Are integrated agencies better positioned to weather the economic storm?

Can agencies who describe themselves as specialists in one particular area survive in this current economic mist, or do they…should they adapt and offer integrated services to support their accounts in the long-term, as well as increasing potential client fee income?

All the agencies that I have spoken to agree that providing an integrated offering puts them in a better position when it comes to maintaining client relationships and, when it comes to winning new business. Some agencies however, state that continuing to offer one service, such as advertising or design is the way to go – I disagree – strongly!

As an experienced marketer and public relations professional, I would of course say that I agree with an integrated approach, because I can see the potential and the mix of both broad ranging service offerings. However, if your client knows you can deliver a host of services then they are more likely to ask your agency to offer more solutions when needed, instead of looking elsewhere. Moreover, whether you offer DM, PR or advertising aren’t all these forms of effective communications, which, at the end of the day can indeed support each other.

A good friend of mine once said to me: “Integration means choice.” He was right! Integration means choice for the client, as well as creativity within the approach. However, It also means greater financial opportunity for the agency. After all if you are a shop keeper and only sell one product then your customer base is reduced. However, if you sell a range of products your customer base is more varied and while one product may not be selling…your other offerings will be, thus helping to support the cash flow of your agency.

So, is an integrated approach better for your clients and your agency? Yes…absolutely.

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