The agency landscape saw a marked shift over the last decade. With the rise of digital platforms and the ever-increasing complexities of the communications ecosystem, there emerged a trend towards specialization. Agencies carved out niches — branding, website development, social media management, and public relations to name a few — with a focus on superior subject matter expertise and authority in a particular domain. This hyper-focused approach has many benefits — and FOVNDRY is proud to partner with numerous, specialized agencies who bring in-depth expertise and innovative solutions to specific challenges.
But the media landscape isn’t siloed. The user journey is complex, and consumers don’t make decisions via singular touch points. Instead, they are influenced by a myriad of interactions with an organization across a multitude of ever-evolving, intertwined channels. Coupled with fluctuating marketing budgets and fragmentation of in-house teams — further fueled by the pandemic and economic shifts — there arose a need for holistic solutions that seamlessly marry a full suite of services and touch points under one roof.
Enter the integrated agency.
With subject matter experts in specialized fields working in constant coordination with one another to develop and execute multifaceted strategies, integrated agencies combine the depth of expertise offered by niche agencies with the breadth of services required to engage with target audiences across the full user experience.
Integrated agencies approach strategy with two critical considerations in mind: the goals of your organization + the pain points, wants, and needs of your target audiences. We build solutions first; and determine platforms + tactics second. Fueled by insights and data, we develop brands and communications strategies that most effectively connect and resonate with target audiences, meeting them where they are and driving them toward action. Sometimes that strategy leverages strictly earned media efforts; and other times it integrates across several traditional and digital PR and marketing channels. But it always considers the full customer journey.
Part of a communications budget includes costs associated with overall account operations (platforms and tools; systems; and administration). When working with multiple agencies, that budget is duplicated across each agency with which you work—and you’re likely paying several agencies for the same tools and systems. Integrated agencies consolidate and streamline operational and overhead costs, greatly reducing redundancies and allowing significantly more of your dollars to go toward the actual work. And, those efficiencies extend to resources and timelines, too. With one onboarding + ramp-up period, and one dedicated team in constant coordination with one another ensuring alignment, integrated agencies simplify workflows—allowing for faster turns and less back and forth.
Integration isn’t just a strategic advantage; it fosters an environment of collaboration. In an integrated setup, teams don’t operate in silos. Internally, creative minds from various departments constantly brainstorm, share insights, and build upon each other’s ideas, bringing a host of unique perspectives to the conversation. Backed by a system of operations built specifically for inter-departmental collaboration, this ensures that strategies are not just multifaceted, but also innovative, drawing from a pool of diverse expertise and experience. Externally, this makes integrated agencies uniquely skilled at engaging diverse stakeholder audiences to build informed, impactful solutions.
Ever enticed by a beautifully crafted ad or website, only to find that the product and ongoing interactions feel like something completely different? Just like communications channels, your brand doesn’t live in a silo — it’s the sum of how an organization or business is perceived by those who experience it across every possible touch point. You’ve spent time and money building your brand; so, every interaction with it should be consistent and optimized to help it grow and live as planned. Integrated agencies don’t just build your brand to hand over and hope it’s executed appropriately. We consider the complex ecosystem within which it will live in the world AND ensure that your graphics, messaging, and overall identity remain consistent across all touch points—internally and externally.
To measure impact, understanding performance is paramount. Integrated agencies offer a complete view of all your efforts and campaigns, combining data from various channels to tell a full story. This comprehensive reporting provides richer insights, highlighting synergies, opportunities, and areas for improvement across the full communications funnel. Instead of trying to piece together reports from different agencies, you get a cohesive analysis, enabling informed decision-making and fine-tuning of strategies.
The relationship you have with your agency is one of the most critical components to success — and communication is the foundation of true partnership. In working with an integrated agency, you’re streamlining communications through dedicated points of contact who live at the nexus of all your coordinated efforts. Instead of juggling multiple contacts across disparate agencies, you have a singular team trained to expertly manage a multifaceted account — reducing errors, consolidating feedback, ensuring consistency, and more. And, because they’re involved in all aspects of your account, they get to know the true intricacies and nuances of your business, better enabling them to positively impact your success.
When constantly working with team members who bring a unique approach and expertise to the table, learning to view things from different angles and to challenge how you do things become integral parts of a daily approach. Just as collaboration is a critical element of an integrated agency’s culture, so too is a growth mindset—we’re curious; constantly seeking out and acquiring new skills; expanding our knowledge base, and tackling challenges in new and unique ways.
“Integration isn’t just an industry trend or buzzword, it‘s a reflection of real-world interactions. A strategic, comprehensive approach to thinking, executing, and operating — both internally and externally — that connects perspectives and touch points to drive impact,” said Megan Neapolitan, Chief Operating Officer at FOVNDRY. “As an integrated agency, we’re proud to offer solutions that better serve the diverse needs of our clients, engage with their audiences, and foster a culture of knowledge-sharing and growth.”
Ready to realize the value of integration for your organization? Let’s craft a unified strategy that truly resonates — together.more insights
FOVNDRY is an award-winning, fully integrated communications agency that has made its mark in the public and private sectors, plus a variety of membership-based associations since 2004. The firm crafts custom solutions for multiple industries, including: Health & Science, Transportation, Real Estate, Professional Services, manufacturing and more. With offices in Rockville and Baltimore, the Maryland-based PR and Marketing firm also fulfills the Creative and Branding needs of businesses and organizations in the DMV and beyond. FOVNDRY is an SBA-certified woman-owned small business (WOSB), as well as a minority business enterprise (MBE)/disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Get to know FOVNDRY better at 301-836-1516 or Fovndry.com, and connect daily via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.