Everyone wins in integration game

David Miller’s article “Ad message a load of old Kant” (MW February 28) argued that marketers are responding to the economic downtown by cutting advertising and investing more wisely elsewhere.

This view flies in the face of retrospective reviews of the economic downturn in the early Nineties, which showed that the most successful companies held to long-term brand strategies and maintained investment while weaker competitors cut back.

But both these generalisations miss out on areas in which marketing communications can be made more cost-effective by integrating them more effectively. A substantial US study recently confirmed the link between increased integrated marketing communication and increased sales, share and profit. Moreover, 90 per cent of companies had room for improvement in this aspect especially with regard to the vital strategic underpinning.

Surviving an economic downturn is not about arbitrary switching of investment from above-the- line to below-the-line. It is about product innovation, it is about holding firm to a long-term brand strategy and improving the cost effective- ness of all marketing communications by increasing the extent to which they are truly integrated.

John Cristal

Group managing director

WFCA Integrated

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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