Recently consulting companies have been stepping heavily into marketing execution. Accenture recently made a run at acquiring MDC partners. This follows at least a half dozen marketing service company acquisitions they’ve made in the last year. Historically they have stepped in, told companies what they should do and step aside to let the marketer’s agencies execute. Doing the work was something they shied away from. But now that marketers are hiring away professionals with expertise in data, strategy and technology from their consultancies into high level marketing positions these new CMOs see that their agencies cannot currently solve all of their needs. There is value in the creative process so acquiring agencies to do the execution enables them to stay involved throughout the process.

We see this as a good development for a variety of reasons. First, marketing today is as much (if not more) about data and technology as it is about words and pictures. Traditional ad agencies typically begin their process by focusing on the words and pictures thinking this needs to drive the process. One issue I have with that is their output is usually one message to fit one marketing segment. It ignores the reality that there is so much segment fragmentation in media that a brand can have multiple successful messages touting benefits unique to each segment.

Everyone knows that data is key to a successful marketing campaign today. But not every ad agency is equipped to use data other than customer segmentation or messaging research. And the process doesn’t begin/end with outbound messaging. Many ad agencies don’t look to marry inbound channels with outbound ones. Most cannot move with the speed necessary to adapt to marketplace realities.

We’ve recognized the importance of data and technology since we began our journey in 2003. OCD Media has always been about using data to improve decision making and have recently made our mantra “Media Decisions With Precision”. We believe that the channel strategy needs to be laid out before you fall in love with a cheeky TV spot. An understanding of the inbound channels, how customers/prospects respond to the messages they see, drives the outbound channel plan and all media need to work together in a digital world.