This post is by Goh ShuFen, president of IAS.

We've all seen the Mad Men episode where Don Draper strides into the room and sells the client a complete idea. One client, one agency, one easy decision. Life was simple then, but today, with multiple stakeholders, markets and agencies, companies need a far more disciplined approach to improving integrated marketing.

When the P&G CFO John Moeller announced his firm was looking to drive $500m in savings from agencies, a key area outlined was how agencies integrate.

It was with this thought in mind, we initiated "Integration 40", a fresh look at 40 of the best integrated marketing campaigns and processes from around the world. We reviewed hundreds of campaigns from six continents before selecting the final list.

Along the way, and through our other consulting work on integration, we discovered something else.


Most marketers and agencies are wasting time, wasting money and wasting the best thinking on the path to making communication. Based on our own analysis, we believe there can be as much as a 19% value improvement through following some basic principles.

In our report, you can already see the world's best marketers are seeking to drive out this waste. P&G are bringing media owners into the process to streamline decision making. Unilever are working on fresh collaboration approaches to their global marketing to build better ownership and results. Coca-Cola are using tissue sessions with all stakeholders to reiterate faster and get to better thinking.

So what can you do to find that 19%?

Waste Trimmer One: Focus on the Big Idea

A good integration process can help a bad idea, but it won't save it. Look to Coca-Cola and others to really streamline the creative process and have multiple rounds of exploration on strategy, not just on creative. The most successful campaigns in Integration 40 have a Big Idea at the center.

This approach can generate up to 5% value improvement.

Waste Trimmer Two: Define Roles clearly and get the agency model right

From our work, this is the number one area of waste in the development process. The creative agency thinks it's the Brand Strategy custodian. So does the media agency, the digital agency, the packaging agency and the event agency. They all invest separate time in insight generation, and can often take the brand in multiple directions. The best companies invest time to understand their own needs and ways of working to decide on best agency model. They define roles very clearly from the beginning and don't "double dip" on research, strategy and creative.

We typically see as much as 10% value improvement in this area

Waste Trimmer Three: "Curate" as much as "Create" (Up to 3% savings)

To trim the waste, you have to crush the "Not Invented Here" syndrome. The marketing world can be a destructive place for ideas. Look for good thinking from your past, from your competitors, from your consumers. The best agencies have accepted this and have learned to 'curate' content from others.

Many are already doing this, but for those who are not, improvements can be as much as 10% in value.

Waste Trimmer Four: Set the right incentives

Human beings respond to the right sort of motivation and accountability.

Without transparency in money or the right metrics in place from the very beginning, performance will be limited to a budget-first mindset. Some of our clients now have an "Agency Evaluates Agency" approach at year end – "Dear Media Agency, just how do you rate our Creative Agency for collaboration and leadership?" The answers often surprise people.

Typically we see as much as 5% value improvement here.

Waste Trimmer Five: Training matters

Integration is like riding a bike – you do get better with practice. The reality is, leading companies are investing as much as 10% of their marketing team time into training – on the latest trends in social, mobile and analytics. Take the time to improve

This improvement is more qualitative and generates improvement over time

Waste Trimmer Six: Look to best practice

The purpose of Integration 40 is to help set the bar and start the discussion on Global Best Practice. If you only look inside your own company and agencies each year, you will narrow your scope. Run an annual Best Practice workshop, Benchmark and create awards for the best processes. Try to change behavior.

Improved benchmarking can drive as much as 10% improvement.

In our consulting work, we see ranges from 5% to 19% value improvement through a better integration process. But this is just the start – the other thing to consider is which model is right for you.

Integration matters – to the world's best marketers, their agencies and to us.

That's why every year, over 25 senior regional marketers and more than 500 attendees from 15 markets in APAC invest two days of their time to learn and exchange ideas at APPIES. More than 80 successful marketing cases will be presented and judged at the APPIES. It is a marketing congress organized by the Institute of Advertising Singapore (IAS), held at National University of Singapore on Aug 26-27, 2015.

Join us at the APPIES, to relearn and be inspired to cut 19% costs and get better ideas. Click here to register for a conference pass.

Goh ShuFen is President of IAS, an industry body for the marketing communications sector in Singapore, promoting ideas people. She is also the co-founder and principal of R3, a leader in global, regional and local consulting on Best Practice in Integration and IMC.