The Great Integrated Marketing Debate


On 14th November 2014 Flock Associates hosted the first Flock Forum: The Great Integration Debate

Over 50 very senior marketers, procurement specialists, and agency managers came together at the Leica Studios to debate some of the issues and opportunities surrounding marketing integration.

Attendees from Johnson & Johnson, Diageo, Currys, PC World, Channel 4, PlayStation, Judge Business School, GLG Partners, M&M Global, The Drum, British American Tobacco, The World Federation of Advertisers, AO Group, Bite, Hasselblad, Mondelez, OMD International, ICP, Viacloud, Greenspace, Redmandarin, Epic Private Equity, Motorola, Tag Worldwide, Barclays Bank, Southampton Football Club, Yo Sushi,, News UK, Office Shoes, Additive, Wednesday Agency, Taylor Kendall and Co., Rosewood Hotel, Gutenberg Networks, and La Fosse Associates heard the expert panellists hammer out their points.

The debate was held under Chatham House rules to allow a free flowing, open and honest discussion, and was followed on twitter using the hashtag #flockforum. It was chaired by Simon Francis, CEO of Flock Associates and featured:

  • Nikki Mendonça – President OMD EMEA
  • Nick Allen- Most recently Nick was Vice President for Strategy at Shell
  • Kester Fielding – Global Demand Procurement Director at Diageo
  • Shilen Patel- Co-founder of Independents United

In a free flowing debate the panel and delegates discussed:

  • What are the barriers to marketing integration, what stops agencies doing their best work, and how do you get agencies to work effectively together?
  • What is the role of marketing procurement in driving better integrated solutions, and how do agencies work with procurement to define new win-win business models centred on performance?
  • What is the role of the client to drive integration, what are the different models of agency ecosystem, and who should lead them? What is the role for an independent marketing integration consultant, like Flock Associates? Should holding companies play a role in helping integrate their agencies?
  • Lastly, we talked about brands and businesses that were held up as great examples of integrated marketing

The discussion centred on:

  • The personal skills and experience required to be a great integrator “T-shaped people”,  “line crossers, silo hoppers, and joiners of dots”
  • A culture of collaboration
  • The roles and responsibilities of clients and how to align them
  • The agency contracts, KPIs and Integrated Marketing Procurement – the setting up of consortia, and getting “skin in the game”
  • Which agencies could or should lead integration and the vital role of data
  • Getting different creatives to work together and the integrating power of an “organising idea”

Passionate points were expressed and in general the panellists and audience agreed that Marketing Integration is one of the biggest client issues, that it difficult to fix, the challenges are getting greater, and differences between good and bad are growing.

All the pictures of the event are held on the Flock Associates Pinterest board here.

(All photographs courtesy of Sandstorm)

The evening was so passionately debated that the event ran over for an hour, then on into the evening across pubs and bars in Mayfair

“I enjoyed it and feel we covered a lot of good ground”

“Thank you so much for a brilliant evening, fantastically orchestrated”

“Just a quick note to say thank you so much for inviting me to your first Flock Forum.  It was really enjoyable – and a great credit to you and your team”

“Just to say well done on a good event last night. I really enjoyed it”

“Thanks again for inviting me along last night. There were some great people there. And some good debates”

“Many thanks for letting me share in the first Flock Forum last night, I genuinely found it both stimulating and a great opportunity to meet a very interesting mix of people from across the industry”

“I also wanted to thank you all for a very thought provoking and fun event last night. It went swimmingly so congratulations to you all on a job very well done and with an excellent attendance!”

“What a great evening last night….excellent topics, good audience, well chaired and impeccably organised! No one wanted to leave either!”

“Just a brief note to say thank you for the opportunity of attending this evening. Found the debate genuinely interesting and if only we had a crystal ball of how mktg services will be procured in the future…although am sure Flock will be in there ;-)”

If you would like to hear what the panellists and delegates had to say then do come in to the Flock Office for tea, or give us a call and we will  give you the highlights.


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