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Don Schultz, integrated marketing guru, shares his "Confessions of a Failed Icon"

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

PMA-BlurBanner-120x120_1 Don Schultz is what you would call an Integrated Marketing icon. He also has the title of Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University. He spoke to those of us attending PMA's Annual Integrated Marketing Conference a couple of weeks ago at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. He was the opening speaker for the morning of Day 2 and he certainly has a knack for waking up an audience. I saw him speak two years ago, so I was anxious to hear from him again.

His talk was titled Media Consumption in Today’s World which was to be based on data from BIGresearch SIMM Studies. But he told us he was changing that and instead was going to talk about “Confessions of a Failed Icon” which received a good chuckle from the audience.

Don_Shultz Don started us off saying that after 20 years of integration, IMC, IM and all the other versions and visions that we’re no closer to developing a holistic, customer-focused, marketing and communication system than before. Most organizations are still organized by Marketing, Sales, HR, IT/Digital and Operations and Marketing still have further silos such as Brand Marketing, Sales Promotion, Events/Sponsorships, Direct Mail, Public Relations, Media Advertising and now Interactive. This Interactive or "New Media" also has its groups....Mobile, Internet, Social Media, Viral Marketing and Search Advertising. Sound familiar to anyone?

So Don confessed that 20 years ago he helped to write the book on Integrated Marketing which was all about trying to create “One Sight and One Sound” from all the communications elements and pushing them out to customers. But it only added value to the marketers, not the consumers. It was all "outbound" where we were trying to influence and persuade the customer to buy/try our product/service. But then when he and the rest of the marketing "icons" weren't looking, the world changed.

Today's information technology has given consumers control. All this is growing significantly...Interent WiFi access,  mobile phones, iPods/smart phones, podcasts, social networks, cable/satellite. We're all having conversations in many different ways and then "Bob" (Mr. Marketer) comes in to interrupt us to tell us about his product. Marketers are still just trying to break into these consumer networks and not paying enough attention to the customers, which are the only ones with money!

So to build relevant promotional marketing campaigns we must start with the consumer. The study had 4 critical measures to help to understand how consumers use and consume media today and the impact it has on them.

1. What media was accessed

2. How much time they spend with each media

3. Which media combination did they simultaneously consume

4. Which media form had the greatest influence on purchase

RESULTS - First Quarter, 2008 –BIGresearch

How Much Time Consumers Spend With Each Media Form 

        Avg Minutes per Day

  • Email            131.3
  • TV               129.6
  • Internet       127.5
  • Radio            93.5
  • Direct           56.3
  • Magazines      49.1
  • Newspaper    44.8
  • IM                40.8
  • Games           36.6
  • Satellite        22.0
  • Web Radio    14.4
  • Blog             11.7

More Important:  the Media Forms People Use Together…Their Media Combinations

Primary Medium (When …,do you simultaneously ….)



Media Combinations Are What Create Media Synergy…The Biggest Challenge in Promotional Planning Today!


Word of mouth and coupons still have the strongest influence. You could argue that 1st quarter 2010 may look a little different, but Don assured us that they do this study twice a year and the numbers haven't changed much. 

Don then went on to show that buy using these four measures,predictive models could be built and he went through a couple of examples in both the computer and automotive industries. He concluded that promotional marketing is still what drives the marketplace and influences purchase the most, no matter the category.

So does he feel badly about being a failed icon? No more than Peter Drucker, who was hired by General Motors to bring modern management to that firm in 1943! GM ignored Drucker’s advice and it only took them 66 years to enter bankruptcy. So, he says he still has got some time left!


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