(This is fifth and final post on strategic organizational integration. See the first post here.)

What To Do Next

Like me, poor collaboration and integration are what Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston saw time and again with the clients they worked with. Their book, Marketing In The Round, speaks to some of these very same issues about integration and collaboration. Where they are focused more on marketing the same principles apply across an organization.

How To Make it Happen:

  • Get everyone involved (including senior leadership)
  • Develop a strategy around your cause, purpose, and passion
  • Integrate and communicate about what’s happening and what’s needed –a new product, increased sales or donations, customer feed back, increased awareness, etc
  • Collaborate to create a tactical plan
  • Set goals and measures
  • Create a master calendar for sequencing
  • Refine your goals as you go

1) Discussion for your first meeting:

  • S.W.O.T. analysis of the organization (be brutally honest)
  • Who are your primary customers? (do the research)
  • What trends are affecting the organization? (get internal / external feedback)
  • How do you create value for your customers? (ask them, they will tell you)
  • Do we have anything innovative coming out soon? (why or why not?)
  • What challenges will we face as we move toward integration and collaboration? (be prepared)

2) Strategize
As you think about your strategies and tactics, make sure they are clearly defined. I see a lot of misunderstanding in this area.

Objective/Vision = an organizations desired end
Strategy = a plan of action designed to achieve the objective
Target = a specific value assigned to a goal
Tactics = a means to carry out the strategy

Objective/Vision = to acquire new donors
Strategy = use Facebook to increase reach and conversions
Target = 200 new donors in Q4 2013
Tactics = a $5-Off coupon for sharing weekly offers

3) Integrate and Communicate
Talk about what’s happening and what’s needed –a new product, increased sales or donations, customer feed back, increased awareness, etc.

4) Collaborate
How can marketing play into the plan? How can PR play into the plan? How can communications, social media, direct mail, the website, broadcast and others play into the plan?

5) Set Goals
One to three goals for each tactical area should be created. These goals should support one another and compliment not pull apart. You need to know the pros/cons of each discipline and what they bring to the table to set the right goals.

6) Create a master calendar
Visualizing and sequencing all the efforts will determine your success. Consider which tactics should lead and which should support and interweave.

7) Refine the goals as you go
We have instant reporting in our digital world. We do not need to wait months to analyze data. Review your results and evaluate what needs to be adjusted. Keep communicating with your organizational team.

Integration Done Right

Dietrich and Livingston identify 5 different levels of integration:

  1. Horizontal integration – across business functions like finance and sales. All conscious of how their decisions and actions affect customers.
  2. Vertical integration – this means the web objectives support higher level organizational goals and strategies
  3. Internal integration – this is communication, keeping everyone informed and motivated
  4. External integration – this means getting your venders and other external agencies around the table together and including them in strategies and goal setting
  5. Data integration – sharing data and information internally is critical to know how you are doing and what needs to change

Remember: Integration and collaboration are key – it almost never fails because it’s implemented early. It usually always fails because it’s implemented too late.