The Larger Promotions Picture
Depending on the scale at which you observe a phenomenon there is a multiplicity of ways in which you can determine exactly what it is you see. It's possible to focus on either the larger scale and see the whole of the promotional experience as one, or alternatively one can observe the individual elements and leave their sum total to theory. Both systems of assembling a promotional campaign are successful, however the main thing is that the objectives point towards practical outcomes which are in tune with the overall requirements of your organisation's direction.
When a company is working through the ins and outs of a process which is designed to increase sales and market exposure there are a large number of budgetary and message delivery considerations which have to come together to create an effective whole. A marketer could have everything right in terms of message and media delivery but if there's no stock available, or the retailers refuse to carry the lines you are promoting there is little point advertising in the first place.
Consider your own promotional activities as a single entity and then look at the individual pieces assembled. What are the strong points and which are the weak points of the structure. What can be improved and more importantly, what aspects of the whole can be better integrated or tuned to better to work cohesively with the other elements with which it sits side by side?
It seems that the reason many corporate structures exist in the hierarchical manner is to facilitate this style of higher and lower level observation. A marketing director's job is to watch over the total value of the brands and the image of the company at a trade and retail level. A brand manager does the same for an individual brand while jobbers and other single activity based staff each deal with an individual slice of the total brand requirements. At each level of scale the same company objectives and ideals are espoused as at the highest level.
For most of us who do not have the resources to create a management structure which keeps your business relationship with the rest of the world on an even keel it's important to still consider the steps that the larger organisations take to consider the pieces and the whole of their message and product delivery system. In many ways it's more important for a small company to get the integration of the promotional elements right considering the overall lack of resources and the need to make sure that any budget allocation pointed at building sales and market position is wisely invested, or at least spent so that it does not degrade the situation.
Take three steps back and look at the totality of what it is you do to communicate with the rest of the world, then step closer and look at each of the individual parts. Finally, check the connection between the individual elements to make sure everything is flowing the right way. After you've done this you're in a position to understand the perspective of message delivery at every level of scale.