Evolving together

Integrated marketing and communications could be key to organsiational survival in a fragmented world


In today’s fragmented world, integrating marketing and communications is more than just a trend: it can be a matter of organisational survival.

Today’s fragmented and complex media landscape presents an ever-changing set of challenges to marketing and communications professionals. Confronted by demanding yet distracted consumers on the one hand, and a fast-paced and volatile business environment on the other, marketing and communications professionals are hard pressed to steer consumer behaviour and effectively measure responses to campaign performance.

As any experienced business leader knows, developing outstanding products and assembling a highly talented management team only gets you to the starting block. Ultimately, the race for business success hinges on persuading significant numbers of customers to select your company’s products or services over those of other businesses.

The question then is: does the task of convincing clients and the wider market about the value of the products and services your organisation offers fall under the purview of marketing or communications? Or does the responsibility in fact lie somewhere in between these two disciplines? And assuming the chosen approach actually works, who takes the credit or claims that seat at the executive table?

Come together

In the past, marketing departments within organisations were most closely aligned to their colleagues in product development. As businesses discover new ways, both formal and informal, traditional and novel, to interact with customers; and as new communication platforms emerge, calls for marketing and communications to come together as a power-packed team are becoming louder and more urgent.

From a business point of view, the core competencies of marketing and communications make for a symbiotic union that significantly raises the capability of organisations. This broader range of skills and heightened depth of expertise will go a long way towards empowering organisations in creating awareness, in brand building and in that ultimate test of business success: sales of products and services. Likewise, in the case of government campaigns, this same skills set is likely to bring about the campaign’s objectives of desired perception and behavioural change and acceptance.

"From a business point of view, the core competencies of marketing and communications make for a symbiotic union that significantly raises the capability of organisations."

Merlissa Elvin-Poulose

Merlissa Elvin-Poulose is senior vice president and head of corporate communications at Pacific Star Development, where she oversees a team responsible for strategic public relations, branding and marketing communications of the group’s global corporate brand as well as an established real estate portfolio in Asia. In her 18-year career, she was head of marketing and corporate communications at GuocoLand Group, where she managed the communications strategies for the listed Group’s multi-billion developments in Asia. As former head of marketing and public relations Asia for global human resources consultancy Hewitt Associates, her mandate spanned over 10 Asian countries. She also handled public relations and promotions for world-renowned Raffles Hotel.