Book Review: Marketing In The Round

Back in the day, integrated marketing was a big trend. Everyone allegedly rushed to climb aboard to play nice in the sandbox. Soon it fizzled and silos crept back to the forefront of business models, and everyone stayed in their corners.

Then came social media (well, some umpteen years later), and marketing altered again. Companies had to tear down the silos and implement integrated marketing again; however, it’s not over. Business is only in the early stages of adoption of social marketing, and one way to be successful is “marketing in the round.”

Marketing In The Round, How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era by Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston, provides a in-depth look at multi-channel marketing without silos, without a champion, and with a balanced, cross-cultural team working in alignment toward attainment of business goals. Consider it akin to change management.

When you put marketing in the midst of all the communication disciplines, you get marketing in the round. No silos, no hierarchy, just an investment toward positive impact on the business.

At the helm of the marketing round is a leader with an understanding for as many disciplines as possible. This leader is also a strategist who can encourage the breakdown of barriers that exist between advertising and public relations, for example.

In a perfect marketing in the round scenario, there isn’t a chief marketing officer to report to; everyone communicates from one level and uses all communication methods to stay current.

Marketing rounds will succeed well with communication approaches from the top down, via a groundswell, and by two left and right flanks. I bet you money Geoff wrote that chapter (Chapter 4) about military tactics akin to a marketing round. Another tactic of engagement is direct marketing.

Throughout chapters five to eight, the authors detail each tactic in-depth and provide excellent examples of deployment of each of the aforementioned strategies of communication.

In the final chapters, the discussion surrounds integration and the incorporation of various of these tactics from the outside in, inside out, internal only, horizontally, vertically, and any other direction you can imagine.

The book wouldn’t be a Gini book without a chapter on measurement. When you read that chapter, the takeaway is that measurement doesn’t happen overnight. There are many trials to determine what to measure, especially in this era of big data and analytics reports numbering in the hundreds of pages. Along the way, you develop your benchmarks and the dashboard to plug in these figures.

When your marketing round is humming from all the inter-collusion, be prepared to get a flat tire and inflate it all up again. The marketing round has no stopping point, it’s a model to develop, test, fail, test, improve and enhance some more.  The “dramatically changing media landscape has moved faster with each new decade.”  What that means is companies need to adapt even faster.

When you pick up your copy of Marketing In The Round, you’ll find tips, charts, how-to graphs, examples of companies trying, and an approach that clearly comes from the experts. I encourage you to buy this book and reference it regularly. And, there’s a FREE webinar by Radian6 this week featuring our now-famous-er celebrity authors. Click here to register.

May I close with a hearty congratulations to my friends, Gini and Geoff, for their accomplishment. Gini and Geoff are coming to a theater near you; if you’d like to order bulk copies or invite them to autograph yours from a club setting or tweet up, please indicate such right below in comments. I’m sure either or both are paying attention today.