May 21, 2008


Recently Covalent Marketing gave a presentation at UnicaTM‘s Marketing Innovation Summit (MIS) that explored the need for marketing organization to start moving their planning processes away from simplified project based plans and to start moving towards more holistic program based plans.

While it may be obvious to some, the boundaries of the customer market place have grown at a rate we’ve never seen before. The complexity of every marketing effort and its dependencies on other media for customer passthrough and participation have changed the reach, dynamics and yes, the channels of marketing. What was once the outer limits of marketing are becoming more main stream. Where YouTube, Facebook and RSS were simply novelties just a few years ago, they are now forms of media that can’t be ignored when putting together your marketing plans. As a testament to this new type of thinking, UnileverTM‘s North America media director Rob Masters, was recently quoted as saying: “I think [digital media] has become a real integral part of how we use the web, moving beyond just promoting web addresses in TV spots or print ads to really making them a critical part of the storytelling for the brands.”

As the market place evolves, single channel, and possibly even dual channel, to sincerely multichannel marketing – which can start anywhere the customer chooses to, we will need to capture and engage our customer’s attentions where they are – providing content like breadcrumbs on a trail leading to us. We need to embrace new but quickly maturing technologies and in doing so develop full bodied marketing plans, where the release of a YouTube video is launched before our email announcement, but after our website enhancements. And the only way we are going to keep this all straight and be successful in our marketing efforts is through good program based planning. Until then, I wish you the best of luck in your own planning efforts!