I just finished reading ‘Marketing in the Round’ by Gini Dietrich & Geoff Livingston and I just want to say first and foremost that this book was really a pleasure to read. It flowed seamlessly and I didn’t feel like I was reading a ‘business book’. The last time that happened for me was when I read ‘Content Rules’ on my vacation in Mexico (call me a dork, I don’t care ha!).

The idea of integration and truly creating and working within an organization in which each role is integral to the success of the next one is an idea in which we should all embrace.

What is marketing in the round?

Silos really are for farmers. The silo has a purpose on the farm and it’s an essential piece of success. Now silos in business are never good. What comes to mind when you think of a silo in the business sense? Maybe individual players instead of teams? Or even disjointed communications and mixed messages for consumers.

The concepts discussed in this book are not rocket science – you can adopt them and start practicing this methodology today! (there are even these awesome sections at the end of each chapter called ‘Exercises’ which give you everything you need to get started). The reason we are talking about integrated marketing and why this book is available is because it’s something we know needs to happen in order for us to reach success, we just don’t quite know how to get there.

New channels are emerging rapidly. Not that long ago we focused on fewer marketing strategies or tactics. We had fewer tools to navigate and track success. Not all the functions of the organization focused directly on lead generation and revenue contribution (I feel like public relations has evolved in this area the most). Now, we have to integrate. We have to speak the same language across all functions and work towards a common goal. We need to play the position that accentuates our greatest skills and we must all work together in the ’round’ to support and provide tangible benefits to the business.

This book will tell you why, show you how and give you the foundation to track your success.

Applying the concept to your role

You all know I have worked on marketing teams of all sizes so I found myself considering the framework for this book in each of these situations.

For someone who is the ‘marketing department’, you handle press relations, analyst relations, event management, email marketing, direct mail, CRM, lead generation, content marketing, social media, etc. etc. The idea of integrating, I would imagine, is harder to grasp because you are thinking ‘do I integrate with myself?’

Make it work: Think of the bigger picture even outside of marketing. How are you integrating with the product team and where the roadmap is going? How do you integrate with the finance team – are you providing them with the dashboards and information they require? If you are the ‘marketing department’, apply the concepts in this book across your entire organization.

For someone who is part of a small marketing department, you may handle lead generation which encompasses event management, email marketing, social media and vendor management. You don’t have quite as many balls to juggle as the ‘marketing department’ we just discussed, but your role is integral to others.

Make it work: You need to develop integrated campaigns with the product marketing group, marketing operations, PR and AR, website design and customer experience. How does what you are doing and focusing on play into what these groups are working on? Does it all dovetail together or is it disjointed?

For someone who works on a huge marketing team, you are extremely focused on one facet of marketing. I see this concepts in this book harder to apply here but the most essential. You may not even know who within the organization is responsible for what, let alone what they are currently working on.

Make it work: There needs to be support at the executive level here to make the ’round’ work. The executive responsible for each core aspect of the marketing organization and the company overall needs to be on the same page. Consider how information gets rolled up to these executives and how information is then rolled back down. Develop a common dashboard for activities and map out 6 or even 12 months of planning in advance. Try color coding different campaigns to see has disparate the groups are or how inline they are.