To bundle or unbundle your marketing strategy?

Alex Blaikley,

“There are only two ways to make money in business: one is to bundle; the other is to unbundle.” - James L. Barksdale

Whilst James L. Barksdale was quoted from the perspective of working at Netscape in the late 1990’s it can work as sound advice for business and marketing.

The marketing industry talks a lot about “integrated” marketing, but in our recent straw poll, we identified nine significantly different interpretations of what integrated marketing means.

diagram describing elements of what integrated marketing means to you.

If we were to extend the survey across marketing departments, the wider business, and categories we suspect there will be a few more interpretations.

In an experience-led digital world, brands who can agree what integration means across their business should absolutely invest resource into an integrated ‘bundled’ strategy. However, for brands who are for whatever reason unable to do so, should be crystal clear about their interpretation and approach to specific tasks and goals. Advertising – you have a choice!

Whilst we will always recommend an integrated (bundled) and longer-term approach to marketing, we are also realists and work with enough D2C and start-up brands in competitive markets to know that the role of marketing in some cases must generate a short-term ROI and focus on 1 or 2 goals to do this – what we can call an ‘unbundled’ approach.

Whilst this all seems obvious and must be happening at some level in all marketing strategies, it is not always articulated coherently and from an agency perspective, performance marketing is pitched against brand marketing and above the line is separated from digital channels.

The role of a good agency partner can support and transition from an ‘unbundled’ to a ‘bundled’ approach to marketing – but first, ask what integrated marketing means to your business.

If you’re looking for agency support, please get in touch.

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