All advertising agencies say they offer integrated marketing--they would be foolish to say they don't.

It's not a new thing to work cross-media or to ensure consistent messaging from one medium to another, but more recently integration has started to take on more complex meanings. The lines between direct marketing and branding are getting blurrier, as are the lines between branding and entertainment.

One line that is not getting blurrier, however, is the bottom line. As agencies, we are finding ourselves more and more involved in the intricate, strategic business goals of our clients.

We have to be at the 30,000-foot level and on the ground at the same time. We're in the business of ideas but also in the business of business.

For this reason, the most crucial part of integration is the involvement from the very top. When integration is happening really well, it is because the senior management of an agency is driving it and paving the way for everyone else.

From the structural to the executional, the following are five ways agency management can ensure they are prepared to offer true integration to their clients:

One Profit Center

If you really want to make sure you're not integrated, create a separate interactive division and give it its own P&L.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Rose Josh Rose (josh_rose@deutschinc.com) is Sr. Vice President and Director of iDeutsch, the Interactive division of Deutsch, recent winner of ADWEEK's Interactive Agency of the Year, 2002. (www.deutschinc.com)