3 questions for agency remuneration expert – Lyndon Brill

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With 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.

As TrinityP3 continues to grow, so does the team of professionals within the company and so does the depth of experience and expertise. Therefore I want to take this opportunity to introduce some of the core team members and their expertise, before having them answer three questions on what they do being:

  1. What are the challenges facing marketers today in their area of expertise?
  2. How does TrinityP3 assist marketers in this area?
  3. What advice would they give to any marketer facing these challenges?

TrinityP3 Senior Consultant Lyndon Brill. Lyndon clearly loves his job. Following 15 years as Financial Director for advertising agencies around the globe, he now brings that knowledge and the application of the TrinityP3 benchmarks and processes to evaluate and assess the conundrum that is agency remuneration.

Rather than seeing agency fees as simply compensation for the resources used, Lyndon and the TrinityP3 team work to reveal the role the remuneration model plays in delivering value and impacts on the quality of the output and its effectiveness. Beyond just simply rate and salary benchmarking, TrinityP3 assesses and calculates resource mix and levels against scope of work deliverables.

As Lyndon explains, remuneration is about delivering value to the advertiser and the agency. Ensuring the right level, mix and type of resources are available to the marketer to deliver the output and the outcomes desired at a cost that is sustainable and fair to all parties.

Q1: What are the biggest issues developing a good value agency remuneration model?

Because we do this every day of the week, we can give an overall industry perspective because we’re analysing different marketers within different categories and therefore we know what level of remuneration is occurring for different levels of resource and also the size of the spend based on the size of the account.

We can make sure that marketers are achieving value for money by not just looking at their relationship with their agency, but also how the industry and their sector works as a category.
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Media publisher digital management assessment – Case study

Client Category: – Media Publisher

Challenging Problem:

The client was concerned about the effectiveness of current digital resources both internally and externally to their business – including digital content and channel planning, SEO, social media, paid performance media, data analytics, forecasting benchmarks and reporting. TrinityP3 was approached to provide a Digital HealthCheck.

Website management assessment

Creative Solution:

The Digital HealthCheck assessed the level, mix and capabilities of current digital resources; the processes and management of those processes; and the efficacy of the current measurement and management systems in place.

The Digital Team was also assessed in terms of an overarching paid (paid advertising), owned (client owned channels), and earned (consumer word of mouth and sharing) framework, and how effectively the team resources, process and measurement methodology deliver on this model.

Process:

Once the stakeholders, resources and other inputs were defined, current resource allocations were reviewed, followed by 12 key stakeholder interviews.

Management reporting, process flows and technology (including lead generation email targeting, real time predictive ad placement, and content recommendation engines) were then analysed and assessed in terms of the overall business objectives and effectiveness measures.
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Why advertising agencies can no longer ignore conflicts of interest

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 conflict of interest is defined as when a person is in a position of influence and uses that influence for their own personal gain, usually financial. It is particularly important when the money involved is from the public purse and is a part of the probity and rigor surrounding the awarding of all Government contracts.

But the same should and can be argued for all contracts, especially in the advertising industry, where the agency has had a huge influence on where and with whom the marketer’s budget is spent. This can be as large and significant as the awarding of a media contract down to the appointment of a storyboard artist to draw up the latest television concept for their client.

Increasingly these decisions are being reviewed by the client’s procurement teams and are often found to be lacking in either rigor or probity. In an industry where deals and appointments are often lauded for being made over a handshake or after a game on the links, is it any wonder that the industry has a reputation for being less than robust in the handling of their clients’ dollars?

Conflict_Of_Interest

But what is Conflict Of Interest?

Lets look at some hypothetical examples and see if you think any of these represent a conflict of interest.

  1. A senior agency manager starts a production company with their domestic partner and uses their influence to have all agency staff actively recommend and propose the company to their clients without declaring the personal interest.
  2. A senior agency producer recommending and appointing a particular supplier to their client’s business in exchange for gifts, gratuities and entertainment from the supplier, none of which is declared or passed on to the advertiser.
  3. A senior creative person singing the praises of a post production company, while being disparaging about the competition, encouraging more client business to the company owned by his brother in-law.

You will notice that all of these examples are related to advertising production and this is deliberate, as it appears to me that this is where many of the examples we hear about arise.
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4 thoughts on advertiser / agency relationships – BankWest & Host

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. But when they work well this junction on 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 BankWest and their agency Host.

BankWest: Paul Vivian, Head of Marketing (Right)

Host: Anthony Freedman, CEO (Left)

Host_BankWest

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

Host:

Great relationships are built on a few simple principles;

  • Shared vision
  • Clear communication
  • Genuine collaboration
  • Mutual respect
  • Complete honesty
  • Absolute accountability

Easily said, possibly not so easily done.

BankWest:

What I look for in a great client / agency relationship is a true partnership, the agency team should feel like an extension of our team.  My agency should understand the complexity of our business and should deliver to a high standard at all times.  I really value honesty and openness to ensure that together we are achieving our objectives.

What frustrates you most managing client / agency relationships?

Host:

Agencies are working hard to better meet the business needs of today and whilst there’s warm reception to ideas for improved effectiveness and efficiency, there seems less willingness to embrace new ideas around remuneration. Return on investment is something that both parties should be equally mindful of, and an open mind to new ‘value based’ business models for agencies, would offer the chance for successful agencies to continue to sustain (or even improve) margins, in turn allowing them to attract and retain the best talent.

BankWest: 

I don’t know that I’m frustrated about too much.  The mindset needs to be that both the agency and the client is working toward the same outcomes and is part of the same team.  Occasionally opinions may differ on how that’s achieved and it’s my role to resolve this amicably.  I’m happy that this is the exception rather than the rule.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other marketers to manage their agency relationships better? Continue reading “4 thoughts on advertiser / agency relationships – BankWest & Host”

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Automotive agency roster alignment – Case study

Client Category: – Automotive

Challenging Problem:

The client’s roster of agencies had reached twenty-strong, with no discernible operating model and with each agency competing with the others for budget and influence. The marketing team was working over capacity simply to manage the agency relationships and maintain a minimum level of communication and collaboration across the roster.

Automotive industry

Creative Solution:

TrinityP3 identified the marketing requirements of the business and the skill sets in the current roster, in order to:

1. Align requirements.

Matching specific marketing requirement to the most suitable and experienced skill sets in the roster.

2. Improve efficiency.

Removing duplicated agency roles and capabilities, optimising levels of agency strategic and management resource across the roster, ensuring that the most valuable agency contributions to the success of the business were not lost from the roster.

3. Introduce a workable roster model.

Define and establish a lead agency model, so that strategic and creative responsibilities become clear, collaboration between agencies can be genuine where required and non-competitive, and the roster as a whole brings unified and properly considered recommendations to the client team.

4. Establish a workable financial model.
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Why pitching is changing and what to do about it

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.

We’ve written before about the different kinds of pitches. We reckoned there were nine at the last count, and there are probably more by now.

But recently we’ve been noticing – and especially this year – that there are also two kinds of pitch brief.

The two types of pitch brief

The first is the simple one. This is where the client team tells us the incumbent agency has had a clearly defined role on the roster, and now either performance or relationship issues have precipitated a review, or maybe there is a contractual requirement to review after a certain period.

The second kind is where the client’s marketing requirements have changed or diversified since the agency’s appointment, and yet the client marketing structure or process has failed to keep up. And – typically – no-one has spotted it. Or, in the case of more complex marketing operations, the agency roster model has not evolved fast or far enough, even though the marketing decision-making process and communication channel choice has been transformed. And again, no-one has spotted that either.

Simple_Pitches_No_MoreThe dangerous thing is that the first kind of pitch looks and sounds exactly like the second kind. So unless everyone stays on the look-out, clients can end up calling a pitch, hiring a new agency, and then running into exactly the same problems as before.

Heading straight into a pitch often doesn’t work. There are so many better, quicker, less expensive, less disruptive answers out there. The requirement for a pitch is usually a symptom, not a cause.

Identify your specific marketing requirements

The remedy is so simple.
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QSR marketing campaign assessment – Case study

Client Category: – Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)

Challenging Problem:

The client was launching a national game promotion to help drive incremental retail sales. TrinityP3 was approached to assess all aspects of the promotion from project management, website creation/management/hosting, social media integration, prize pool and fulfilment, through to legals, customer service (inbound and outbound phone line/email query), QR codes and ticketing.

Marketing campaign assessment

Creative Solution:

Taking the full scope of work and estimates from the agency, we applied our benchmarks and cost calculator to assess the agency resources required and the associated costs. This created an independent reference point to compare the agency costs, deliverables and project value proposed by the agency.

Process:

5 estimates, 2 existing part payment invoices (from the prize pool partner and hosting company), and a website scope of work document were provided to TrinityP3 to assess and benchmark. Clarification was required with the client and multiple agency providers prior to the assessment. Final negotiation was carried out between the client and agencies based on the information provided by TrinityP3.

Timeline:

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3 questions for agency search and selection expert – Anita Zanesco

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With 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.

As TrinityP3 continues to grow, so does the team of professionals within the company and so does the depth of experience and expertise. Therefore I want to take this opportunity to introduce some of the core team members and their expertise, before having them answer three questions on what they do being:

  1. What are the challenges facing marketers today in their area of expertise?
  2. How does TrinityP3 assist marketers in this area?
  3. What advice would they give to any marketer facing these challenges?

TrinityP3 Senior Consultant Anita Zanesco. When you talk with Anita, it is clear she is a person with high EQ. (Emotional Quotient), essential in her career as a world class account lead and a successful personal trainer. But at TrinityP3 she applies this with great success to managing agency search and selection projects for our clients.

Search and selection has become increasingly more complex, with marketers requiring an increasing array of capabilities from their agencies and the choice of agencies increasingly wider and more confusing in response. It means that many of the traditional approaches for selecting agencies and suppliers are no longer as effective or relevant.

TrinityP3 has developed and applied a range of selection processes including “A pitch in a day“, “Strategic Workshops” and “Composite pitches“, but as Anita will tell you, more than the process, it is the chemistry and alignment of values is an important consideration in choosing a strategic partner.

Q1: What are the biggest challenges in selecting a new agency?

There are many challenges facing marketers when they have to select a new agency.  The first of these is people.  Finding the right people and the right agency to work with the marketer in partnership.

Cultural compatibility is one of those factors that can actually make or break a relationship and I think the key challenge for marketers in finding the right people is actually knowing where to start.

And marketers have got several options when it comes to selecting a new agency.  They can go with someone they know, their next door neighbour might work at an agency.  They can go with someone who knows someone at an agency.  They can go with who’s hot, who’s number one at the moment.  It seems to be working for everyone else, I’m sure it’ll work for them.
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Should you outsource your content marketing or do it in-house?

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With 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.

This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the transcript from the video - How to overcome the challenges of content marketing - from the May 2014 seminar, How to be an Effective Content Marketer.

Featuring a number of brand marketers who have established successful content marketing processes, this panel will discuss the challenges associated with content marketing and share strategies to overcome them.

MC:

Featured panellists:

Last time the panel talked about how to manage risk with your content marketing strategy and what they learned from mistakes made on their content marketing journey.

In today’s post, the marketing panel discuss whether to outsource their content marketing or do it in-house. They also share their experiences on the best ways they have found to carry out their content marketing strategies.

What is the optimal way to do content marketing?

Ed:
I’d now like to talk about structures and processes so, what does the panel think is the optimal way to do content marketing? Do you need to do it in-house? Do you need to outsource it? Is it a combination of both? What’s the best solution? What are your experiences?

Luana:
In our case, we’ve adopted a combination so we’ve got external agencies working with us and that’s very important because it does help us with strategy and editorial calendar and have it organised and then making sure that we always have content in place and that we stick to what we were trying to achieve.

We are also trying to drive that internally very strongly, but internally is a cultural shift and internally it does take a lot more time. But it’s important to try and bring everybody in the organisation with us so it’s really trying to get the right mix.

How do you make an internal cultural shift?

Ed:
How do you make that cultural shift internally?
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The inherent danger of the creative beauty parade pitch process

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.

Since 2007 we have recommended that advertisers should NOT use the Creative Beauty Parade or the Creative shoot Out (Otherwise known as speculative creative pitch) to select an agency, but instead we recommend selecting agencies through a process of Strategic Workshops. Previously I have written about the many benefits of the strategic workshop including the opportunity to get alignment with your agency roster and alignment within your own organization.

But recent experiences have shown that it is perhaps time to highlight the inherent dangers in marketers using the creative pitch as their selection process.

In love

Why is the pitch so popular?

There appears to be a common misconception that when marketers are selecting an agency they are actually selecting the work they do. They see the work output as the only requirement. Ultimately it is, but this is only valid if the relationship is to produce one idea or one output.

It is common for Government to want to select an agency to develop a single campaign concept or for commercial ventures to select an agency for a particular project such as a property development or an IPO.

But in fact most agencies are selected to form an on-going relationship with many outcomes and outputs to many and varied briefs. But this does not stop marketers making their selection on the results of one brief. In my experience this is because:

  1. They believe this is the most common practice and therefore the best practice offered by the industry.
  2. There is little at risk for the marketer as they can point to the creative work as justification for their selection.
  3. It requires relatively little effort or commitment from the marketer as they simply hand the brief to a number of agencies and select the idea they like.

But the fact is that the creative pitch process is only useful if you are buying the concept you select as part of the process. If you want an agency to work with you and produce a range of successful outputs over a period of time then the process is flawed.

Why is the creative pitch so flawed?

Continue reading “The inherent danger of the creative beauty parade pitch process”

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