April 6, 2009

統合されているか? What Is Integration?

Are you integrated? Is your company integrated?
Do you know? Do you know how?

Integration is a word that is thrown around quite a bit these days. But what does it really mean? Let’s start with one definition; the organization of various traits, feelings, attitudes into one harmonious personality.

But it’s one thing to define it; it’s another to put it in to practice. It can be as foreign as speaking Japanese to someone who only speaks English.

What Is Integration?

Integration has become a catch-all like social media, marketing, user-experience, paradigm shift and community. In simple terms – though easier said than done – it is when several topics or concepts or pieces are seamlessly merged to make a better result. The parts are not lost but work well with each other in a natural way.

But integration is not about trickery. It is about reflecting life.

Quiet On The Set

In the entertainment world, we have seen infomercials and product placement for decades but those applications are often clunky and obvious. The advertising and marketing communities have embraced integration for the purpose of telling more of a story around the product or service.

You may remember the Dog House viral video or the Guy Richie BMW mini-movies. Though neither may have increased sales per se, they were a part of the overall strategy.

Make A Copy

The mistake many make is to see something that spreads through viral channels and think they can duplicate it. That strategy is about as sound as all the years when the New York Rangers thought they could buy a Stanley Cup by paying gobs of money to a bench full of “superstars”.

Copying is not integration, insuring all the parts are in tact is not either. Integration happens when you remember the human part – when you can reflect the tastes of your audience or customers - not dictate them.

Nice To Meet You

If you are having coffee with someone you just met, you notice their clothing and the surroundings, you are more conscious about yourself and your body language. But once you get to know someone, those thoughts are melded into a relationship with that person which is integrated with all that you do with each other. You become yourself.

When we can forget the screen, the transmitter, the camera, the out-of-context medium that is simply delivering the content then we begin to enjoy true integration.

How Do You Integrate?


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