Commentary

WFA Report Finds Holding Company Model Doesn't Deliver Better Integration

The World Federation of Advertisers and OxfordSM are out with a new report on integrated-marketing communication efforts.

One of the more intriguing findings is that while the holding-company agency model has raised high expectations, “it doesn’t appear to deliver better integration, and performance gaps remain significant.”

The report, “Designing for Integration,” is based on a survey of more than 20 multinational companies with a total global ad spend of $32 billion.

It found that for most WFA members, “the overarching goal is to be able to deliver campaigns seamlessly across all channels from a simple common brief: fully integrated communication.”

Respondents with a holding company model rate themselves as having greater performance gaps versus others across nearly a dozen benchmarks, including global campaign implementation and delivery, testing and segmenting and targeting.

In-housing remains a trend on the rise, according to the report, which found more than 70% of those polled have plans for additional in-sourcing of marcomms capabilities in the future.

Among the report’s recommendations is that in-housing capability should be considered from both an expertise building and cost-reduction perspective. Marketers should “have a clear view about the qualitative impact on marcomms and agreement on the priority for long term, internal capability build and ownership.”

1 comment about "WFA Report Finds Holding Company Model Doesn't Deliver Better Integration".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 22, 2019 at 8:52 a.m.

    Very likely the reason why advertisers who say that they have issues with big agency conglomerates and seamless execution of their campaigns and media bjuys is the way that these usually huge marketing organizations, themselves, are organized and their own inability to provide seamless and coordinated direction to their huge agency complexes. This type of complaint is to be expected in studies of this type---what else could the respondents say?

    Without defending the agencies---as there's always room for considerable imporvement---in my experience they mirror the ways their clients think and behave. At BBDO, for instance , those serving on Accout A might be rank amateurs---only slightly more knoledgeable than their client ---while those serving on the far more butttoned up Account B---a sophisticated, data-driven package goods  marketer----reflected this and were, themselves well versed in the required disciplines. Same agency, two totally different ways to handle accounts. I saw the same thing at other agencies and still see it today.

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