Top marketers weigh in on DM agency relationships

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Peter Intermaggio
SVP, marketing and communications, Comcast?

How important are direct and digital agencies to your business??

Direct and digital marketing are essential to our success and we rely on those agencies to help us do great work, effective work, work that will deliver the results. Direct response has always been highly valued since we're a transactional company. The level of DM sophistication at Comcast is very high to begin with, that means our standards are quite high — we rely on agencies to bring new techniques, new technologies, new ways of measuring. It's absolutely essential to our marketing plan. ?

What's the most important thing for you in terms of your agency?relationships??

Unity of purpose — a shared understanding of the business and priorities. We're also trying to foster and nurture the relationship between our main agencies [Digitas and Goodby Silverstein & Partners]. I hope they're talking when we're not there and that they're collaborating on ideas together. ?

Len Blaifeder
VP of advertising and direct marketing, Bank of New York Mellon?

How has direct marketing changed, in your view??

The connotation has changed from being almost exclusively direct mail to more of the digital space. We view direct as exactly what the word says — a one-on-one contact. These days the most efficient way of doing that is really via the digital arena where you're faster, more immediate and less expensive. ?

What do you think agencies need?to do these days to keep up with their client's wants and needs??

It's not enough to offer a variety of services as a sideline, but you have to come up to speed very, very quickly [in all these sectors]. I think agencies are realizing that their competitors are offering expertise?in all these areas and if they don't they will soon find themselves out of the loop. I think when you have a good relationship with your agency, you will allow them sometime to acquire the necessary expertise. But it has to happen real soon or you might go shopping. ?

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