Mary Meeker and the case of the converging digital marketer
Each year, the world of the internet, advertising, digital, legacy marketing, and communications wait with more than baited breath for the Mary Meeker 2016 internet trends report presentation.
The anticipation is right for many people; for me, I am not so sure anymore. But this year, as much as I was impressed with the data, stats, and slides, I also divined that Mary Meeker was really supporting the argument for integrated, converged marketing.
The Mary Meeker method states:
• Know your audience
• Use spreadable media
• Talk trends based on data
• Use original source data
• Convey the narrative in data
The most widely accepted Don Schultz, who states, offers definition of integrated marketing:
"Integrated marketing communications is a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate, coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communications programs over time with consumers, customers, prospects, employees, associates and other targeted relevant external and internal audiences.
"The goal is both to generate short-term returns and build long term brand and shareholder value."
Here is an extension of the definition of integrated marketing by Don Schultz, this time 'Meekerized':
"Integrated marketing communications is a strategic business process (using spreadable media) to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communications programs based on community-based stories and trends based on data with consumers, customers, prospects, employees, associates and other targeted, relevant external, and internal (know your) audiences. The goal is using original source data both to generate short-term returns and build long-term brand and (convey the narrative) for shareholder value."
Direct or indirect, the benefits are clearly defined
There are direct and indirect benefits of integrated marketing. Yes, there are negatives as well, but I’ll focus on more on these later.
Digital, legacy, internet, or other media are even better when converged, combining your marketing efforts into a tool that is based on a full and complete understanding of your customers’ needs and the trends that will impact your base.
Recognising and analysing these trends is a difficult task, but it is worth the effort. I place the value of the due diligence required in this effort into the direct benefits column.
I don't know Ms. Meeker, and I am not stating that she or anyone from her organisation should support, endorse, or even believe what I am saying. It just makes sense to me and will make sense to all those who are marketers.
Being truthful, stating the case, telling the story using a balanced combination of real-world data, and, in some instances, raw and un-processed data carefully mixed with the correct amount of relevant content and applicable context should also be a placed in the direct benefits column.
Conveying the correct narrative, proving the argument with valid, realistic, supported data and facts that are relevant to the brand’s messaging is also a clear defined direct benefit of using a Mary Meeker modified integrated marketing program formula.
The indirect benefits, in my opinion, include higher response rates, positive conversion rates, spreadable (or cross) media that allow your brand’s messaging to be 'tweaked' to fit the needs and the perceived value of the selected media, remarketing, personalised media, referral programs, re-activation efforts, and many more items.
Direct vs indirect: Are all benefits?
For me, deciding which benefits are direct and which are indirect is based on who is doing the looking and the categorising. Direct benefits, to me, are benefits that build the program internally.
Aristotle said: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," which is a terrific definition of integrated marketing.
The indirect benefits are the measurable benefits—the number, the metrics, the realization of your expectations—and provide the ability for the brand to build upon, expand, and revise the current effort to add additional avenues of action to the mix.
So thanks, Mary, for providing the realisation that your report next May should be titled “Mary Meeker's 2016 Integrated/Converged Trends Report.”
Someone needs to say it; it might as well be me. In marketing—via digital, legacy, new media, emerging technologies, and Internet—the only thing that matters is the results.
How you get there is a personal, corporate, brand, consumer-based journey that needs to know the customers, understand the trends defining their lives, tell a valid story based on real data and using media that is not only spreadable but has valueto the end user.
The digital, legacy, integrated, converged marketing journey begins and ends, a good time (and profitable time) should be had by all.
As which each journey, embarkation must take place, here we leave the port of know your audience, sail across the sea of spreadable media, onwards we cross the ocean of trends, sail through the lagoon of original source data, dodge the storms of sea of conveying the narrative and finally disembark where we began, much learned and smarter in the port of know Your audience.
Marketing, digital, legacy, integrated or converged is like a game of chess.
In the case of the brand, winning is the sale; in the case of the consumer, the goal is to win via the best deal possible. Yes, marketing chess has can have two winners and it should.
In the end game, marketing is no longer to be considered digital, Internet, legacy, or any other hyphened marketing. Marketing is, clearly and simply, marketing for marketing’s sake, using the tools that are best defined to support the needs of the consumer or business and best managed and utilised by the brand.