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Integrated Marketing vs “Marketing Popcorn” October 20, 2014

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Just for Campaign Managers, Leadership, Marketing Persona.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I have a pet peeve, and it’s marketing popcorn. No, not the marketing of popcorn. “Marketing popcorn.” This is the exact opposite of truly effective integrated marketing.

No "marketing popcorn"Marketing popcorn = marketing tactics that are planned and executed independently of each other and with no interaction or cross-functional coordination. To the prospect, they appear random and unconnected.

Oh, here’s a press release. Pop!

The next day, we’re at a tradeshow. Pop!

A direct mail drops that afternoon. Pop!

Let’s blog. Pop!

A big challenge for any marketer is to coordinate their efforts with other team members. Traditionally, marketing organizations create silos. This isn’t necessarily intentional; it just happens. This is especially true when a company is divided into business units that compete for limited (centralized) marketing resources.

Too many personas

Usually, the first sign of “dis-connectedness” is when multiple business units create their own personas even though other business units are selling to the exact same prospect. In truth, the persona is independent of the product you are trying to sell. There is no reason why a company should not share their persona templates across business units. This becomes even more important when you want to sell a solution to a customer, not just a set of individual products.

Read more: All about building a B2B Persona

The fact of the matter is that it is easy to say the magic words, “integrated marketing.” it is much harder to execute.  A case in point: early in my career I ran the PR team at HP. I sat next to the advertising manager. Unfortunately, we rarely knew what each other was working on. We were heads-down, pedal to the metal, focused on executing specific tactics that had been assigned to us. I received a personal kick to the kidneys when I was working on a prime editorial review for a new product that was soon to launch. We conducted the editorial pitches and were promised a wonderful spread in a leading tech journal. When the day of the planned editorial arrived, there was no mention of our new product. I was horrified and on edge because I had promised great coverage for the product team. I called the magazine to find out why the article wasn’t in the issue. They told me that since our ads for the new product started appearing the prior week, the announcement was no longer news. They were angry with me and felt that HP had cheated them and wasted their time. So, because the ad hit the week before the editorial, our marketing activities were out of order and unsynchronized. This hurt our company’s reputation with the magazine, and the ad manager and I received a stern talking-to from our boss. Ouch!

The lesson here: all marketers need to break out of silo’d behavior and silo’d thinking!

Adopt a unified integrated marketing blueprint

The only way to do this is to leave our personal egos at the door and embrace a unified planning process that encourages everyone to work toward a shared objective. This is where the best practices found in Marketing Campaign Development, and The Marketing High Ground come into play.

Read the book: The Marketing High Ground

Read the book: Marketing Campaign Development

Lead the way to the “Marketing High Ground”

The Marketing High GroundThe term, The Marketing High Ground, refers to a special theoretical place where we know and understand the target market so well and so completely that we become acknowledged as the “customer expert” within our company. This is the pedestal that all marketers want to reach. it’s a place of recognition and trust. It’s a place of leadership that does not come because we have the title, Director of Marketing. it comes because of our personal leadership in helping marketers and business unit leaders better understand our target audiences and why they buy. The ultimate value we offer is in our leadership and guidance in building marketing blueprints and engagement plans that communicate more effectively. It is our job to help our teams avoid the traps of marketing popcorn.

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that PR, advertising, demand gen, events, social media people are really all on the same team. Let’s leave the popcorn to the movie theaters.


1. sandymallach@gmail.com - November 6, 2014

The popcorn is a good analogy to demonstrate lack of integrating your marketing efforts. An unintegrated team leads to stove piping (no cross interaction), confusion, duplicative efforts and wasted money. I could be wrong, but customers dont want to pay for that. Good info here. Thanks.
Sandy ~~ Workado.com

2. admin@peakperformancesalestraining.us - May 18, 2017

Excellent article, very well written and too the point!

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