When Music Teaches Marketing On The Art of “Integration”

10 November, 2020

The idea came to me during a musical practice session, a habit that I’ve kept for 15 years as a guitar soloist and violinist. To me, music is not just a hobby but also philosophy that can be applied in marketing work. Therefore, if you are either a marketer or musician, this article will serve you best as it will go through three simple questions.

Question #1: What do music and marketing have in common?

The combination of many components, I believe. Basically music needs 1. Percussion (drums), 2. Bass (bass player), 3. Rhythm (guitar) and 4. Melody (singer). Learning any of these will take years to be accomplished, yet putting them together requires even more time. Considering a large-sized orchestra, they tour together and practice for years to play one piece without any mistakes. So this is what is truly called “integration”; it ripens on effective cooperation and lengthy practice despite how excellent one member can be.

Similarly, integrated marketing campaign is formed by putting many components together, yet people accept the fact that one or few components can never work well with the rest and therefore the gap to perfection is wide.

Question #2: How long does it take to form a good band/company?

Days to be a singer if you already have little talent or saying can simply sing in tune; months to play chords on guitar but trust me that when these people are put together they never form a real band. It takes years to form a true band, the same amount of time to have an integrated marketing agency I believe, unless you want to listen to a song that is stopped several time during performance or being played out of tune. How would you describe this experience?

One lesson I learned when a guy approaching me asking for instant guitar lesson that can help him to impress girls is that similarly an agency that rushes into integrated marketing service to impress their clients does not really know how to do it. Integration needs practice and time, a lot of them. But unfortunately, look around for integrated marketing agency – thousands there are on the market, integrated marketing agencies that do “one thing at a time.”

Question #3: Is there any standard of integration for a marketing agency?

When my thinking encounters this thought, I myself hesitate to proclaim my company “integrated” as well. For the past 2 years, we expanded our budget for recruitment and brought in many talents, participated in many pitches and executed integrated marketing campaigns on digital platform. But honestly we are not there yet. Results are still not transparent and imperfection is still there. An agency with teams of specialists in place is not good enough; there are five more questions to ask I believe:

  1. Do we have culture of teamwork spirit?
  2. Have we built good process for harmony among them?
  3. How many years of practice do we have?
  4. How many good performances have we done for our clients?
  5. Are they ready for the performance on stage one more time?

Still, there are no standardized answers for any of these. An answer of a marketing agency whether or not to be “integrated” depends on its CEO’s expectation. I set the standard for my company to be 5 years and strive for it. There are 3 more years to go for a local company to reach the global standard.

Last but not least, have you thought about doing 4 musical components by one? It’s the act of performance optimization, using the least resource to achieve the full capability. It’s what I learned after 15 years being a guitar soloist and violinist. If not, you may consider spending a little more time to view the video below (my favourite guitar soloist).

If you can apply this philosophy in business, congratulations your company is invincible!

Nguyen Hai Minh

Managing Director

Wisdom Agency



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