Integrated or specialist agencies?

Neil Bromehead
Specialisation is never a bad thing when it comes to marketing – especially in the digital sphere. After all, with its inherent technical requirements, it makes sense that a digital team consists of specialists such as coders and search advertisers. I add creatives to this list, where they understand how to build assets for different devices and responsive views.

Those of us who live in this digital world often choose to separate ourselves from the traditional and established agency set-up, to create our own niche space. We form digital agencies, create our own awards evenings, and win accounts that traditional agencies can’t support. This kind of separation seemed like the right idea, as it allowed us to focus on what we do best. But I believe we lost something along the way: The benefits of a consistent strategy that meets the needs of a client across their entire marketing spectrum.

Disagree? Let me explain by looking at a typical client-side marketing manager’s role. Most will have a PR team, digital team, print design and/or branding team and possibly a few others. Each of these teams in turn require copywriters, designers and, most importantly, account managers. When it comes to maintaining an over-arching strategy for the client’s marketing needs, what’s holding this system together is a CI guide and a very busy and stressed client-side manager.  But this system is messy and strategically problematic.

So, where to from here? Stratitude solves this problem in three ways. We provide a full in-house digital service offering that collaborates with PR, design, print and media. A dedicated account manager provides a single point of contact between Stratitude and a client, and is the only person that needs to be contacted no matter the marketing need. Finally, and fundamentally, we conduct a full strategic planning session with all key team heads, to discuss the overall strategy our client requires, before embarking on any projects.

In part 2 of this series I’ll be discussing how our digital product offering leverages assets and work from every department, at every stage of a project. It blows my mind when I consider the synergy that this interaction creates – which would be impossible in a specialist digital agency.