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Creativity and global service.

Creativity and Global Service

The secret of success for marketing communications companies, and in particular advertising agencies, is having close partnerships with their clients. This relationship is based on the agencies being able to help clients to creatively overcome marketing challenges. Research shows that branded products with advertising support can charge and maintain premium prices.

While clients consider creativity as their No. 1 criterion, the agencies that have put on most growth have been part of strong international networks. Why is this?

Corporations are driven to global integration to achieve efficiencies and remain competitive. As corporations develop new technology for their products, they look to establish their brands in as many places as possible, as firmly as possible. They seek proprietary "ownership" of a particular market positioning for their brand - one that preempts others occupying the same territory in consumers' minds.

But clients don't just charge blindly into "global marketing." They know that they need to be responsive to local differences and local opportunities - to strike the right balance between "global" or "regional" and "local," to adapt "global" technology and strategic learning carefully, market by market.

To help clients meet these challenges, agencies must have office networks covering the major, and not so major, markets. Agencies must understand the local differences and the local opportunities. They must be able to operate in a speedy and coordinated manner, without a stifling bureaucracy. They must be able to come up with creative solutions to marketing challenges that work across frontiers. This is a major challenge.

The offices need to offer local excellence to the transnational corporation. Today, the major transnational client can grow out of any local market. Within Saatchi, unlike some of its competitors, a significant part of the business in its international networks comes from national clients as well as international clients. This helps ensure that each office is highly competitive in its own marketplace while offering an international service.

There are currently relatively few truly transnational corporations, but all corporations increasingly are facing the reality of global competition. Even when working with local clients in one market, it is important for agencies to be fully aware of international trends. Each client has its own way of reacting to these forces, and agencies must be flexible and capable of matching their own resources to the needs of the client.

Once agencies have met the necessary condition of being able to service the client on a worldwide basis, they must endeavor to produce a creative solution that achieves the highest common factor across the different markets, rather than the lowest common denominator. This demands creativity of the highest standard. Creativity has to be led from the highest level within an agency.

Successfully combining a worldwide service with the highest creative standard is the challenge that marketing communications businesses have to overcome on a daily basis to be global leaders.

MAURICE SAATCHI / Saatchi & Saatchi Co. PLC Starting in 1970 in what has been described as a cramped office in London's dingy Soho district, the brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi electrified the advertising world as they built a globe-straddling ad agency giant. In the following article, Maurice, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Co. PLC, addresses the global-leader challenge facing marketing communications businesses: to successfully serve clients by combining a worldwide service with creativity of the highest standard.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Directors and Boards
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Special Section: Being a Global Leader; views of Maurice Saatchi, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Company PLC
Publication:Directors & Boards
Date:Sep 22, 1991
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