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We've been enjoying bringing thought and discussion around the key themes of Integrated Marketing Week to our subscribers and blog community early with Google+ Hangouts.

If you missed last week's video expert series on channel integration, catch up with a quick read on some of the key points here!

Panelists Liz Miller from the CMO Council, and Dave Wieneke from ISITE Design provided great discussion on integrated marketing and customer experience across channels.

We missed out on being able to include Murray Izanwasser from Biztegra due to technical difficulty, so hopefully Murray will add to the conversation below in comments.

Kudos to our own David St. John Tradewell: VP Client Development, North America, Econsultancy, for keeping the conversation moving!

After being siloed for years, marketers are now looking at their respective channels and how they can integrate not only teams but thought processes.

This 60min+ session (still available to check out on our YouTube channel) looked at examples of how channels have been integrated and effective/ineffective approaches levergining case studies in B2B and healthcare from Dave and Liz's personal client experience.

Here are some choice bits from the dialouge.

Moderator: An AIDA (Awareness/Interest/Desire/Action)funnel is a broken metaphor that is no longer relevant for marketers. We are living in the age of the network, rather than the channel.

Consumers expect a consistent experience no matter where/when they enter the process of finding services or buying products. How are non-brand paths such as social media and peer influence changing and driving channel integration?

Dave Wieneke:

Humans have integrated experiences, and the problem is that customers now expect to be treated like humans at every point of the marketing process, and technology has created far more immersive environments.

I expect my friends, the companies that I am able to do work for...etc to be able to use and coordinate all of their resources online and offline, and when you don't have that happen, it creates an inauthentic experience.

Liz Miller:

As marketers we've spent a lot of time on the individual channels where we just push, and we have failed to look at the content. We never looked at how the experience manifests from the user's side, and we are now being forced to because of social. Being truly integrated means listening to the consumer.

Moderator: Our own studies have shown agency challenges with understanding technology. Why else do we think the silos are still in place? Should teams be incentivized within a brand to look at the overall picture than by department?

Liz Miller:

I do think it has a lot to do with the way people are compensated. Even up to the c-suite. Our compensation is currently just like the way we do the attribution modelling: the guy who made the sale gets the reward.

We are beginning to change this. In the CMO Council state of marketing study for 2012, we asked what is your compensation model, and found that marketers are in some cases not being tied to silos, they are being tied to business results. Business packages, especially at the CMO level often now include stock to make it so that if the business does well, you do well. 

The elephant in the room when it comes to agencies. According to our surveys, marketers are becoming unhappy. Their patience and willingness to churn from longtime agency partners is ratcheting up. The reasons behind this are a lack of innovation, a lack of understanding about the business, and a failure to integrate campaigns.

Dave Wieneke:

Agencies need to integrate to the needs and imagination of the client, and not the tools. You can't outsource experience. At best, it is co-created.

Moderator: Let's talk brands. There are some brands that are better than others at integrating across channels. Should every brand be trying, or should some just stick to what they are good at...e.g. in the world of B2B?

Dave Wieneke:

I don't think anyone should get a hall pass on having a bad digital exerience. Google and Amazon selling in B2B has raised the barrier to entry in the B2B market because they truly understand how point-to-point works within the process. 

Because value of sale is often quite high in B2B, often times they are ahead in their thinking. Digital tools are an important part of scaling. If you have a global sales team of 10,000, it is a huge task to get your workforce to change their relationships. It is a task that companies take on, and it takes years to do it well.

Once you have a service designed, scaling the service designed is really quite efficient, there is good technology in place, and you are able to programmatically shift that, which by doing first, allows all the people of the company to line up behind that as a tangible touchpoint.

Moderator: How do you see the role of technology generally in all this, and where is there danger (if any) for marketers?

Dave Wieneke:

I think there are areas of technology that lend themselves well to integration. Systems that are able to use context and data interlinked are able to create better experiences. So if you have a content management system, and it is able to interface with CRM data, and recognize users, it is able to serve a more personal webpage. If you have email marketing that is able to interact with customer data, you'll be able to break that message up and serve dynamic pieces of content.

All this requires being really clear about the activity that we are trying to enable people to complete with the experiences we make. That's a huge shift from "I'm a communicator with a static page of information," to "We want to enable you to do this, it has four steps." So increasingly marketers, are going to be tool makers.

Liz Miller:

I think that the biggest issue is the tenant "Fail fast and fail often" -- I think a lot of people use this as a crutch and just stick a toe in. The reality is that new tools likes apps and social can be very powerful on the customer engagement side, but there has to be a strategy. We need to think of marketers almost as product managers, even if it is a content product. 

Editors note: Our next Google+ "On Air" Hangout for the video expert series around #IMW13 will be on Wednesday, May 29, 2013: Noon EST. The topic is managing integration, and the panelists include: Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Co-founder and COO of Digital Brand Architects and Scott Molitor, Managing Principal at the Acxiom Institute.

To get a 10% discount on Integrated Marketing Week tickets where topics like integration will be explored by some of the top marketing minds and brands (including Seth Godin, Macy's and more) visit and complete the registration page here before May 31!

Ryan Sommer

Published 20 May, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

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