Most marketers probably agree that in theory — it is imperative to 1) think about marketing’s holistic effect on the marketplace, customers, prospects and employees; 2) be thoughtful about which levers could/should be pulled to deliver on the strategy; and 3) ensure dots are connected across tactics as makes sense.
But alas, many companies fail to maintain this type of focus when the rubber meets the road. Which is a shame — as aggregation and integration can be one of the simplest ways to improve marketing/sales effectiveness and ROI. With this concept, all decisions about marketing spend and tactical deployment would be considered in aggregate vs. individually, and considered through the lens of the “larger effect” (vs. individual goals or ideas).
If this concept appeals, a great starting point is to make everyone on the team accountable for aggregation and integration. Consider allocating part of the marketing/sales budget to reward an effective demonstration of this approach — and an even greater reward if it pays off.
For example — say a business goal is to increase new business within a certain segment by 20%. What if the approach to attack this was to:
1. Aggregate and integrate data and intel
“Let’s aggregate all of our research, data and other intel, and brainstorm as a team on what it’s telling us about the direction we should take? If we review and discuss competitive intelligence, industry trends, target insights, etc. in aggregate and as a team — we may come up with a smarter strategy and be quicker in making decisions.”
2. Aggregate and integrate brainstorming and ideation sessions
“Now that we have a foundational strategy, let’s aggregate our thinking about desired outcomes, possibilities for approach, winning ideas — and come up with a framework for an achievable marketing/sales plan.”
3. Aggregate and integrate tactics
“Everyone has agreed (per step 2) that online marketing, targeted referral programs and local events; and good ole’ fashioned sales activities; are the best mix to drive new business.”
“We also agree that PR, social media, advertising, search, websites and online events are important, but need to work together to be the most effective.”
“Let’s combine all tactics within the proposed mix to assess how best and when to execute.”
4. Aggregate and integrate metrics
“Let’s make sure we not only aggregate and integrate tactical deployment, but also metrics to help measure the best outcome from all activities.”
5. Aggregate and integrate the story for senior management
“Let’s paint a holistic picture for Senior Management on our plan of attack and measurement — and share execution recommendations (as well as results) as a single story. Rather than each individual or channel “owner” developing/presenting their own — let’s aggregate to build a bigger story on the effect of our plan.”
Obviously this is high-level and there is more to consider, and this doesn’t mean all decisions are made by committee — someone must oversee the process, guide conclusions and push the Go button. The point is, it doesn’t necessarily cost more money to think and plan this way — so why not give it a test run and see if the Aggregation and Integration concept promotes team-building, results in smarter ideas and achieves the goal?