ANA panel: Success of integrated marketing not defined by sales leads alone

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New York—B-to-b marketers need to broaden their definition of a successful integrated marketing campaign to go beyond generating sales leads, according to a panel of marketing executives that kicked off the Association of National Advertisers’ Masters of Integrated Marketing Conference Thursday. “You need to look at what your customers are doing rather than asking, ‘Did we get a name?’ ” said Karla Lacey, director of integrated marketing communications at Cisco Systems. “Of course you want to generate leads, but you also have to try and measure engagement: What are your customers downloading? Do they click to chat?”

Ed Abrams, VP-integrated marketing communications at IBM Corp., stressed that in addition to ROI, there are softer measures that companies can use when they are trying to determine the success of an integrated campaign. He said: “Was there was a willingness to recommend IBM? Was the client satisfied? But ultimately [for IBM] the indication of success is driven off a bottom-line metric.”

The panel also tackled how to make sure agency partners are in sync with integrated campaigns. “You first have to promote a culture of integration internally and then foster that with your agencies,” said Halle Hutchinson, director of integrated marketing at T-Mobile USA. “And you need to define each agency’s success by how well it works with other agencies and not just how well they do with their own discipline.”

Turf battles among agency partners remain a major concern, the panelists said. “The challenge of managing an integrated plan is you’re dealing with lots of people who want a voice,” Lacey said. “It’s tough when you have six VPs in a room and they all think they’re going to decide” how to execute a campaign.

—Matthew Schwartz

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