How integrated are you?

Tonight’s London Evening Standard has an article about something I’ve been thinking about lately: integration. Writer Gideon Spanier picks ‘Compare The Meerkat’, by agency VCCP, as an example of a good integrated campaign. I like his choice. And I wish there were more clients and agencies that worked in an integrated way.

I’ve freelanced at 30 or more different agencies around London over the past 15 years. In order to survive and prosper, I’ve had to learn skills beyond my background, brand advertising. I’ve had to become an integrated copywriter.

I’ve just finished a freelance stint at M&C Saatchi, which is mentioned in the article. Their group of agencies is rapidly moving to a more integrated structure.

Yet still, in 2010, I come across companies and individuals who refuse to accept that the world is changing. There are clients who keep their brand advertising, online and direct marketing in separate agencies.


Don’t they see the importance of having their different media working together?

Or is it that they can’t find one single agency to do it all?

Then there are agency people who are locked in their brand advertising, DM or digital mindsets. They don’t think of how everything is going to work together to increase sales.

The other day, I heard about a commercial by a famous London agency. It was very popular and won loads of awards. But it didn’t increase sales. Why not? An insider tells me there was no follow-through from the brand advertising to the DM. No integration.

Isn’t that crazy? I think the solution would be for the people in the different disciplines to work more closely together – to be more integrated, like VCCP and their Compare The Market client.

What do you think? Whether you’re on the client side or in an agency, I’d like to know your views on integration.

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