Integration needs staffing

I agree with many points in the feature “Upwardly mobile” (MW May 3) particularly those raised with regards the more integrated approach being taken by companies which once wholly specialised in sales promotion. Indeed, I would go as far to say that the sales promotion industry as we once knew it no longer exists. Clients demand more services and value for money from their agencies and this demand runs beyond the remit of the traditional concept of sales promotion.

However, a big threat to the future of these agencies – in light of the move towards greater integration – is staffing. Particularly the training, acquisition and retention of staff. Agencies in this new, multi-disciplined, environment need staff with a wide range of marketing skills. Finding such experienced staff, training them where appropriate and retaining them has become critical to the success of agencies. This is something agencies have traditionally been poor at doing. If agencies devote more time to staff and staffing issues in this new environment, not only will employees benefit but so will the bottom line, and the industry will go a long way towards dispelling any outdated preconceptions that might be held by clients.

Only once the issues with staffing are solved will the industry shed its old, pigeon-holed, reputation.

Steve Harding

Managing director

Tarantula Responsive

London WC2

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