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Integrated Marketing – who are the winners and losers?

By Ben Leet, Chief Customer Officer Delineate

Integrated Marketing is one of the biggest trends of 2018, and it’s set to continue for the foreseeable future. From advertising giants like WPP, all the way down to small agencies, everyone’s trying to integrate their services. Now they’re all aiming to become the ultimate ‘one stop shop’ for our clients, who’s hitting the (campaign) target? And who’s in danger of missing the mark?

Delineate Ben Leet blog


Brand side, the Chief Marketing Officer is a definite winner. Integration removes the need to keep different agencies harmonious across a multitude of marketing disciplines. The CMO has never been better placed to deliver marketing executions that will help their brand and campaign targets.

However, adopting the holistic approach isn’t easy. Specialists (advertising, social, creative, or PR) will lean into their own area, so change will inevitably create frictions within a team. The CMO must embrace a change management ethos. If they can’t take everyone with them on the journey, they will struggle to deliver the bold new vision.

The Agencies

Agencies that embrace integrated marketing will also win out too. The agency that argues “this is how we’ve always done it” is doomed to failure eventually. As Sir John Harvey Jones once said “The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise.” This is a trend we’ve already seen hitting the high-street retailers.

Effecting change is much harder for the agency. Integrating products and services is one thing, but to integrate a culture and way of working is another thing entirely. Judging by its recent results and output, even the mighty WPP has found this is a hard goal to accomplish.

But some are learning to meet the challenge. Agencies with a forward-thinking approach can integrate their services culturally. Then they will truly align with their client’s needs, rather than their internal processes and structure.

The Digital Duopoly

The rise of Google and Facebook has been prolific – the Digital Duopoly has never been stronger. So, John Wanamaker’s 19th century conundrum has been solved, right? We don’t need to worry if half the money we spend on advertising is wasted, the duopoly sorted that out, and we no longer need to advertise anywhere except digital.

Well… I wouldn’t advise abandoning other forms of marketing just yet. Consumers are complicated creatures, and integrated marketing is a new world. As agencies find more accurate attribution models and more effective ways of communication, the duopoly’s power is going to diminish. Yes, we’ve been saying that for some time, but trust me – it’s going to happen sooner or later.

The Data Companies

Data is undoubtedly a currency. It’s the big playbook of the duopoly, the ad networks, and social media, to name a few. But despite “big data” growing bigger every day, there’s very little data that sits across the entire marketing mix. Companies that can offer a view of the entire picture (combining social media, audience intelligence and demographics) will definitely win big.

At Delineate, we’ve been observing these trends for some time, and have invested heavily in building audience intelligence data that works across all forms of marketing, from the CMO to the planner at the small social agency. We’re not obsessed with digital advertising; we want to help all marketers make smarter, quicker decisions no matter what the campaign. How can we help you? Please give us a call.

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