Connectedness in marketing means several things:
Connectedness is a measure of a brand’s intimacy with its audience. Brand awareness pales by comparison to brand connectedness as a measure of a brand’s value. A brand today is a dynamic organism to interact with, not an object. What really matters is whether a brand has built emotional connections with its audiences. That it is seen as useful and valuable, not an annoying loud speaker. That it is on the customer’s side, not the company’s side. That is is easy to do business with. That it can be trusted. That it is worthy of evangelizing to friends and family. And that it delivers what Ted Rubin has dubbed a great Return on Relationship, as my friend Ted Rubin calls it.
Connectedness is a new way to talk about integrated marketing. All functions within marketing – branding, customer experience, promotion, sales enablement, demand generation, etc. – must be connected and consistent with each other in terms of strategy as well as execution to create the sacred marketing multiplier.
Connectedness is a statement about how inter-related marketing is as a function. No marketer is an island. Besides having deep interdependence with other marketers, marketers are inextricably linked to a company’s operations as a whole and therefore all its other functions. Marketing helps HR with the right message for internal communications. It provides finance with forecasts on not just spend, but opportunity. It has a symbiotic relationship with customer service, with customer insight flowing back and forth between the two functions. It’s the lifeblood of sales, delivering leads, value propositions, and sales tools. And marketing is a catalyst for change across the entire organization – whether the change is new positioning, new product or new market dynamics. Forget these connections and you won’t be successful.
Connectedness is an approach to managing your team. Because the lines are blurring between marketing functions (who owns a campaign, for example?), in-fighting – or at least inefficiency – within marketing organizations is on the rise. Marketing leaders need to keep the focus on what the collective whole is trying to accomplish and break down silos in favor of more connectedness. Think of your organization more as an eco-system than a hierarchy.
Connectedness is a world view. Remembering just how far the connectedness reaches is another way to make the most of the ties that bind. A global mindset is critical today, even if your company has a domestic (however you define it) focus. Being connected is no longer a choice. Once you put up your digital real estate, you are immediately plugged in. People around the world can easily check out what you’re up to. And tomorrow they could well be key to opening up new revenue streams.
We marketers can’t go it alone. We are part of an inextricably linked web of opportunity.