The 'fire triangle' of integrated marketing impact
I was talking to a client about the need to address what we called the ‘activation gap’ between creative campaigning and the sales pipeline – i.e. driving a strong causal link between communications campaigns and the sales pipeline or bottom line. We came up with a plan of action predicated on what I visualized as the ‘fire triangle’ of integrated comms impact.
The Scouts and Brownies amongst you will remember that without one of the key elements of the fire triangle (heat, oxygen, fuel), the fire will go out. Similarly, to drive maximum impact with comms campaigns, it’s important to make the connection illustrated above between creative comms, marketing engagement and pipeline management. To explain: in the above, comms takes the role of creating compelling brand narratives, marketing engages creatively with cutomers and prospects and sales drives further customer engagement. Whoever is best suited from the customer coal face – sales, professional services, account management etc., continues to dynamically feedback insights into the comms planning process. Without all elements at play, it’ll be harder to drive maximum impact. Crucially this provides a framework for integrated measurement that rationalizes further investment in strategic marcoms campaigns.
Fully appreciate that this is a simplification; corporate brandbuilding efforts play a much longer game in driving trust and preference rather than directly fuelling the sales pipeline; however, one must believe that in testing the alignment of those campaigns for activation potential – i.e. could a sales leader or direct marketer meaningfully drive preference via an email or conversation with the customer about the campaign – would be a good assessment for all but the edgiest of brand campaigns.
Your thoughts – does the metaphor hold? Do you have an activation gap?