It is a complex time for communications and marketing professionals, marked by an explosion of influencers, a voracious demand for content, one-a-day crises, the consolidation of media outlets and rapidly expanding social media technologies. Although marketing departments have traditionally been responsible for the customer and communications departments responsible for other stakeholders such as media, government and investors, this dual-structure may be losing its relevance and efficiency in today’s marketplace. It should therefore not be a surprise that companies are responding by merging their communications and marketing functions to respond more quickly and strategically with “one voice.” This trend is often referred to as converged communications, integrated communications or hybridized communications.
Weber Shandwick continues to break new ground in defining the future job of the chief communications officer (CCO) and the dizzying intersection of marketing, digital and communications. Our newest study – Convergence Ahead: The Integration of Communications and Marketing – is about the growing integration of communications and marketing into one centralized function. In fact, if you remember our recently released Rising CCO V study among global corporate communications officers, it found a 35 percent increase from 2012 to 2014 in this type of converged position.
As this convergence trend takes shape, Weber Shandwick investigated several questions that are surely top of mind for organizations considering convergence:
- How are these pioneering chief communications and marketing officers (CCMOs) faring?
- What should newly-minted and soon-to-be CCMOs expect when faced with the daunting assignment of combining two historically separate functions into one?
- What advice do they have?
The insights outlined in this report represent lessons learned from in-depth interviews conducted with CCMOs and can help communications professionals understand how to build an integrated organization. Our research explores the drivers behind convergence, the upsides and downsides, how integrated organizations are structured and social media’s role in convergence.
Please take a look at the full study, which includes our own “Six Step Guide to Successful Convergence,” and let us know what you think!