Magazine article Marketing

Integration: A Creative Mix

Magazine article Marketing

Integration: A Creative Mix

Article excerpt

Clients may look critically at the role of integrated agencies, but their skills, if properly used, can be key to finding ad solutions

I was just wondering what had happened to the integration bandwagon when you kindly commissioned Mercier Grey to find out (Marketing, March 5).

Sadly, the same old misconceptions were trotted out and some important issues overlooked.

I do not want to set myself up as the spokesman for the 'Integrated Party' but as CDP has developed something of a capability for providing more than just advertising, I thought it might be helpful to say why.

The reasons are far more fundamental than a desire to provide 'one-stop-shopping' and go to the heart of many of the problems of the advertising business today.

First, there is a great deal of difference between one-stop-shopping and so called integration.

One-stop-shopping is indeed an agency creation and not surprisingly clients see through this.

Integration is a very different concept, in our book at least. What it should provide is a focus on creative solutions to marketing problems rather than a commitment to a particular medium or process.

This might involve a number of marketing services disciplines, only one or even none at all. But it is the solution that drives the mix, not a desire to do everything for a client.

Client responsibility

It has been suggested that the client needs to take or even regain this integrating role but again this is to miss the point. Clients will ultimately always have this role and the final responsibility.

But in a fast-changing and fragmenting world I would contend that clients want agencies that think beyond just their traditional disciplines.

In our own research carried out last year we found that clients were increasingly uncertain about where to turn for creative and strategic advice and that this was causing them to ask serious questions about what they are getting from their traditional agency partners. …

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