We’ve started the new year with a renewed level of optimism in terms of what it holds for new business opportunities for our agency clients.
Despite the dreaded “c word” still being mentioned in the news every day, the general feedback we have from our constant dialogue with marketing decision makers is a sense of getting back to business as usual. These sentiments seem to be increasing more each day, much like the hours of daylight as we approach Spring.
One of the areas tipped to see particularly good growth in 2022 is integrated marketing.
Gideon Spanner summed up one of the reasons for this very well in Campaign recently when he commented that:
“The need to bring together creative and digital to deliver great customer experiences pre-dated the pandemic but has intensified, because digital consumption accelerated dramatically during lockdown. It is now a top priority for brands with new habits settling down as the virus crisis eases.”
An obvious example of this would be the decline of retail in a physical environment. This was absolutely decimated during the lockdowns as many stores were forced to close for significant periods. Digital channels thrived as retailers increased their reliance on them. But as we move back to a level of normality and the world reopens, brands will be looking to achieve a higher level of cohesion between their online and off-line strategies.
There will still undoubtedly be challenges for the marketing industry after the turbulence of the last few years. A talent shortage is affecting firms across the board and we are seeing inflation at its highest level for 30 years.
This may lead to brands wanting to keep their costs under control through their agencies providing better advertising effectiveness – and again, this would likely suit the integrated model.
Integrated agencies have the capacity to generate great branding along with a strategy which can utilise technology and data across different platforms to really enhance each customer’s personal experience.
Even what constitutes “digital marketing” has changed massively over the last decade. With technology developing at breakneck speed and evolving areas such as virtual reality and augmented reality becoming mainstream, there are an increasing number of channels bringing ever-more opportunities for marketers to immerse consumers wherever they are – whether that be instore, at home or on the move.
To fully engage the consumer with the “personality” of the brand across all mediums is pretty much the holy grail of marketing and integrated agencies are amongst the best placed to facilitate this.
Finally, just speaking from our own experience as a new business agency, there can be increased opportunities when running lead generation campaigns for integrated agencies. It is a difficult job to get through to very senior marketing decision makers, whatever the discipline. However, we know that with sufficient tenacity, skill and intelligence you will eventually manage it. At that point, you want your offer to be absolutely relevant to their needs. It can sometimes be the case that these decision makers don’t see their marketing challenges in quiet the same areas you had originally approached them for. But with an integrated offer, you can bridge a number of gaps to find solutions that the prospect will genuinely see the value in. This can enable you to get that crucial foot in the door on your first steps to winning a new client.
An old adage that is often bandied about in the marketing world is about trying to fit square pegs in round holes. In this situation, think of an integrated agency of being like a liquid. Doesn’t really matter what shape the holes are, the liquid will flow into them just fine!