By Susannah Morgan, Consumer Division, Energy PR

Why do so few organisations bring together the many marketing suppliers that are working for them?

Successful marketing meetings should be akin to a council of war, especially in these tough times, when we’re all fighting for every sale.

Companies are waging war on the competition, and should approach it with a top notch strategy and military precision. Yet many organisations are really poor at having the best brains in the business and their agencies all gathered together for a common purpose. In fact they never do it!

This is madness as undoubtedly, even within the smallest organisation, the best marketing campaigns are born from true integration of thought and clarity of creative direction. The goal is to achieve a simple yet compelling message, clear for the consumer to understand, that reaches them through a variety of different touch-points to make sure it is really driven home. It is a common fallacy to think that it is the role of the in-house marketing function to provide this cohesiveness because in truth it can only be generated by the agencies all working together with a common cause and a common brief. For cohesive and integrated plans to work, the left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing, and if this information has to come through the marketing department it causes a bottle neck. By keeping the disciplines separated, brands run the risk of work streams failing to complement each other, and even worse, undermining each other. Is it sensible for your advertising to be saying something different to your PR? Obviously not.

The grey areas of digital and social media can lead to fear of agencies squabbling over some marketing no-man’s land. And this does happen. But once the ground rules and parameters are established, professional agencies across the marketing disciplines should be able to play nicely together without feeling threatened and work as an extended team to achieve client objectives. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be hired in the first place.

Working together to one brief allows discipline experts to build on each other’s work to deliver a plan that is strategic, creative and complementary to the rest of the marketing plan. Way more successful than working in isolation.

So do yourselves a favour — get your agencies around a table asap to get a cohesive plan nailed down tight and wage effective war on your competition.

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