have "job titles specific to integrated marketing." That's up from 24% in 2008. "Perhaps the improvements have been driven by these dedicated integrated marketing positions," Duggan wrote in one blog entry.
Companies that have such titles, per the ANA, include The Coca-Cola Company (senior vice president, integrated marketing communications & capabilities); The Home Depot (vice president, integrated marketing), and Fidelity Investments (vice president, integrated marketing communications).
That said, integrated marketing is still a challenging concept for many, according to executives speaking at the Ad: Tech New York conference last month.
Agency rosters are growing in the digital age because new communications channels require specialized skills. And frequently clients find themselves with a boatload of agencies "without thinking through a coherent strategy, or being clear on what exactly it wants from each shop," said Baron Conway, global head of business development for Possible Worldwide.
Speaking at the same conference, Rich Gagnon, chief media officer, Draftfcb New York, said strategy is key. "Things tend to spiral out of control if the strategy hasn't been locked down," he said. "Everyone has to agree with it, and it has to be locked in up front,” he said. Executives also stressed that clients have to lead the process, given that it's their businesses and brands that are being marketed. Without strong leadership, individual agencies will tend to be guided by their individual agendas, the executives said.
(Source: Media Daily News, 01/02/12)