This post is part of the #JUMPchallenge, a blogging competition designed to raise awareness of how to join up online and offline marketing, launched to support Econsultancy’s JUMP event.

This latest entry comes from Jed Hallam’s blog, and looks at the reason why companies need to join up their marketing efforts: the consumer. 

Why is it important for marketing to be integrated online and offline? It’s pretty simple. In fact, you’ll kick yourself when I say it. It’s important for marketing to be integrated online and offline because the consumer doesn’t distinguish between online or offline.

The customer doesn’t see which department produced the content/wrote the script/spoke to you last Tuesday. Or who should respond to their Facebook comment at 4:56am Sunday morning.

They just see a brand.

As marketers, we are all far too close to our work/department/agency/industry to realise the simple fact that the consumer sees a brand, and nothing more. We see Nike. If we see a terrible television advert, we don’t go “Oh God, Wieden & Kennedy really dropped the ball with this one”, we say “Whoops, Nike screwed up”.

Almost all of the social media campaigns named in Forbes’ Top 20 list were integrated campaigns. They tied an ad campaign with online content (more commonly referred to as a ‘viral’ – more on that another day) and a marketing drive with a Twitter campaign. Almost every successful social media campaign has been integrated.

The future of agency work isn’t understanding the next big thing, or figuring out how to charge more for less. The next big thing for the agency world is understanding how to work together, to integrate our specialisms to create huge campaigns that reach the consumer.

This consumer doesn’t see that there are six agencies behind the Facebook account that just pointed them to the augmented reality iPhone app that shows them where to get a free sample from – they see a brand.

It’s our job to ensure that they always see the brand, and that that brand is truly integrated, regardless of how many agencies it works with.

Oh, and hopefully I’ll see you at Jump on my free press pass…

This is one of the entries in the JUMP blogging challenge, and we’re looking for more bloggers to contribute by posting an article. The closing date for entries is September 17. 

The winner will receive a ‘blogging hamper’, which includes an iPad, a press pass to JUMP, free Econsultancy membership, some strawberry jam and more. More details here