Any professional communicator servicing clients has been there.  It happens all the time.disconnected

You show up for the start-up meeting with a new client who is represented by several different people from different departments or operating divisions.  You do the business card exchange thing and, as the meeting begins, you set the cards in front of you.  Each card looks like it’s coming from a different company. 

The internal disconnect is glaring at you from the table top.

It’s usually an indication of a much larger problem.  It may not be what the company thought was the problem that got you into the meeting in the first place.  Chances are, though, the lack of integration and coordination resulting in the scrambled deck of b-cards is somewhere at the core of why you’re there.

Of course, integrated marketing communication means more than getting the b-cards to all look the same.  It means having:

  • the insight to understand why clarity and consistency in brand presentation is important,
  • the creativity to ensure that how you present yourself accurately represents who you are, what you do and why you’re different (better), and
  • the discipline to do it every day, every time, with every audience that matters to the growth of your business.

Consumer brands are pretty good at this stuff.  B2B companies, not so good.  Regardless, communicating with clarity, consistency, creativity and discipline over time is not easy … not at all. 

It is, however, important for consumer-focussed and business-focussed companies looking for any and every competitive edge or advantage they can find in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Post by Nick Vehr – 8.25.09