Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a bit of a mission. I’ve been trying to figure out if integrated marketing as a concept was dead, needed refinement or was really the right approach. Along the way, I looked at account-based marketing as a potential alternative to see if it could address some of the shortcomings I see with integrated marketing.
I had every intention of exploring other marketing concepts along the way until I found this post by Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec) who is editor at the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog. He lists 131 different kinds of marketing in that post covering any marketing approach that qualified as a tactic, a channel, a style, a structure or other widely accepted approaches. And, that post was written in 2010 so I’m assuming if Scott or someone else tried to update it, the list would be even longer. In the comments, people left suggestions for 50+ more kinds.
So does marketing have a problem defining itself? Do we spend more time coming up with something new rather than being more effective at what we already do? It appears so.
131 different kinds of marketing in 2010.
For me, the bigger problem that this list identifies is how fragmented marketing has become and continues to be. And, I don’t believe this fragmentation is helping in any way, shape or form. Sure, it’s good to be targeted at a specific audience, using a certain channel and tactic but I can’t think of any prospect that only lives in one of these channels or will respond to the first tactic. Not to mention the fact they likely need to hear the same message multiple times.
But this fragmentation also impacts marketing teams within companies as they become increasingly siloed. I’ve seen cases where you hire a number of specialists and they become so set on their approach being best that they start to each conduct their own campaign on behalf of the company without any coordination, or dare I say integration.
The end result becomes that the campaigns might as well be from different companies competing for the same prospect. This wastes time, money and other resources. And, while this may seem to be extreme, I think if you look around, you’ll find examples of what I’m talking about here, easier than you think.
So where does that leave us? Well, for starters, I’m not going to review 131 different approaches to marketing. Instead, I’ve decided I’ve come far enough on this journey and will define what I think is a good approach to marketing. Will it be 132 or am I just going to improve on what’s been done. Stay tuned…