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Integrated Marketing

Segregated Marketing

The other day I was putting together a comparison of various media CPMs (define) to contextualize the extra value of paid search impressions for a local business client. So I went to Google and found the website of a local newspaper yesterday, looking for a rate card.

There was no online rate card. There was no “Advertiser” tab. There was no “About Us” or site map. I looked through all the contact us info. Nothing. There was a link to “Place your Classified Ad” (catering to the dwindling minority who’d rather place a classified ad than go on Craig’s List or eBay) but even that section had no link to display advertising information or an advertising department.

I spent 10 minutes searching the site, then returning to Google and trying a deeper search there. Finally, I picked up the phone. And got an answer in 30 seconds and a PDF of a rate card emailed to me in minutes.

Aside from the silly feeling I got from inhaling a little too much high tech irony while bouncing online and off, it occurred to me that this was a perfect example of what integrated marketing is not. It was, in fact, “segregated marketing.”

Integrated marketing is not forcing someone out of one channel and into another. Or making a potential customer feel foolish for having pursued a quite reasonable course of action. I believe that integrated marketing is about providing a consistent experience to your stakeholders, preferably organic, authentic and respectful.

I read a great post the other day by Elana Anderson on ClickZ called “Five Fundamentals of Integrated Marketing” . When asked for examples of integrated marketing companies, she said that while there are plenty of good integrated marketing programs, she had seen few companies that truly excel at integrated marketing.

The Center for Media Research is a bit more positive, reporting on an ANA study that finds that while integrated marketing is a trend and that 2/3 of executives surveyed say the feel their company’s marketing function has become more integrated, only 13% of them are satisfied with their company’s marketing structure.

So with that, here’s the first of what I hope will be many insight-provoking questions.

Can somebody please explain to me why we (marketers & consumers) still tolerate segregated marketing?