Are marketers really as agency promiscuous as the Pitcher App infers?

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

A few months ago my Canadian Marketing FIRST Forum colleague, Stephan Argent, sent me an email with a link to this video for a new phone app called Pitcher,  with the words “WTF!!! Serious? And rubbish!”. But I think that Stephan was perhaps overreacting.

You see this phone app is billed by the creators, ad agency Woedend!, with the content supplied by Amsterdam Ad Blog, as Tinder for marketers. Available on iOS and Android the app allows marketers to swipe through Amsterdam agencies until they find an agency they want to hook up with and add to the pitch list.

Has it gone from marriage to a one night stand?

When you read the article you understand that this is not so much a viable alternative to selecting agencies, but in actual fact a genuine shout out to the increasing promiscuity demonstrated by many marketers.

As Merien Kunst, Creative Director at Woedend! explains “The current pitch culture [in the Netherlands] is not sustainable. Brands are increasingly flirty, and agencies need to invest more time and money in smaller projects and shorter relationships.”

When I started managing pitches more than a decade ago, many in the industry described it as being a matchmaker, with the implication that it was about establishing long-term, sustainable and productive relationships between marketers and the successful agency.

Once the agency was appointed, the big issue was if the relationship would make it through the seven year itch, which simply reinforced the concept that this was a marriage.

But with procurement processes taking a highly productive and successful relationship to market every two to three years as a routine, is this still a valid notion of the pitch outcome? Or is the fact that marketers (and some of their procurement handlers) made this more about a fling or a one-night stand and less about a relationship?

Is it more Madam than Matchmaker?

When Michael Lee started his pitch consultancy Madam in 2012, there were many in the industry bemused by the name. But clearly Michael saw the trend and could see that the role of the pitch consultant was increasingly becoming the madam, setting up the desired liaison.

Earlier this year Avi Dan effectively called the end of the traditional Agency Of Record (AOR) arrangement, meaning that marketers no longer wanted monogamy in their relationships. But what was not clearly defined was, does this mean that they will move to polygamous relationships or just to casual hook ups?

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4 thoughts on advertiser / agency relationships – Colgate-Palmolive and GPY&R

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

The relationships between advertisers and their agencies are becoming more complicated and difficult to define. When they work well this junction of creativity and commerce can have a significant impact on both parties.

But what are the key criteria or ingredients for high performing advertiser and agency relationships? What are the challenges in managing these relationships? What advice do you have in regards to managing the relationship? And what changes will these relationships need to face in the foreseeable future?

Four thoughts on managing Advertiser / Agency relationships continues here with Colgate-Palmolive and their agency George Patts Y&R.

Colgate_GPY&RUntil his recent promotion, Peter (left) and Jason (right) were responsible for overseeing and managing Australia’s most enduring relationship, founded at the establishment of the George Patterson Advertising company in 1934. But in fact it goes back further to 1921, when the entrepreneurial young account man, George Patterson himself, took the opportunity to successfully launch the soap brand in Australia.

The George Patts Y&R and Colgate-Palmolive relationships is considered to be the longest client / agency relationship in Australia, recently celebrating 8o years and still going strong. Today it is still producing the results including the recent successful launch of  Colgate Optic White integrated with Australia’s Next Top Model and the Colgate Mouth Guards campaign with a partnership with the South Sydney Rabbioths.

George Patts Y&RJason Buckley, CEO ANZ, Y&R Group

Colgate-PalmolivePeter Torrington, GM, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei & Indonesia (Previously Marketing Director, Colgate-Palmolive ANZ)

What are the key ingredients for a great client / agency relationship that really matter?

George Patts Y&R: Continue reading “4 thoughts on advertiser / agency relationships – Colgate-Palmolive and GPY&R”

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How to improve your pitch in 2015

This post is by Tom Denford, Founding Partner of ID Comms – a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

After another year of hefty account reviews, Tom Denford, Joint Chief Executive of ID Comms, gets in the giving spirit by reviewing where agencies in Europe can improve in 2015.

tis the season to give

This year has been huge in terms of the size and scale of the multi-market pitches we’ve managed for our clients and we’ve been racking up the air miles across the region to help them find the best agency partners.

I’ve spent much of the year listening to presentations from agency teams who have worked late into the night to answer the challenges they’ve been set.

Contrary to popular belief, advertisers do really appreciate and acknowledge how much effort goes into these pitches, effort that can feel wasted if you don’t win the account (rest assured that nobody wins all the time).

In the spirit of giving something back at this time of year, I’d like to offer some advice to help agencies win more of their pitches.

Here are five things that most agency networks can improve, if not in all of their offices then certainly in some of the more far-flung locations:

1. Get the basics right

Media agencies do so many things these days, from analytics to content to social, that too many pitches feel like a menu of services and a generic sales pitch.

Never forget that the role of the presentation is to demonstrate that you can help solve the client’s business challenges.

Spend more time discussing how you can optimise your client’s investments and more time on basic media planning and buying.

2. Consistency

Many of the pitches we work on are multi-market and what really shines in these contests is a consistent approach both in terms of quality of thinking and talent.

In 2014 many agencies invested in dedicated central business development resources that allow them to maintain consistency and quality across markets.

Through the year, it became immediately apparent who had this backup and who didn’t.

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How an inbound marketing strategy can double your revenue (with full strategy)

This post is by Mike Morgan, Founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises and Content Director for TrinityP3. Mike has been collaborating with TrinityP3 on a Content Marketing, SEO and Social Media strategy since early 2011.

In late 2010 Darren Woolley, MD of TrinityP3 decided to take an informed risk. He believed that the future of business was tied to inbound marketing strategies – particularly SEO, content marketing and social media.

Out the window went traditional advertising, lead generation services, cold calling and paid search engine marketing.

TrinityP3 embarked on an integrated inbound strategy in early 2011. These are the results of this bold move and I will share a blow by blow account of the strategies used for TrinityP3 to more than double its revenue in just 3 years.

Taking a gamble on inbound marketing

The ROI for digital marketing

There is a lot of debate about the return on investment for digital marketing strategies, particularly when it comes to content marketing and social media marketing. At the end of 2014 we published a 27,000 word ultimate guide to assist marketers in navigating the tricky waters of digital marketing.

Many experienced marketers struggle to identify the important metrics and to demonstrate real value from their efforts. There is so much conflicting information out there that it can be difficult to work out who really knows what they are talking about.

In May 2013 I published this post which tracked the correlation between 300% website visitor growth and an increase in revenue of 38% for TrinityP3.

Considering the GFC and tough conditions in the business environment at the time, this was a very useful demonstration of the effectiveness of inbound marketing when all elements are managed carefully.

It is now time to share with you what we have worked on, our processes and strategy and what the results look like in real terms – increased revenue.

So, we are sharing our “secret sauce”.

Are we crazy to give away the step by step process to achieve B2B growth through inbound marketing?

Not at all. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will already understand our commitment to sharing the knowledge. “Knowledge is power” has been a philosophy for TrinityP3 right from the start (15 years ago) and the new connected web offers exceptional opportunities to help others and to build a reputation for thought leadership by sharing insights.

More on that later. First up I will share our analytics and financial results and then I will give a comprehensive account of how we achieved this.
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TrinityP3 turns 15 with the top 15 marketing management posts of all time

On January 14, 2000 we opened for business in Southbank Boulevard, Southbank, Melbourne opposite CUB. Today celebrates 15 years in operation and today we have offices in Sydney, South Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore and Auckland.

But 15 years ago the thought was not about expanding the business across APAC. It was called simply P3 back then and P3 stood for “Helping people achieve commercial purpose through the creative process”. The concept of the business model had grown out of two experiences at the time. The first being four years on the management committee of the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club, the last two years as Chair. The second was my focus at J. Walter Thompson working on business development across Melbourne and Sydney.

Birthday cake with number fifteen

The conversations with the MADC members at the time and the many marketers I met to discuss their business with a view to pitching for it, made it clear there was a gap in many relationships where an independent advisor could provide clarity and perspective to these issues and in the process increase efficiency and effectiveness. This was almost five years before I first heard of or met a procurement person operating in the marketing category.

How the times and work have changed

In those early days many of our projects were initially production related. But very quickly we became involved in agency remuneration, agency selections and with the purchase of Dennis Merchant’s Media Benchmarks, media buying and planning consulting. Today we are still undertaking many projects like these, but we are also increasingly involved in benchmarking and restructuring marketing departments and functions within organisations, especially to facilitate the effective integration of digital, we are managing and structuring agency rosters on behalf of our clients and we are assisting with marketing budget and performance management.

The TrinityP3 blog commenced

The philosophy of TrinityP3 is and has always been “Knowledge is power”. By sharing our knowledge with our clients we empower them to make more effective decisions on their marketing process. In April 2006 we took that philosophy forward and launched a blog to share our knowledge with the market. Prior to that we had produced a fortnightly and then monthly e-mail newsletter.

Looking back on the early days of the blog we clearly had a lot to learn. But to demonstrate what we have learned to date, I think the best way is to share the 15 most read posts of all time. This will hopefully show the depth and breadth of our experience and expertise over the past 15 years. So here we go, counting down a popular post for each year we have been in business, starting with number 15.

Counting down the top 15 TrinityP3 posts of all time

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5 key management challenges for the CMO in 2015

This post is by Stephan Argent, CEO of Argedia Group and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

My advisory role in marketing provides a unique vantage point to be able to talk to many different marketers and a wide variety of agencies – all with different perspectives and vantage points. This gives me a neutral, privileged and unique perspective on what’s currently top of mind in marketing and agency management.

5 key management challenges for the CMO

A few years back the majority of conversations were focused on digital and social media as their respective roles grew in marketing ecosystems. While those conversations are still active, the focus has definitely shifted and marketers are faced with deeper, more complex issues around technology, media and (of course), performance.

And it’s these themes that I believe will (continue to) take centre stage in the year ahead. So if you think you were on a roller coaster of a ride last year, here are some things to think about for the year ahead:

1. Marketers must become tech savvy

Gone are the days when the CMO could comfortably toss something to an IT (related) team and expect a solution to reveal itself. Historically, digital solutions – whether under the headings of web development, social media management, user experience – even mobile development, were all something that could be reasonably outsourced.

In the year(s) ahead, marketers will need to take a more leadership role in upgrading technology infrastructure, software and other support systems that will give them better, faster access to data that can drive their business.

This means CMOs need to fundamentally understand the technology that supports their businesses, and make more informed decisions about recommendations from their IT teams, or external brand, digital and media agencies who rely on technology solutions to support their clients.

2. Programmatic media management

Yes, programmatic buying has arrived. And while there’s still considerable debate about it’s true efficacy and the extent to which it can have a measurable effect on a marketer’s media buy, the practice of programmatic buying will surely improve and expand beyond its current limitations.

While this may not necessarily mean that all marketers will set up their own programmatic media solutions in-house, it does mean that marketers will need to evaluate and address programmatic buying solutions for their own specific needs.

This means marketers will need to really understand their own data usage implications, the efficacy of the solutions being presented to them, and cast light on the whole buying chain to understand how their dollars are really being spent.

3. Bridge the procurement gap

I’ve written before on the subject of bridging the marketing procurement gap, but with the rise in procurement driven marketing initiatives, marketers will want to take greater control over procurement involvement in marketing recommendations and decisions.

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4 thoughts on advertiser / agency relationships – Luxottica and SapientNitro

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

The relationships between advertisers and their agencies are becoming more complicated and difficult to define. When they work well this junction of creativity and commerce can have a significant impact on both parties.

But what are the key criteria or ingredients for high performing advertiser and agency relationships? What are the challenges in managing these relationships? What advice do you have in regards to managing the relationship? And what changes will these relationships need to face in the foreseeable future?

Chris Beer, Luxottica Australia (right) and Marcos Kurowski, SapientNitro (left) take a clear view of the successful client / agency relationship

Chris Beer, Luxottica Australia and Marcos Kurowski, SapientNitro take a clear view of the successful client / agency relationship

Four thoughts on managing Advertiser / Agency relationships continues here with Luxottica and their agency SapientNitro.

Chris (right) and Marcos (left) have worked together through a succession of minor and major digital platform enhancements and developments, more specifically for the OPSM brand, that includes the full customer journey from online commerce to in-store experience leading to significant revenue results for the brand.

The SapientNitro and Luxottica Australia match grew out of a global relationship between the two in the US and Milan and has strengthened here since their first project in June 2012.

Luxottica Australia: Chris Beer, CEO Asia Pacific, Greater China & South Africa

SapientNitro: Marcos Kurowski, Managaing Director, Australia

What are the key ingredients for great client – agency relationships that really matter?

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Grow up! Marketing procurement should not be put in a box

This post is by Nathan HodgesTrinityP3‘s General Manager. Nathan applies his knowledge and creativity to the specific challenges of marketing management, with a particular focus on team dynamics and behavioural change.

Everyone loves a quotable quote. And there’s something very entertaining about marketers and agencies deliberately courting controversy on the various panels and platforms they are invited to join. It livens up the debate, makes things interesting, and gets people to engage.

It’s even been said that we like to court controversy ourselves here at TrinityP3 now and again. (And our answer to that would be ‘bollocks’.)

So that’s all fine. But sometimes it gets out of hand. And some of the recent shots taken at marketing procurement in general are a worry.

Procurement in a box

To talk, as Mat Baxter did recently, of putting an entire discipline ‘back in their box where they belong’ is to take a point – entertainingly I’ll admit – about the behaviour of a few and apply it to the many.

And that’s nearly always a mistake.

The procurement role performed badly is obviously beyond defence. But so is the marketing or agency role done in the same way.

The truth of the matter, from our perspective anyway, is that the discipline, rigour and objectivity of procurement done well is vital to the health and success of any marketing operation and any roster.

An extreme agency roster example

TrinityP3 was recently engaged to help a major client work out which of its more than ninety agencies were vital to its business and which were not. As our analysis proceeded, each agency claimed its contribution to the business was unique. And each marketing team member protested that each agency partner was crucial to that division’s commercial success.

No single agency had anything other than a tiny revenue stream from this major brand. No agency was empowered to staff up properly, or devote proper resource and effort to the account, or even to offer an informed opinion based on knowledge of the business.

Keeping procurement principles ‘in a box’ was never going to solve this.

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Does your procurement team want to benchmark or cut your agency costs?

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

While we regularly work with procurement in developing and implementing marketing procurement strategies within their organisations, we also have times when we conflict, especially when the agenda is clearly simply cost reduction.

Sure, there have been times and projects where we have reduced agency costs, but this has been the consequence of undertaking a process to benchmark not just the agency rates and fees. There are almost just as many times where we have recommended increasing the agency fees and rates as an outcome of the benchmarking process.

Cutting_CostsThe benchmarking process

We have described how we benchmark agency fees, not just the rates, but also the agency resource levels and also the mix of resources by discipline and also seniority. This means we are able to not just benchmark the scope of work delivered by the agency, we can also calculate the resources level and mix required to deliver a future scope of work.

These benchmarks have been collected and analysed over more then a decade and come from a range of sources and collected within our database. Some of these benchmarks we make available on-line with Ad Cost Checker.

Benchmark validity

One of the questions that comes up regularly is the validity of the benchmarks. This is a natural reaction to the benchmarking process and quite a legitimate one. One of the default measures of benchmarking robustness is the number of samples within the database pool.

Some proclaim to have huge pools of data, some measuring into the hundreds and thousands of agency / client relationships. Yet often to get a database of this size they have included data that is years old. We retire benchmark data when it is more than 2 years old.

Others use the billing size that the rates come from and this will be in the millions and often billions. Usually this means they have benchmarked a huge global project and in the process have a very narrow and often very low benchmark.

We draw out benchmarks from pitches, from incumbent relationships, from large global projects through to small local projects; we have rates from small agencies and large network agencies with small local clients and large global clients. Basically the robustness comes from the diversity of the data in the database.

Recently we have noted that there are benchmark sources from Recruitment and HR sources on salary rates. These often lack the commercial realities as they represent the cost of the employee salary without the overhead and profit multiple or the number of annual billable hours to calculate the actual rate.

A test of the benchmarks

One of the ways we monitor the benchmarks, beyond the breadth and depth of the data and the diversity of the sample, is to monitor where our benchmark reports sit against the marketplace, and this is particularly relevant in their application during pitches and when benchmarking incumbent arrangements.

The competitive nature of the pitch means that the agencies are often low-balling their proposals and we see this with the benchmarks often higher than the agency fees by up to 20% or even as high as 30%. When this happens, often the marketers or procurement will question the benchmarks as being too high.

But when we use the same benchmark process to assess an incumbent agency remuneration arrangement we will often find the reverse, with the incumbent fee being up to 20% higher than the benchmark.

It is the fact that in real commercial terms and with actual commercial application the benchmarks sit within the industry range and isn’t this what robust industry benchmarks are meant to deliver?

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The top 30 marketing management posts of 2014

Wow! What a whirlwind year that was. Business for TrinityP3 across the region has boomed again this year with growth in every market. Projects have ranged from local to regional to global in scope – from production assessments to pitch management and strategic alignment both internally and externally.

We saw a huge explosion in projects assisting marketers with integrating and optimising their digital marketing requirements. And work with organisations from not-for-profits to tech start-ups to major global companies and brands across all categories including retail, finance, automotive, consumer goods, telco and more.

So, as another year comes to a close it is time to reflect on the year that was. What better way than to look at the Marketing Management topics that inspired us and the topics that inspired you. This year we published 160 odd articles ranging in subject from pitching to agency remuneration to creativity to production and all the others in between.

2014_2013_Marketing_Management_Book_Of_The_Year

Sure, we managed to publish a second edition of our Top 50 Marketing Management Posts of 2014. But this is different in we are only considering the articles published this year, not just the most read during the year. Therefore there are some that are in both, but a few that are only here. So based on the top read posts from TrinityP3 published in 2014, here are the top 30.

30.  10 tips that are the answer to a winning pitch Chemistry meeting by Anita Zanesco

Chemistry is one of the most important and least definable aspects of the pitch process. And the chemistry meeting is not a laboratory nor is it a social. But it is essential to get it right as an agency if you want to work with a client. Who better to give insight into this that the TrinityP3 consultant with EQ in spades. And that is exactly what Anita did here – provide agencies with insights into how to get it right. Clearly they were interested.

29.  10 ways to debunk the digital agency pitch by Stephan Argent

Our colleague in Canada, founding partner of the Marketing FIRST Forum, Stephan’s particular speciality is digital communications, which is very fortunate (for those hiding in a cave for the last twenty years, everything is digital). In this article he provided a valuable list to debunk many of the myths he had encountered concerning the digital agency pitch. Probably the most interesting is “There is no silver bullet”.

28. Global Marketer Week 2014 addresses the big marketing issues by Darren Woolley

Having attended the Global Marketing Week as a sponsor in Beijing (2011), New York (2012) and  Brussels (2013), it was a moment of pride to attend this year’s when it journeyed down-under to Sydney. The day was certainly action packed with speakers from Europe, USA and Asia all talking on the big topics facing global marketers and local marketers alike. Well worth checking out and Global Marketing Week 2015 is in Marrakesh.

27. Get a health check for your Marketing Procurement capabilities by David Little

The increasing involvement of procurement in the marketing function cannot be overlooked. And it took an experienced and well credentialed marketing procurement professional to come up with the Marketing Procurement Health Check. David Little has contributed much to TrinityP3 and to the blog, with four of his articles making the top 30 in 2014. You can download the Marketing Procurement Health Check free right here.

26. 2014 ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference – a comprehensive review by Darren Woolley

Each year the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference goes from strength to strength. It is certainly the one global conference I would personally recommend for all marketing procurement, agency financial and marketing management consultants. Held alternately in Florida and Phoenix, this year’s conference is  comprehensively summarised here using the tweets from the participants and the tweet pic to visualise the event.
Continue reading “The top 30 marketing management posts of 2014”

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