A Wake-Up Call for Collaboration

The ability to integrate creative, media and technology to meet the demands of your always-on consumer is ideal. However, most traditional lead agencies don’t have those capabilities just yet, nor are most digital agencies prepared to handle lead agency duties. Coordination of your agencies is not enough – you need to move more aggressively toward true collaboration.

People now consume 12 hours of media in just 9 hours of elapsed time, according to a recent Harvard Business Review study.[1] Consumers use a lot of media types all at once and now brands need to catch up. To do so, marketers must change how they work with their agencies.

If you are a CMO or a brand leader, you are probably using multiple agencies to meet the demands of your always-on consumer. A lead agency that can integrate creativity, media and technology would be a great solution, but traditional lead agencies aren’t yet capable. In 2009, Forrester Research set off a mini industry tempest when it reported that only 23 percent of interactive marketers felt traditional agencies were equipped to handle interactive marketing work.[2] Fast forward two years and Forrester still reports that only 30 percent of those surveyed use their traditional agencies for digital marketing, and in fact 68 percent of those marketers work with two or more agencies. Some reportedly have more than 15 agencies on their interactive rosters.[3] By the same token, most digital agencies aren’t yet ready to handle lead agency duties. In three to five years, the landscape will look different, but for now marketers have to deal with a patchwork of agencies that are channel specialists and all the complexity that comes from that.

What can you do now to drive the integration of creativity, media and technology that you need to truly engage consumers? Coordination of agencies is not enough — you need to move more aggressively toward collaboration. And guess what? Agency folk want more collaboration — or at least they claim they do.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are a CMO or brand leader and you’re not pushing your agencies for deep collaboration, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

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