Marketing today is as complex as ever. The more tools and resources that exist for agencies, the more difficult it has become to figure out how to piece together the best solution for clients.

Most agencies’ solutions come in the form of the holding company that offers different solutions in the forms of separate (but related) agencies that “work together” to deliver a complete solution. The problem is, like the variety of cogs in a wheel, the total solution is only as good as each individual solution. And more importantly, the total solution is only as good as how the individual solutions fit together.

At one point in time, the very nature of an “agency” was to bring together the best people and best solution and serve as the single “agent” for the client. The right strategic, creative, media and production solution. It worked for decades. And it was the core of what many would consider the hey-day of advertising.

But something went wrong.

Agencies became caught up in business complexities and strived to create ad hoc solutions that clients could buy by the piece – with the goal of creating separate revenue streams that could compete with one another and deliver greater revenue. It wasn’t completely the agencies’ fault, though. Client procurement departments that could buy on an as-needed basis could seemingly reduce short-term costs.

The rise of digital silos or CRM agency-like vendors provided a temporary solution to a specific client issue. But that solution was myopic and so short-sighted that even those specific agency-like vendors have now found the need to try and expand their offerings into areas (like media buying) where they just don’t have the experience or expertise.

The good news? Some of us never left the traditional agency model.

In SPM’s 30-plus years of partnering with some of the leading health systems and medical centers in the country, we’ve maintained the commitment of solving our clients’ most complex issues. This requires a multi-faceted approach that integrates all of our capabilities – digital, media, creative, insights, and more – working together to deliver a solution that works. When you walk into our office, you won’t find mismatched departments hacking away at problems separately behind closed doors. You’ll find a collaborative culture that’s earned itself a reputation for outstanding work.

So when it comes to choosing a partner who will help you achieve your goals, what exactly should you look for? Here’s a few places to start:

Find someone who speaks multiple marketing languages.

Start with great people who bring together top-notch experience and diverse points of view. In advertising, the old adage “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” is actually true. A creative agency might only solve the problem with creative, a media agency might only solve the problem with media strategy….so on and so forth. As a single agency team, we integrate strategy, research, digital, creative, media and production all from consistent management to help simplify and manage all the pieces. It makes our clients’ jobs easier, reduces the need for multiple agency leads, increases efficiency…and it just makes sense.

From there, let them do what they do best and drive toward a common goal: client success. At SPM, we have a clear and singular vision: to be What’s Next in healthcare marketing. This common purpose is part of what has earned us Modern Healthcare’s Best Places To Work Award the last two years running. Happy people do great things together.

Start with great people that bring together top-notch experience and diverse points of view. From there, let them do what they do best and drive toward a common goal: client success.

Choose a partner with a passion for your space.

While other holding companies out there are re-engineering, renaming and rethinking how to position themselves, we spend our time engineering, naming and thinking about our clients’ marketing and business challenges. We know the healthcare industry inside out – which allows us a laser-like focus on your brand, and your brand only. Over the past 30 years, we’ve grown and blossomed into a partner who’s well-versed in any and every challenge that could come your way.

Look for creative people, not a creative department.

The idea of creativity manifests itself in more than just the pictures and words that come out of our creative department. We promote the idea that anyone is creative in their own way. From marketing strategies to media plans, and even reporting solutions, creativity lies in every opportunity. It drives us forward, stimulating us to constantly be better. Account people can be creative, media people can be creative, analytics people can be creative – that’s SPM’s vision. That’s What’s Next thinking.

So whether you’re looking for a new agency partner or just curious if anyone out there has figured out the best agency model, you don’t really have to look into the future – just stop by SPM, we’d be glad to show you around.

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Bill Tourlas

SVP, Innovation & Engagement at SPM Marketing & Communications
With 30 years of experience, Bill is a recent addition to SPM’s ever-growing firepower. As a member of the leadership team, he drives the agency’s efforts to consistently reach new levels of innovation and engagement and to bring the full power of our ideas to life across traditional and new media channels. In his role, Bill collaborates with strategy, creative, and media teams for existing clients and is an active participant in new business efforts.
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