Learn tips to develop an integration process that's right for your organization.
- Strategy is only as good as its execution. The truth is, I've seen some amazing strategies, but if you don't implement them correctly, they're worthless. You need a process if you're going to integrate. And you need a process to get buy-in from your peers, and most importantly from your leadership. Let me share with you how. First, describe each step in the process. Many processes begin with a project kickoff meeting and brief. Make sure to include steps for strategic and creative development, revisions and approvals, at each step.
For each step, determine which teams to involve. In addition to marketing groups, this usually includes business units, product development, legal, and more. From this list, assign each team a specific role. Many companies use RACI, a model that specifies those who are responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed. You can learn more about RACI through an online search or the How to Assemble an Agency Selection Team chapter in my Hiring an Agency course.
For each process step, designate one single leader. Try to avoid multiple decision-makers, or your process will become lengthy, it will become difficult to move forward, and team members can become frustrated and disengaged. One best practice is to create a standard integrated brief template. While various teams may used tactical briefs with specific information they need to execute, every team should be provided with one integrated brief to kickoff the project. Here's why.
Everyone will work toward the same higher level goals. Each tactical effort within the overall integrated campaign will be held to the same success measures. Include guidelines that are consistent across touchpoints, such as the brand positioning or brand creative concept. It will be clear where you can curate content instead of having to develop totally new content for each touchpoint. And my last process suggestion is to create integration-specific measures.
Here are some ways you can measure integration: Meeting invitations extended to other teams, survey responses from other teams about their requested involvement and responses to feedback they provided, or production budget decreases due to sharing creative assets. These are some ideas to get you started with your integration process. It's best to include other teams to help you define and refine the process. This will help influence others to participate in your efforts to drive integration across the organization.
- Thinking about integration more holistically
- Investing in integration
- Integrating vertically to align with purpose, mission, and values
- Creating a vertical framework
- Integrating horizontally
- Integrating externally across all marketing communications touchpoints
- Learning from world-class marketers
- Integrating internally across employee communications
- Creating one brand
- Leveraging and engaging employees
- Overcoming cultural and process integration obstacles