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Thursday 26th 2018f April 2018

Open Structure


Thought for the Day

"Failure is art of learning, and we have to enjoy that art." Written in 2011 by Abbas Pachmarhiwala --- India

The Centre for Integrated Marketing goes independent

As of June 3rd 2011, the Centre for Integrated Marketing became independent of the University of Bedfordshire. The Centre led the research project featured on this site. At the time of the research, we were a leading research centre of the University (then called Luton). Centre for Integrated Marketing

Revolutionary added value

"I think your work on the Open Planning is the most revolutionary value addition to the marketing industry in a long time" says Frank Maina, Head of Mobile, 3Mice


future events

Open Structure

Open Process depends on Open Structure. Too many marketing communication functions are divided into disciplines and operate like silos with their individual budgets, often predefined. It follows from focusing communication on recipient preferences - as outlined above - that the communication function should be organised by different audience (or dialogue) communities, for example different kinds of customers, rather than primarily by discipline, as is routinely the case today. IBM's trial of this led to not only more efficient marketing activities - better results from less work - but also increased knowledge about the customer, enhanced learning and better communication.

Agencies mirror this, even in many integrated agencies or groups. The agency analogue is to ensure that the interface with the brand ensures harnessing the entire ability of the agency.


Marketing Communications departments are commonly structured by marcoms discipline (e.g. direct, advertising, PR, etc), with each group interfacing with a specialist agency or agencies. In many cases, this structure, from the point of view of customers, is the second tier of fragmentation, the first being structure by product lines. The move towards integrated communications thinking is leading the search for a more integrated, customer-focused structure.

IBM's UK and Northern Region experiment built on its global IMC function, which pulls together the communications efforts of its different product divisions. By further focusing on groups of customers and co-ordinating both the communications and product offerings to these customers IBM is taking a significant step towards being truly customer focused. This represents a new model of best practice and wins a Thought Leader award from the Centre. It is a structure that integrated agencies will also be able to service well. Where a team of specialist agencies is employed, based on the IBM experience, it should lead to increased partnership and collaboration between the agencies.


Unlike many organisations, SEEBOARD Energy's internal structure was wholly aligned to delivering value to customers. In SEEBOARD Energy's case, the organisation was channelled through two customer facing groups, with each tailored to a customer community, namely residential and business customers, and reporting to the sales and marketing director, Nigel Samuels. Each has full P&L responsibility, absorbing all the other costs of the business. Other functions including customer service, finance and organisation development (which includes HR) are therefore formally structured to support the frontline.

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