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Wednesday 20th 2018f June 2018

Service & Tool Providers - Integration


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

Service & Tool Providers

Integration (Marketing & Communication Ltd)

Services/tools relevant to 'Open Planning'

Integration is a company of the Equal Group of Companies that all contribute to changing the way marketing is managed through measuring, reporting, planning, coaching and managing Integrated Marketing &Communications.

Services offered by the various companies of the group are as follows:

  1. Integration (Marketing &Communications Ltd): Integration's MCA provides the measurement platform for successful integrated marketing &communications. By category and market, it uses quantified consumer-driven measures to identify the most influential and differentiating means to connect to consumers. And it highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a brand's marketing behavior relative to competition.
  2. STeP (Systems that Performs): STeP develops software programs that enhance the operational performance of the group's tools and processes, computer assisted reading, reporting and brand experience planning modules minimize the time needed and strategy development, and allows customers to concentrate resources on marketing execution.
  3. IMC-ACADeMY: IMC-ACADeMY empowers customers to extend MCA-based BE Planning disciplines and accountability throughout their marketing and sales organizations. The transfer of Know-How takes place via standard train-the-trainer workshops and educational kits or via customized training programs.
  4. IMC-STRATeGIES: IMC-STRATeGIES' consultants help brand management use MCA-based BE Planning processes to strengthen the marketing mix. They also help senior management introduce new best practices and accountability tools in all marketing disciplines, based upon empirical Brand Experience Performance benchmarks and tracking.

Tools provided are:

1. Market Research:

A. The Market ContactAudit©:

A proprietary market research method that measures the contribution of contacts to building Brand Preference

  • Holistically: The MCA© is focused on measuring the contribution of contacts, individually and combined. It provides effectiveness measures for different contacts and for total brand contact activities
  • From the consumer perspective: The MCA© measures what consumers perceive, not what they receive
  • Operationally actionable: The MCA© provides information that identifies the best contact opportunities and identifies the strengths / weaknesses of a brand's performance

B. The MCAtracker©

A cost-effective and consistent follow-up method to track the effectiveness of the brands' activities vs. those of their competitors.

2. Systems & Software:

A. The MCAutomated© Reader and Planner:

Automatically computes and generates customized reports and presentations for all standard indicators delivered by the MCA© by any combination of socio-demographic criteria and typologies of consumers. It is designed to guide and help the brand planners to make choices, set priorities and optimize alternative scenarios.

3. Education

A. The BE (Brand Experience) Workshop

Validated workshop and related material designed to transfer Integration's MCA© know-how in the most efficient way.

Distinctive features

Integration takes a research based approach to identifying the relative value to the marketer of various contact points (up to 30) and uses this to plan communications.

Tools availability

Integration suite of products are either sold on a project basis or licensed for autonomous usage by global clients and agencies.

Case study or other endorsement/proof

"Integration's MCA© is an innovative tool that addresses an urgent need of the industry: it analyses the whole communication portfolio in a category from a consumer point of view. It also looks at the ROI of the various activities and thus helps making marketing accountable."

Hans Ulrich Krause, Global Media Research, Procter and Gamble

"Integration's model from a conceptual perspective is well grounded: The constructs underlying the model have a basis in theory and the operational measures of the constructs are sound.

The data provided by Integration® for five audits and market share data showed that the correlation between BES and market share was .80 or greater in each case. The correlations were all statistically significant at the .01 alpha level or higher."

Amitava Chattopadhyay, Professor of Marketing at INSEAD

Procter &Gamble beauty care brand in a Western European country � let's call it brand X.

The brand is relatively small. From data sources outside MCA© they had learned that the product was well accepted, but the brand suffered from low awareness and trial. Addressing this weakness was therefore the brand's first priority. Changing the content of their advertising message was not an option for various reasons. Therefore, the brand gave first priority to improving the mix of consumer contacts. In this situation, the brand was faced with an additional problem: its marketing support budget would be cut by 20% in the next year. In order to get guidance on how best to spend the remaining funds, an MCA© study was conducted.

The MCA® revealed that the most influential contacts (out of 30 surveyed) were: 'in-store sampling', 'TV-advertising', Sampling in malls', and 'Medical Recommendation'.

The contact used most often in the category/country was 'TV-advertising', followed by 'Print ads', 'outdoor ads' and 'in-store sampling'; on the other hand, 'medical recommendation' was amongst the least-used contacts and, thus, an opportunity.

For the prioritization of contacts, the following criteria were chosen: contacts should

  1. Have high clout
  2. Be least used, i.e. most differentiating
  3. Be able to build on an existing strength of the brand.

Key element of the analysis was the opportunity matrix which combines the clout and the most/least used index. Contacts in the upper right quadrant would be preferred. Here, the medical recommendation contact clearly stood out. Its clout was not significantly weaker than that of the first four contacts on the CCF list (in-store sampling, TV-ad, professional experts, mail sampling); at the same time it was by far the least used contact of them, thus offering a strong opportunity for brand differentiation.

Brand X used to run quite some TV-advertising, but due to high competitive pressure, this contact was not an area of strength for the brand. In contrast, they had a relative strength on medical recommendation: this contact obviously worked for them, but on a low level � in other words, they were under-using this contact.

Based on the data, brand X decided to shift a major part of their funds into medical recommendation, thus strengthening this program which had been supported only on a low level so far. In parallel, they improved their equity communication in TV. As a result, volume and share grew steadily. As no other significant changes were made to the marketing mix, this success is traced back to the above changes in the contact portfolio. This was confirmed by diagnostic research which showed the level of medical recommendation going up to four times the previous level.


Major worldwide clients are:

  • Procter and Gamble
  • Coca Cola
  • Danone
  • Lloyds
  • Nissan

Further information

Case studies

Integration provided further case studies showing excellent open planning approaches.

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