Agencies and clients should work together

The training and development report (MW August 5) could have been an excellent article if some of the background had been researched better.

There seems to be confusion about marketing which the quote from Wendy Lomax almost addressed. Marketing is a management discipline and sits at the boardroom table. Advertising is a marketing service that delivers one aspect of the communications mix between the business and the customer – and communications is one aspect of the marketing mix. Advertising has an important role to play but it is not marketing.

The article went on to look at training in the agency sector and picked on MBAs and MAs. There was no reference either to the CAM qualifications, which are sponsored by the agency sector and others, or to the CIM marketing qualifications. It is therefore hardly surprising that Iain Sanderson was so dismissive of MBAs when they are the only qualifications he is asked about. They are not generally rele-vant to his business sector.

Despite these shortcomings, the article raised a question which may be worth following up.

In an industry where businesses are moving to long-term supplier relationships in their five-year rolling plans, and agencies recognise that artistic and imaginative flair isn’t enough to compete and stay profitable, would clients be willing to invest in developing the same relationships with agencies as they have done with their high added-value suppliers? And, for their part, would agencies accept the disciplines associated with objective business planning and such benchmarks as Investors in People and ISO 9000?

I would like to think I don’t know the answer.

David Yates

College director

Surrey Marketing College


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