Want Integrated Marketing Management? Develop a plan. Or a strategy. Call it what you want.


Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the first edition of my Integrated Marketing Management-related (IMM) blog post. I expect to cover quite an array of topics within and closely related to this arena.

In order to start from the base, let me introduce you to a saying in Finnish: Hyvin suunniteltu on puoliksi tehty. In essence, it means a good plan takes you halfway to reaching your goal. While this might not be entirely true, there is certainly some elements of truth in it.

Hey … let’s push out some more e-mails!
Unfortunately, when talking to companies about their ambitions to start utilizing factual information to improve their sales and marketing activities, a solid plan quite often seems to be lacking. People are sure that something needs to be done because someone read something somewhere, which indicated that all others are doing it. But the actual plan still often boils down to: “In order to do something, anything, let’s just push out some more e-mails to our customers.” This, of course, doesn’t seem to make too many people happy any more. You need something more.

McKinsey about strategic business planning vs. Big Data
It now seems clear that getting on the Big Data train, also regarding sales and marketing efforts, does pay off. So making that plan, or strategy if you will, becomes increasingly important.

McKinsey Quarterly published an article about this matter in general. I especially noticed the parallel they draw between the current situation regarding Big Data and the situation 40 years ago regarding strategic business planning. Back then, many of those who ventured into this unchartered territory could reap substantial benefits from their actions, and today no company with a desire to be taken seriously is out there without a clear strategy. Since then, the access to both vast amounts of data and the tools to derive value from that data have become accessible to everyone. Making a clear plan on how to use data and analytics is the next obvious step for executives, McKinsey writes.

Make an IMM strategy – and improve it with data
The same planning is, without a doubt, just as important when ramping up activities on the arena of IMM. Without a solid strategy covering all areas of interaction with customers and potential customers, it is, as an example, way too easy to start implementing local and isolated solutions at a seemingly low cost that serve the purpose of a chosen few within the company. This, however, will usually backfire at some stage.

An interesting aspect is that once the strategy is formulated, you can use data to actually improve the strategy. If you want more perspectives on this topic – covering the virtues and threats of good data, bad data, useful data, and strategic data – you can dive into this blog post by my favorite marketing technology blogger, Scott Brinker: Strategic data vs. data theater in data-driven marketing
So now, we have one of the bases for successful IMM implementation covered. There are a few more. I’ll return to those over time.


About Author

Tomas Estlander

Sr Industry Consultant

Tomas Estlander on Senior Business Advisor SAS Instituten pohjoismaisessa markkinoinnin osaamiskeskuksessa (Center of Excellence). Tomas Estlander is Senior Business Advisor for Customer Intelligence in SAS Institute Nordic Center of Excellence.


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