Marketers score with integration

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Marketers love to talk about integrated marketing, yet few actually synchronize their offline and online efforts. That's a major theme in a report coming out this month from Jupiter Communications called "Online in the Offline Mix: Facilitating the Move Toward Integrated Marketing."

Jupiter found 75% of advertisers said they always or often integrate campaigns across media. Yet 70% said they're not using cross-media audience reporting or measurement, and 57% said they never or infrequently compare online and offline media performance.

Jupiter had a 38% to 40% response rate to 70 e-mail surveys sent to high-level marketing executives to the survey it conducted in April.

"A lot of them think slapping a URL on an ad is integration," said Michele Slack, an analyst at Jupiter. "And that's not what we mean."

Even marketers sense their shortcomings since 89% said they plan in the next year to step up cross-media integration efforts, which involve everything from running consistent ad creative to tracking performance across media and building the brand and sales across all media.

Integration is critical for marketers to get the most value for their marketing dollars, Jupiter said.

WORKING HAND-IN-HAND

Part of the problem might be getting traditional agencies to work hand-in-hand with interactive shops. Jupiter found 60% of advertisers use a separate online media agency; 65% said they use a separate agency for online media creative.

Is it possible to get a consistent brand image and performance tracking using separate agencies?

"It can definitely be done, it just requires additional effort," Ms. Slack said. "It's just a matter of coordinating two agencies to work together. I don't think an interactive shop can see itself in an isolated online media world. The goals of the advertiser go well beyond that."

Online community Deja.com recently hired DiNoto/Lee to work closely with Web agency Organic, both New York. Deborah Newman, VP-marketing at Deja.com, said she knew it'd be easier to work with one agency, but liked the ideas of Organic and DiNoto so much she decided to make it work.

"We've gone to great efforts to bring the two agencies together," Ms. Newman said.

While it might not happen immediately, two to three weeks after launch, she said, "you'll start to see the creative online relating to the offline print." It's too early to tell if the integration is paying off for the site.

Other marketers have given up trying to juggle efforts of two or more shops and consolidated their advertising.

KAHLUA'S EXAMPLE

For example, Allied Domecq Spirits USA's Kahlua recently hired BBDO, Chicago, which rolled out a new print campaign and a Web site that it created in conjunction with BBDO Interactive, New York.

The new Kahlua site mimics the "Anything goes' theme of print ads. Ads breaking in June will drive traffic to the Web site.

BBDO won the $12 million account from Lois/EJL, Chicago, last year. Elizabeth Puleo, director of marketing for the Kahlua franchise, said Lois/EJL handled the traditional advertising, while interactive agency Cow.com, Los Angeles, created its Web site.

The site "was award-winning, but unfortunately, once you got there it was difficult to get around," Ms. Puleo said. And, she added, the site didn't look anything like Kahlua's print ads.

COORDINATION NOT EASY

Even coordinating online and offline branding within an agency isn't easy. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, appointed a chief integration officer in March to coordinate services of general agency Ogilvy & Mather, direct shop OgilvyOne, Web shop Ogilvy Interactive, corporate identity arm Brand Integration Group and Design Direct for collateral. This formalized what was already being done for major client IBM Corp.

The chief integration officer, veteran IBM creative executive Jim Consolantis, sees his role as 'systems integrator" in packaging Ogilvy services.

IBM's Web advertising works, he said, precisely because it is so connected to the rest of IBM's communication. For example, IBM promotes its e-commerce work for sporting goods retailer REI through banner ads linked to rei.com, print, radio, outdoor and direct mail. TV brand ads sell the big picture.

O&M EXPANDS INTEGRATION

O&M is selling its IBM experience to other clients. Mr. Consolantis said O&M helped Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar Cars introduce the S-Type sedan with dealer and employee communications; collateral; TV and print and banner ads; direct mail; and an Ogilvy-created Web site.

An integrated approach works best when creative is tuned to the medium rather than ported across media in "visual locksteppedness" Mr. Consolantis said. But 'strategically it should all be linked and it should all have one voice."

Ms. Slack calls IBM "the poster child" for integration since its banners so closely reflect print ads and TV spots. In general, the study found tech companies and high-consideration brands (meaning the amount of attention a consumer must put into making a purchase decision) tend to grasp the concept of integration more than low-consideration brands, such as soda or

cereal. That's because high-consideration brands, such as tech products, have been first to move online.

Jupiter classified several levels of integration taking place, with IBM and Saab AB, which launched a global branding campaign early this year, as examples of Level 3 companies that have reached full integration. Lowe Brindefors, Stockholm, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., worked together on the global campaign, which carried the tag "saab vs." something theme in TV, print, outdoor and Web ads.

Level 2 companies tap the Internet for highly targeted promotions that are usually short-term in nature. Ms. Slack points to Coca-Cola Co.'s recent Coke Card promotion. "If You Don't Go, You Don't Know" tapped many media to drive users to a site where they could learn more about discounts available through the card. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, handled the TV.

UNRELATED MARKETING EFFORTS

A Level 1 company either has an online campaign that doesn't tie into offline, or an offline campaign that hypes a Web site yet doesn't relate to offline ads promoting other parts of its business. Ms. Slack points to Lands' End, which is pushing its Web site through TV spots from Biederman, Kelly, Krimstein & Partners, New York, as an example of the second type. The ads do little to connect the communications of the Web site and mainstay catalogs.

"They don't have an integrated effort," she said.

Level 0 companies have no online presence. Ralph Lauren is an example of this type of marketer, Jupiter says, since retailers sell its merchandise online yet the designer doesn't have its own site.

In fact, the Polo Apparel domain name is owned and operated by a clothing site in India. Ralph Lauren did not return calls by press time.

The study also found that people's use of the Internet is cannibalizing traditional media. TV is the hardest hit, with 40% of respondents reporting that their time watching TV was decreasing because of Internet usage.

Advertisers "cannot afford to ignore those changes when they're missing an opportunity to communicate with their target market," Jupiter's Ms. Slack said.

And while no level is necessarily wrong, the faster a marketer can get to Level 3, the better it is, Ms. Slack argues.

"It doesn't matter if you spend a 0.5% or 15% of your budget online," Ms. Slack said. "If you're not integrating, you're missing out on the media synergies and targeting efficiencies."

Contributing: Bradley Johnson.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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