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Adding value to marketing mix

MANY marketing companies in WA have had to develop more comprehensive, broad-based services to meet the strategic planning and creative needs of their clients, according to Braincells Creative Marketing chief executive officer Allen Burtenshaw.

Mr Burtenshaw believes that clients’ demand for value for money has led marketing companies to diversify into areas such as creative advertising, design, media buying and e-marketing services, as a means of adding further value to their core strategic planning services.

“I think clients are obviously demanding a lot more value for money at this point of time. They are wanting marketing/advertising companies that can really add value and complement their own thoughts and strategies,” he said. “I don’t think that clients are accepting any more that just a creative idea is going to solve the problem, it has to be more strategic.”

Mr Burtenshaw considers the move by Braincells Creative Marketing to develop its business into an integrated marketing and advertising service provider to be one of the main reasons it has not been seriously affected by the recent economic difficulties.

“From what I have heard there are some, strictly speaking, advertising agencies that are finding times different, that perhaps they are not as lucrative,” he said. “I believe that the client these days is looking for more of a marketing-cum-advertising service.”

Caron Marketing chief executive officer David Stephens believes total service provision is a natural progression for the industry, as marketing companies have long been telling their clients to value add to their products and services. Now, it seems, the marketing industry is starting to practise what it preaches.

The trend towards total service provision being sought by clients of marketing companies is leading to further rationalisation within the marketing and advertising industries in WA, according to The Marketing Mix chief executive officer Chris McCarthy.

“I think there is some rationalisation going on at the moment,” Mr McCarthy said.

“We have got other agencies coming to us saying ‘let’s join forces’. We have had two approaches from companies saying maybe we can utilise each other’s resources and be a bigger player.”

Mr Stephens believes small niche marketing companies are having to form alliances with advertising and promotions companies in order to remain competitive with the larger marketing companies.

“What were nice little niche marketing companies now realise that they have to spread their base because of this greater service that people want,” Mr Stephens said. “You need to get these alliances in place so that you can act in the same comparative level of a fully 100 per cent packaged company.”

But even with talk of rationalisation within the industry, all of the industry sources contacted by Business News believe that 2002 is shaping up to be a better year for their respective businesses.

This, they believe, is due to rising consumer confidence, with businesses looking to engage the services of marketing companies in order to set a long-term strategic plan for the branding of their image and to re-establish their position in the marketplace.

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