Marketing Fundamentals: Blocking and Tackling

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People want to win marketing and PR accolades, but they don’t even know how to communicate on a basic level.

It’s a failure to block and tackle.

That’s the problem with today’s marketing discussion, and why so many CMOs struggle to integrate new digital media tactics into the larger communications mix: We have many practitioners and thought leaders who talk well about one tactic like inbound marketing, but are clueless when it comes to the dozens of other marketing tactics at a CMO’s disposal.

They don’t know how to work with their sister disciplines either.

I see this most frequently with social media.

So much of today’s online conversation is about how marketers can get results from social.

As I mentioned in an interview on Toby Bloomberg’s blog, that lack of results has more to do with siloed communications and a failure to integrate all marketing disciplines together. Integration also includes adding hard lead generation-oriented metrics from direct and advertising to the mix.

Even though Marketing in the Round was written a year ago, the problem persists. Two recent studies from the CMO Council and the CMO Survey showed that less than 10% of lead marketers are running well integrated digital campaigns. Integrating marketing and general understanding of diverse disciplines has become a lost art.

This isn’t rocket science.

If you like football, you know that offensive and defensive line play has a much larger role in overall team performance than it should. Playmakers can’t break open games if they are hurried or conversely, if the quarterback has endless time to throw.

Excellence in football demands basic blocking and tackling.

No matter how fancy your marketing strategy and tactical execution is, if you aren’t blocking and tackling, you will probably lose.

Marketing in the Round gets into the basics of integration and marketing, but it doesn’t offer bleeding edge marketing insights. This book is not going to teach you the marketing equivalent of quantum physics.

Instead, the books seeks to reinforce the basic fundamentals of marketing together as an integrated multichannel organization. It’s about blocking and tackling, a reminder about what worked before social, and what still works in the current digital marketing era.

Imagine disciplines and role players thinking together as collective communications team trying to achieve a common goal. That’s integrated multichannel strategies.

In my opinion, books are idea viruses, meant to change the way markets act and think about problems. No matter how well the book sells or how well-travelled experts receive it, I hope it forces us to re-examine how we’re approaching our basic planning of marketing campaigns.

What’s old is new. As my co-author Gini Dietrich likes to say marketers need to be able to walk so they can run. Then fly.