World Federation of Advertisers – Integrated Marketing Questions


The World Federation of Advertisers meets this week in Australia. The conference will bring together the finest corporate marketing brains debating the biggest issues and opportunities facing advertisers.

To help fuel the debate, here are some of the questions that Flock would like to put to the speakers and delegates.

There are five topics we would love to hear their views on:

  • Marketing Talent
  • Marketing Data
  • Marketing Integration
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Big Ideas

MARKETING TALENT should be top of any agenda for any meeting of the WFA. Marketing traditionally has attracted a different sort of talent from, say, manufacturing. However, increasingly marketing needs to attract marketing diverse talent, like technologists and data analysts. Not the talent areas that marketing and communication specialists have traditionally recruited from.

This talent is under huge demand from technology companies and start-ups, the world over. The smartest integrated marketing companies will be thinking about how they resource and structure their marketing departments with technology and data integrated into the heart of operations.

What is your plan for getting the talent that will drive marketing forward? How will you gain talent that can create and buy marketing technology? What is your plan to get data analysts into the heart of your company and build an integrated data strategy?

Talking of  MARKETING DATA… Data and privacy should rightly be an issue for debate by the World Federation of Advertisers in Australia. However, we want to look at one increasingly important sub-issue: do you have a policy, a process, and a strategy for the marketing data that your campaigns throw off? Are your agencies, media owners, and third parties building their own businesses using your confidential data, at your expense?

Let us take a car manufacturer as a hypothetical example.

  • They pay a media agency to buy some digital space to drive consumers to car dealers, for a test drive of the latest model.
  • The media agency gets a whole bunch of data from the campaign which it uses for other car clients.
  • The media owner too, has valuable data that it monetises with other car clients. Lastly, the dealer captures the visitors to the dealership and builds their own business, which may include dealerships for other car manufacturers.

So, in this case the client has paid for the privilege of strengthening three separate businesses, and competitive sales, through a poor data management policy.

What is your marketing data policy? Can you use it to save money? Can you use it to make money?

MARKETING INTEGRATION is now the biggest of marketing issues – it is a bigger issue than “digital” or “creativity”. Let us look at the stats:

  • The average client has seven different communication agencies.
  • 1 in 10 retains eleven or more communication agencies.
  • 1/3 of clients believe their external resource structure is characterised by silo thinking.
  • In a survey of 46 Global Marketers conducted by Flock Associates:
    • 70% said they would get a 10% greater return on their marketing investment if their campaigns were better integrated.
    • 31% said they would get a 20% greater return on their marketing investment if their plans were better integrated.
    • 64% said their agencies were poor at collaborating to find production efficiency for the client.
  • In a survey of 1,850 CMOs and other marketing executives conducted by Forbes the following concerns emerged:
    • 68% put integrated marketing communications ahead of “effective advertising” (65%), when they were asked what the most important thing is that they want from an agency.
    • 53% identified agency accountability & measurement as a key area of concern in the client/agency relationship.

So, marketing integration is a massive issue. The current management systems have broken down and failed in the onslaught of increased specialism and “departmentalism” plus the complexities of Global Operations. Organisations, systems and processes built in the 1950’s for TV advertising cannot deliver in a real time communications environment.

Our question to the assembled CMOs at the WFA is simple: What is your marketing integration strategy? How are you going to build integrated structures, integrated processes, systems, insights and integrated marketing ideas? If you do not have a marketing integration strategy, we think you may become a victim of “disintegration”…

MARKETING ANALYTICS. It is not open for debate that marketing needs to be more accountable. We all know that there is better and more data than ever before. Marketers also have greater computational power than ever before. However, the challenges of multiple marketing channels have made proving the accountability of marketing very hard indeed. The proof of marketing effectiveness seems more elusive than ever.

What is your plan to enhance your marketing analytics?

How will you get a common currency across your marketing channels?

What marketing technology do you need to take the data and present it usable formats?

What data should you lobby the media vendors and cross-industry bodies to provide?

How are you building accountability into your agency terms and conditions?

BIG IDEAS. We think the rush to digital, the pressures of globalisation, time constraints, and the fragmentation of the agency ecosystem has led to more little ideas, more fragmented ideas, and less BIG IDEAS. There seems to be more focus on other aspects of marketing, rather than on creativity and the value it creates.

And yet, we see the great success of big global integrated marketing ideas like Dove – Campaign For Real Beauty. When someone really cracks a great big idea, we see how it can really organise all the channels and make most use of them, and be hugely effective.

Our question to the WFA, why is creativity not on the agenda for the conference?  When creativity is the last unfair advantage of a marketing company, how can be that the World’s best marketers are not constantly looking at creativity?

So, five big questions to join the other topics the WFA members and guests will deliberate, and ponder. We hope it is a great conference and marketing moves on a little. We hope our questions fuel a better debate. And, if it is answers that you need, well, in all modesty we at Flock may have just some of them…

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