Dig deeper for more meaningful relationships
Integrated agencies aren’t full of generalists, says Peter Holgate. They’re filled with specialists who understand the bigger picture
Relationships. They’re complex, with many connections. And they don’t blossom in isolation as everything is connected in some way. This goes for the ones inside your company as much as the ones with your customers and clients. But if those relationships aren’t meaningful, then they aren’t sustainable.
This has been an increasing focus for our B2B and pharma clients. Creating meaningful long-term relationships can involve so many influencers, managers and decision makers. And managing this at scale is a challenge that’s increasing hand-in-hand with the complexity of channels and interactions in multichannel marketing.
When we look at the truth about relationships we find:
- They die in silos and thrive on collaboration.
- They aren’t static. They change with context.
- They cannot be managed. We have to connect with the people within it.
When we understand the truths about people in the context of a given relationship, we are able to connect more meaningfully with them. And it’s something integrated agencies are particularly well placed to do.
Integrated agencies look at problems and people first, and apply specialisms later. They have a wider understanding about the individual motivations, influences, and opportunities for connection that exist. They also have the breadth of understanding that ensures they ask the right questions of the right people. And that’s what drives the right outcomes.
This wider view improves understanding of the interconnected relationships between decision-makers and influencers. It enables fresh thinking about how to bring those different voices together for the greatest effect.
But the natural reaction to a specific problem is to focus on the specialist. On the surface, an integrated agency might look like a team of generalists, but this is not our experience. They are founded by, and filled with, specialists. But specialists who are filled with an innate curiosity of how their specialism works within the world around it. They naturally avoid boxes, silos and isolation, and want to work with people with different experiences and areas of focus. They are drawn to this because it makes for better ideas that are more likely to be made, and more likely to be effective. It has a positive effect on internal relationships too. The collaborative nature of people who work in an integrated agency is a real asset in the complex reality of modern marketing. They are used to untangling this complexity and confusion to allow a greater focus on the relationships that matter to you and the company.
That breadth of thinking and collaborative outlook drives better working relationships with client teams, other agencies and third parties. That means work that provides a more coherent customer experience, better integrated across journey and touchpoints, and improves effectiveness.
So how do integrated agencies serve the needs of clients wanting specialised services? Simple. By starting with a full picture of the people you need to build a relationship with – not a sector, channel or discipline. Then bringing the specialisms to bear.
That is how we create more meaningful relationships with people. And more meaningful relationships are more valuable relationships.
This year's league table features a record-breaking 95 agencies, and is chock-full of analysis, commentary and interview with the agencies themselves and on the state of the market.