This week, I ran into a former client with whom I worked extensively when I was at META Group (since acquired by Gartner). It was like old home week and we reminisced about the projects his team had worked on and my involvement. The company this client worked for back then had spun off his team as a subsidiary business to be focused on providing online marketing and loyalty services back to the parent. As with so many dot.bomb era ideas, this one fell by the wayside after a few years and the sub was ultimately rolled back into the parent. My client told me that after all was said and done, the online marketing implementation we had been working so diligently on was never implemented and the technology company they were working with has since been acquired. Part of the problem was that online marketing and offline marketing had become so different as to be problematic to the brand.
So it got me thinking about the notion that taking a more targeted approach to marketing in some ways is all about cross-channel integration. If we look at it from the customer's perspective, the marketing experience must be consistent across channels (and personalized, respectful etc. etc.), and information must flow multi-directionally across channels. But all too often, I see marketers themselves (artifically in my opinion) segmented based on function: brand marketing, relationship marketing, internet marketing, channel marketing, etc. I think this exacerbates the problem of channel silos and ultimately precludes sophisticated targeted marketing.
Here's what I'm wondering: does tarking a more targeted approach mandate channel integeration? Are the cultural barriers too great? Does marketing compensation even get close to encouraging us to work across channels? So tell me, what do YOU think?