What are the four models of integration?

Ahead of her keynote address at the DMA Integration Summit: The customer & the orchestra on 12 March, Kate Cox, Head of Strategy for Havas Media, outlines the different types of integration used by marketers today.

Real time, dynamic, flexible marketing is the order of the day in most marketing circles. But how can this ideal be achieved when it introduces a large element of uncertainty and complexity to agency and client processes?  Especially when most marketing managers are attempting to work across an ever fragmenting list of channels, all with their associated agency specialists – what then is the best way to create harmony and restore appropriate order in which to plan ahead?

A recent publication I co-authored for the IPA, New Models of Marketing Effectiveness: From Integration to Orchestration, sheds light on the murky area of integrated marketing communications planning for the marketing and agency community. It analyses more than 250 cases from the IPA Effectiveness Awards, and puts a ‘stake in the ground’ for the industry by defining the different ways of integrating marketing activity – or ‘models’ of integration – observed in recent years, and also assesses their relative effectiveness in terms of driving results.

Integrated marketing is ‘like conducting an orchestra’

Our report identifies four ways in which marketing campaigns have been organised and proposes that creating and delivering effective integrated campaigns is becoming increasingly like conducting an orchestra.

This trend has increased in the past couple of years as the digital age continues to open up the potential for millions of conversations, and as advertisers and their agencies look for ways to make the growing multitude of channels work in harmony together. This move towards ‘orchestration’ is then compared with more established models to try to understand the most effective methods of structuring marketing activity.

The four models of integration

Our analysis identified four types of integration in campaigns:

1. No integration where a campaign either used a single advertising channel or took a laissez faire approach to merging
channels.

2. Advertising-led integration around a common creative platform. This ranges from visual identity only -the so-called ‘matching luggage’ approach – to a full-scale advertising creative idea across multiple disciplines, including non-advertising channels.

3. Brand idea-led orchestration where there was unification around a shared brand concept or need-state platform. Within this segment, the creative work does not look united by a common advertising idea, yet the audience is able to decode the strands as part of one brand’s message.

4. Participation-led orchestration where the goal between brand and audiences is to create a common dialogue, co-creation, experience or ‘conversation’.

Which works best?

Our study quantifies the additive benefits of seeking to integrate across channels versus planning each channel separately to specific channel objectives – arguably a far easier task to coordinate for marketing clients and their agency partners.
So which form of integration works best? The answer: orchestration – the power of a big, brand idea that all stakeholders within a business can buy into and all channel experts can activate in their own specialist discipline. This, coupled with a clear set of objectives playing to the strength of each channel allows creative ideas that can be flexed to take advantage of dynamic market situations.

This results in activity that does not necessarily look or feel the same or originate from the same creative campaign idea but we have shown, in the IPA report From Integration to Orchestration, that this is the most effective route to drive both business and brand results.

Find out more

Brands including Microsoft, adidas, WaterAid and Warner Leisure Holidays will be sharing their insight into what’s driven the success of their integrated campaigns. Find out more about DMA Integrated Summit: The Customer and the Orchestra

By DMA guest blogger Kate Cox, Head of Strategy, Havas Media

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Kate Cox

About Kate Cox

Kate is the Head of Strategy for Havas Media and has been actively involved in media and channel planning for the last 20 years. In 2007 she was asked to write the Integration module for an IPA training programme which led to her co-authoring the report 'New Models of Marketing Effectiveness: From Integration to Orchestration' which was published in 2011. This is a meta analysis of the IPA Effectiveness awards', Databank which sought to understand the relative impact on business and brand measures of different styles of integration or orchestration. The report was partly a response to the different definitions of integration across marketing service agency types and clients and one of its aims was to first put a definitive stake in the ground on definition. Kate was made a fellow of the IPA in 2012. Kate's current obsession is working on new measurement techniques for emerging channels especially understanding the role of social and mobile activity on short term and long term business and brand measures.