I was given the opportunity to attend Social Media Club Detroit’s event sponsored by Ford Motor Company, “Marketing in the Round with Gini Dietrich.” I left the event armed with fresh industry insights and a copy of Dietrich and Geoff Livingston’s “Marketing in the Round: How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era” to share with my co-workers — a guide to coach me through the times I will be caught between taking one and scoring one for the marketing team. An eager communications professional, I was a little star stuck when introduced to Dietrich (so please ignore the cheesiness behind the smile on my face).

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Marketers must understand how to function in today’s multichannel environment. We are faced with the integration of new(er) techniques, such as social and mobile, with traditional disciplines, like campaign plans and special events.

As the influencers of tough decisions, we are often called on for advice and are expected to manage risks when success or failure is at stake. Somewhere between carbon paper and apps, convergence happened, making digital just another platform for marketers to use.

After attending the event and reading the book, I wanted to share a few things that I learned that might be a consideration for your next quarter’s playbook:

  1. People Fear Change: “You’re going to be creating change, and people fear change. They fear doing things differently than they have always been done. You’ll face resistance. You’ll face criticism. Change management is not easy, but you’ll be blazing the trail to market in the round, which will make everyone, and the company, more successful.
  2. Peace, Love and Your Organization Needs to be Silo Free: In order to create a marketing round in your organization, it needs to be silo free. You need to abandon the hierarchy and create an organization where the marketing round is made up of individuals who best represent each part of your organization This may include someone from; advertising, public relations, corporate communications, web/digital, SEO, content, direct mail, social media, SEM and any other key player in your overall marketing efforts. In order to do this, you’re going to have to break down silos and get buy in from your CEO. “This is the job of everyone to work together to create the plan.” Is this challenging? Yes, and probably an understatement. But necessary?—absolutely.
  3. Communication is Key for All Disciplines: Please, somebody explain to me why a new, creative product launch campaign has nothing to do with your organization internally. What your customers tell you and what your employees tell you are both important factors in making sure that your marketing round is efficient and successful, so listen to all aspects of the organization.

The person in the middle simply needs to be the one who understands how all of this works together, not necessarily the one who has been at the company the longest or has secured the most media placements. The person in the middle, your marketing round’s go-to person, is the one who is going to make sure that when the CEO is announcing a new product launch, the engineers and advertising team know how equally important their efforts are in contributing to the success of reaching sales goals, so that your marketing round has a reason for existing. “It is imperative to know what others are doing at all times to make this work.”

“Modern marketing is not a social phenomenon, nor is it an entrenched attitude about 20th century marketing fundamentals. This era of recessions and tepid recovery demands responsible marketing that weaves every single expenditure (regardless of medium) toward tangible business outcomes and return of investment.”

These are a few insights that stuck with me. Now, please excuse me as I attempt to make the world silo-free and Photoshop the cheese off of my face.

Below are a couple of questions to help you getting started with your next marketing play:

What is the biggest commitment you’ve ever made? Were you more scared of the actual outcome or the anticipation that was associated with making that decision?

On a good day, ask your graphic designer what the difference between a typeface and font is. Did you know there was one?

~Stephanie Oben is an intern at Airfoil, a high tech PR/marcomm agency with offices in Silicon Valley and Detroit.