I recently watched a group of our colleagues come together in a new business presentation, develop an exciting and compelling proposition for the prospective client, and win. Nothing new there – it’s what we do, right? New Business is our lifeblood. We all get that. And not a week goes by (thank God or whatever deity/being/force works for you) that we don’t win a new piece of business somewhere in our network. SO?

What makes this particular win interesting was that the team was comprised of three different Wunderman companies, different Wunderman offices from around the world, various resources within Y&R, a third entity outside of WPP, and even some third party players. And the upshot was, that during the Q&A portion of the pitch, someone asked if the team would identify which organization they represented. It was so seamless, they couldn’t tell.

And here is the rub – not once during the entire lead up did anyone talk about integration, process or procedure; nor did they feel the need to show the prospect our integration or the tools for integrated thinking or work. Not one minute of the presentation was wasted on those issues. Rather, everyone was intently focused on the client and on creating compelling and differentiating programs and ideas for them.

Funny thing is, that no matter how often I see it or write about it, I can’t help thinking what a simple concept it is and how often we over-complicate it. And by “IT”, I mean providing our clients with the kind of thinking that drives their business, that is focused on their consumers/users/buyers, that makes us valued partners, and that ultimately makes our business successful as well.

It still amazes me how people in the industry still obsess over “integration”. It still surprises me that some talk about it as if it’s a new idea, and I must admit that it confounds me that some still use it as an excuse for poor performance, lack of creative thinking and the subsequent lack of wins. Clients are not interested in our issues; they could not care less about the obstacles we create for ourselves; and they have no desire to be mired in our problems.

How is this for a thought?

It’s like an act of murder; you play with intent to commit something.”
Duke Ellington

Get my drift? The team I began with had intent to win, and to win by making the client excited to hire them.

It’s all about intent. If we have it – we win. If we don’t – who knows? All the processes, the tools, task forces, committees and sessions are for naught.

Play with the intent to win – and you will…

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