This blog post first ran on TheTop10Blog so if you read it there, move along to the comments, where you always find the real gold anyway.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that 2011 is the year of integration.

This past year you got to play with social media tools and figure out which were most applicable to your business. Now it’s time to stop playing and integrate your traditional, digital, and mobile campaigns into one marketing and communication program.

Not convinced?  Following are 10 reasons integration is crucial this year.

  1. Privacy is going to become a bigger concern for people and they’ll begin looking for non-Facebook like networks where they can control their content and what is shared. This means your Facebook fans will begin to migrate somewhere you can no longer reach them.
  2. Customer service and HR want a role in what marketing and communications are doing through the social networks so they’ll actively search ways to stay relevant in the ever-changing technology world.
  3. No longer will you go to where your customers are participating online, they’ll come to you through the way they use the web. So your website will serve as a hub for all your social networks and then push people back out to various posts on the web. Everything you do should bring people back to something you own.
  4. The recent decision from the FFC on net neutrality means the way you use the web, and the way you develop apps for smart phones, could change as early as March. Pay super close attention to what this means because, as a business and as a consumer, you may have to pay for access to certain things on the web, just like you do with cable television.
  5. Developing campaigns under an integrated strategy will force you to look at where your audience is already participating online, how you can connect with them, how you can extend the conversation, and how you can get them to introduce you to others. In some cases this will happen online; in others it will be offline. Don’t ignore one for the other.
  6. The day of simply pushing the same message in all of the channels is gone. It’s time to customize the role of each channel for your benefit, but by remaining selfless. You can do this online and offline.
  7. Customers are becoming even more fragmented so an integrated approach is necessary. Some Baby Boomers, for instance, won’t do business without shaking your hand while most Gen Yers won’t do business by shaking your hand.
  8. Companies such as Zappos and Starbucks have changed the way we do business. Our customers (and it doesn’t matter if they’re B2C or B2B) want to have a voice in our process and they want to have access to all of the people who work within the four walls. Innovation tools such as Salesforce Ideas, UserVoice, and GetSatisfaction allow you to build products in real time with customers.
  9. Employees are using technologies such as Yammer and Basecamp to communicate with one another, without the approval of IT. The opportunity to integrate these tools into your employee and internal communication strategy is prime.
  10. The opportunity to organize the company in a centralized model has never been better. Research from Altimeter shows companies are “organizing in at least five different models.” Creating a centralized model allows internal teams to assemble in order to share and learn and then communicate with external audiences.

What do you think? Are you integrating everything? Why or why not?

P.S. We’re having an encore of our Nine Marketing Trends webinar on Jan. 25. We’ll cover some of these things and also explore how you can integrate one or all of the trends in your planning this year. You can get a $10 discount if you register by tomorrow night.

Love the image from IIAnalytics – thanks!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich