In the realm of business marketing, there are many words and phrases that are so overused that their meanings have become obscured.
A great example—integrated. Depending on who you ask, integrated could mean a number of things. So exactly what does integrated marketing mean?
If you’re a content marketer, your answer would probably suggest an outside-looking-in view. You might associate integrated marketing with customers and their journey. Who are they? What information are they looking for? Where do they go to get it? The idea of integrated might mean how you connect their buying journey to something that ultimately gets them into a conversation with you—seamlessly connecting purchase stages from awareness through education to consideration and ultimately purchase.
If you are responsible for driving leads to a sales team, your take on integrated marketing might be more internally focused. That is, it would shift from content to tactics or technologies. Specifically, it might be more about how you move a prospect through your internal marketing and sales machine. You would probably focus on how you segment, score and qualify (or disqualify); how you seamlessly pass leads (and all of the data and insights you’ve learned along the way) to your sales team; and how you track and measure outcomes so you can optimize the process. In this case, integrated marketing is more about the holistic planning of programs and how they are engineered to engage prospects and move them into and through a sales process, as well as how technologies are implemented to automate, track and measure outcomes.
So which one is it? In my humble opinion, if you want to practice truly modern marketing, you need to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk. So, I’d say both. :)