NEW YORK: Bob Liodice, president/ceo of the US Association of National Marketers, writing in this week's Advertising Age, urges marketers to recognize the power and efficiency of taking "a holistic approach to engaging consumers". 

In short: integrated marketing (IMC). 

He argues that "as power shifts from the marketer to the consumer, integrated marketing [although around since the 1950s when agencies offered a mix-and-match service able to meld broadcast with print, outdoor, promos and direct mail] is gaining momentum" in 2008.

In a study recently conducted by the ANA, members' response indicated that achieving effective IMC campaigns is their primary concern. But, writes Liodice, "there is considerable uncertainty about how to staff, design, manage and measure the success of such programs".

He continues: "Although 74% of firms we've surveyed say they are using IMC approaches for most or all of their brands, only 25% rated the quality of their IMC programs "excellent" or "very good – underscoring the need to identify best practices and address the barriers that can impede IMC efforts. 

"[Impediments include] a lack of strategic consistency across communications disciplines; the absence of a common IMC measurement process; the existence of entrenched functional silos inside marketing organizations, as well as within their agency partners; and the dearth of cross-discipline skill sets among marketing staff."

Liodice's full article can be accessed by clicking here.

Data sourced from Association of National Advertisers (USA); additional content by WARC staff