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Among the 15 biggest agencies that are predominantly sales promotion, the collective share of gross income generated by the three planning services-strategic planning, concept development and consulting-shows these agencies moving further from their historic origins as executors.

In 1994, planning represented 46.2% of the returns of so-called sales promotion agencies, up from 40.3% in '93. For the components of planning: Strategic planning represented 21.6% in '94 vs. 17% in '93. Consulting was 7.8% in '94 vs. 6% in '93 and, for the only decline, concept development was 16.8% vs. 17.3% the year before.

The basic push for much of this shift from execution to planning is coming from economy-driven changes on the client side, say agency executives.

"What's going on in industry is a greater reliance on out-sourcing to companies like ours after re-engineering has eliminated in-house marketing departments," reports James Mack, president of Frankel & Co.

With out-sourcing, a marketer's needs thus are more than just tactical.

"We no longer call ourselves a sales promotion agency but a marketing agency," says Mr. Mack.

Tom Conlon, CEO at D.L. Blair Inc., the sixth-largest sales promotion shop, credits the swing toward planning as a function of sales promotion's coming of age. "A lot more advertisers have been giving promotion a strategic dimension," he says.

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