Marketers must blend expertise

Your Special Report on multidisciplinary agencies “Name dropping” (MW February 11) raised some valuable points but missed others.

As a founder director of an agency that has been fully integrated for over five years, I take exception to Matthew Hooper’s comment “other agencies are just catching up”, this is not a new phenomenon.

As sales promotion and direct marketing evolved, it was a logical step to house them under the same roof. There is little need for fashionable jargon such as “lateral marketing” when communicating this to clients. There are too many buzzwords polluting the market today.

I agree with Hooper that it also helps the client to pay its agency through fees rather than commission. By billing a fee for a “total service” you avoid becoming a slave to any one discipline. This is just one of the practices supporting our policy of “clear thinking”, which allows us to determine the combination of marketing disciplines needed to meet our clients’ objectives.

Clearly, the future for agencies lies in objective marketing consultancy. Why is it then that industry regulatory bodies have not yet recognised the way we are developing? I have five keen recruits who I am happy to train, but which diploma comes first?

I wish the Institute of Sales Promotion and the Institute of Direct Marketing would take a leaf out of our book and start combining their expertise to provide the new generation of marketing professionals with the right training.

Andrew Watts



London W1

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