Digital marketing is dead. Sounds dramatic, but it really is true. I have been talking about this concept with trusted peers over the past year and it's finally ringing true in my professional life.
An October blog post of the same title as the above opening line, by fellow Babson alumnus Maja Stevanovich, really motivated me to push that concept further within our own internal organization. This line really is where I wanted us to be:
"Savvy brands have figured this piece out and integrate their digital efforts across disciplines and truly operate as if this is an ordinary way to do their business."
After a few months of internal conversations, we've reorganized to integrate our efforts, our functions and our resources to focus on being one of those savvy brands. We continue to evolve as an organization, sometimes even before the industry norm is evolving. My role has changed from Digital Marketing Director to Senior Director of Integrated Marketing. In addition to overseeing our interactive, multimedia and social media efforts, I will now oversee our creative services team of designers, copywriters/editors and project managers.
At the same time, we our reorganizing our communications professionals across departments (admission, alumni, development, student experience) to create a Life Cycle Marketing and Communications team, which I am just as equally excited about! This is another concept I've been talking about a lot the last couple years and it fits right into the thought process of:
integrated marketing utopia - a clear, consistent brand message to audiences via all channels throughout their entire life cycle.
When my digital marketing role was created three years ago, it was intended to create a digital marketing strategy for the institution, from scratch. The three-year business plan focused on laying a foundation for the institution in terms of governance, guidelines, processes and appropriate channel selection. We have laid that foundation and it is time to show how digital is now just an every day part of the marketing solution.
Internally, we have already made many strides towards becoming an efficient, integrated marketing operation, even before our recent shuffle. We have incorporated digital quality assurance tasks into all projects, we've incorporated weekly meetings and process checks to ensure all channels are taken into consideration and our digital marketing and creative teams already work extremely well together. I will continue to partner closely with our other marketing functions - institutional communications, life cycle marketing and communications, the magazine, and public relations - to blend our functions into integrated, marketing solutions for the rest of campus.
Our internal reorganization is a great message to send to ourselves, our departments and our clients that marketing is best not done in silos. Integrated marketing is the new essential to success. It's now time to find a way to evaluate business needs as early as possible to determine an integrated approach - communication, creative, digital, multimedia, and public relations - to accomplish business objectives. And while that responsibility is on each one of us within our marketing team, it's time for that challenge to have an advocate responsible for it on every initiative. And I can't be more excited to be that advocate.
Integration (n.) - the state of combination or the process of combining into completeness and harmony