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C21st Marketing Demands Collaboration

August 27, 2013

Art by Julia Mehretu

Jennifer Polk of Gartner has a great post on her blog about the blurred lines that digital marketing, I might say marketing overall in 2013,  is now creating.

It’s basically breaking down boundaries and creating “mash ups” as various entities cross over into each other’s territory.

She leads her story with the case of The Council of Public Relations Firms, who invited Edward Boches to speak at a forum, only to rescind the invitation once they realized he worked for an ad agency.

Polk highlights how digital marketing is creating competition between different factions inside the marketing function as they all realize the can play in the same sandbox. The problem is that competition can easily get hyper-competitive and lead to chaos. Obviously, the solution is collaboration, but that requires leadership, systems and new protocols that take old marketing and make it relevant for the C21st. Not all brands and companies have that ability.

Her suggestion is that in the end it’s all about collaboration both from the perspective of internal units and divisions, but also external partners and her advice for agencies is as follows;

“For service providers, it’s time for an honest assessment of your areas of expertise to determine when and where you can legitimately add value. Convergence implies that distinct paths likes advertising and public relations are merging, but there are skills that are native in an ad agency and would need to be developed or acquired for a PR firm to add the same value. “

There’s a lot of opportunity here for agencies to demonstrate value in the following ways.

1.Be a focused provider of a specific area of expertise.

2. Offer mutliple areas of expertise, either through ownership or alliances.

3. Be the “Master Contractor”; building systems and processes to encourage collaboration within allied or owned areas of expertise.



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