What can I do to make my content marketing more effective?

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 fifth and final post in the series 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:

In the previous post the panel discussed whether to outsource their content marketing or do it in-house. They also shared their experiences on the best ways they have found to carry out their content marketing strategies.

Today, the panel wraps up the presentation by sharing insights with the audience into what they can do today to make their content marketing efforts more effective.

What’s the one thing marketers can do to make their content marketing more effective?

Ed: Okay so before we open this up to the audience for questions, and if you have any questions, do think of them in advance. What’s the one thing that marketers here can do tomorrow to make their content marketing more effective?

If you could choose one thing, what would be the advice that you would want this audience to take away from your learned wisdom and experience in this field? Skye?

Skye: I’d say if it’s possible and one thing that has helped our content marketing become more successful, is if you can put it in the hands of your employees, do it.

Whether it be contributing to your social media program or writing blog posts for you or even from our perspective we have a content distribution tool that allows our employees to post our content to LinkedIn and Twitter and it just amplifies the message and really gets the content out there so I’d say if you can get it just out of the marketing and PR department and get everyone in the organisation on board, that’s a great start.

Ed: Recruit brand champions internally.

Skye: Definitely.

Ed: Yep, okay. Anton?

Anton: I would challenge you all to go back to the CEO or Chairman or MD or owner of your business, ask for the business plan, we have to dust this thing off out of a cupboard somewhere and go and find out what your mission, vision and values are for your business.

So what is the direction that your business is moving in, and then start to develop a content marketing strategy or framework or an approach that maps to that business vision and plan because otherwise it’s just short-term tactical stuff and we’ve all seen stuff.

Work out a strategy for your brand first

Ed: So work out a strategy for your brand first of all.

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Financial Services – creative agency search and selection – Case study

Client Category – Financial Services – Agency Search and Selection

Challenging Problem:

The client had been using creative agencies on an ad hoc basis with no retainers in place.

Whilst this had worked satisfactorily to date, there was a desire for more of a partnership not only for added value and greater consistency but also for efficiency both from a time perspective, not having to brief a different agency for every project, and from a financial one, being able to talk to someone without the clock ticking and hourly fees being charged.

On the verge of a new phase of the brand’s evolution, the client wanted to find a culturally compatible strategic and creative partner to work with on a retained basis for the foreseeable future.

Agency selection

Creative Solution:

TrinityP3 conducted a full Search & Selection process in order to:

  1. Assess agency credentials and chemistry with the client
  2. Explore strategic capability and compatibility
  3. Benchmark financials and assist with negotiations

Whilst Creative Development was part of the process, the client was made aware it was only one stage of a 5-stage process and should not be used solely to determine a preferred partner.

Process:

The process began with TrinityP3’s Industry Search of the market based on the client brief.

From the report presented to the client, 7 agencies were shortlisted, only one of which was requested by the client. All agencies submitted written Credentials Documents and were invited to hold a Chemistry Meeting with the client at their offices.

Credentials and Chemistry Meetings were scored based on an agreed criteria with the client and from those scores, the commentary and further discussion, a final 3 agencies were asked to conduct a half day Strategy Workshop based on a Client Communications Brief.
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The importance of trust in productive marketer / agency relationships

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.

With all the reports coming out of the Cannes Lion Awards earlier this year, you would not be alone in thinking it was a Hollywood Film and Music Festival with appearances by Kanye WestSarah Jessica Parker, Jared Leto, Jeffery Kratzenberg, instead of an advertising festival of creativity. Though creativity does feed on a diversity of inputs.

But of all of the sessions I saw reported, there was one that I think was particularly insightful from a Marketing Management and Procurement perspective and that was The Naked Truth by RPA and USA Today.

Here is a teaser they provided on YouTube to get Cannes Festival attendees to come to the session. I think it is hugely insightful as a mirror on the industry.

The survey that they commissioned with more than 140 marketers and agencies provided some invaluable insights which you can find summarised in this fabulous infographic here.

The_Naked_Truth_Infographic

But the one question not answered is why is it so?
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Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency search & selection, agency solutions, Evalu8ing - Relationship Performance Monitoring, industry news & trends, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement | Leave a comment

Global agency benchmarking and negotiation – Case study

Client Category – Global Travel – Agency Remuneration Benchmarking

Challenging Problem:

This global travel client was in the process of moving from a global strategy, executed independently in each of their markets, to a more centralised strategy and creative execution to be marginally adapted and implemented in each market. The issue was that the predicted economies of scale were not being identified.

Global alignment

Creative Solution:

TrinityP3 used the proposed scope of work for creative, digital and media across the 24 markets to calculate the required benchmark level of resources and the associated costs. This included the costs of the global co-ordination team and the results were compared to the various agency proposals. This was used as the basis for the market-by-market and agency by agency negotiation.

Process:

One of the challenges was that while one agency network had the majority of the markets, it was not exclusive. Also this agency network had been replaced by another unrelated agency as the global creative lead, which triggered the change in the structure.

The significant change in the global go-to-market strategy meant that many incumbent agencies faced a significant reduction in fees in-line with the significant reduction in requirements under the new arrangement. Not surprisingly, the larger the agency’s exposure to this reduction, the greater the reticence to facilitate this reduction.
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How to tell if your digital agency is buying fake followers (or using other sneaky tricks)

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. 

Technology has made marketing very targeted and very measurable.

Now you know exactly how well your various digital campaigns are tracking with up to the minute reports on social media growth, website traffic and views of your ads/videos on YouTube.

Or do you?

In this post I am going to “out” a few of the more sneaky tricks your agency might be using and offer ways to test to see whether they are being straight with you or whether they prefer smoke and mirrors.

Robot Twitter followers

Faking Twitter followers

If you have been on Twitter for any length of time you would have had multiple offers of “1000s of Twitter followers” in exchange for a small sum – usually via Direct messages.

And if you know what you are doing you will have ignored these spam offers and you might have even blocked the user or reported them for spam.

It has been proven over and over again that fake followers, robotic accounts, spam Twitter accounts bring no real benefit to any social media strategy. These followers do not interact. They do not become customers or clients. They do not help with reach or amplification of your message. They do not become advocates or collaborators.

So why is there a market for this deceptive practice?

And how can you tell if your agency is faking your follower count?

Why would someone buy fake followers?

There is a common misconception that social media influence and authority is directly related to the number of followers, Likes or connections you have.

Let’s say you are influential in business in the “off-line” world. And you are just getting started with your social media presence.

It doesn’t look that great to only have a few followers does it?

This is where the temptation can sometimes come into play.

If I buy my first thousand followers at least I won’t be seen to be a novice

And self-appointed social media experts often push this to the limit. It is not unusual to see people who have no real online or offline profile with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Darren Woolley spoke previously of measuring whether self-proclaimed social media experts are really experts in this very popular post. It was interesting to see that many comments took exception to one aspect – social influence measurement tools such as Klout.

It seems that people are a little uneasy about having their influence measured based on their social media authority.

But, that is a topic for another post.

Advertising agencies faking the numbers

Shock, horror! Who would have thought?
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10 ways to bridge the marketing procurement gap

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

I’m increasingly asked to work with procurement when undertaking an agency search – either to work on the search itself, or to work with them through the negotiation or contract development process. And while relationships between marketing and procurement vary between organisations, there are some consistent themes that are worth addressing.

In my experience, the primary issue many organisations still have difficulty coming to terms with is that marketing needs to be viewed as an investment – not a cost. In other words, it’s not something that needs to be “minimised” – it’s an investment that needs to be “maximised”.

Bridge the gap

Broadly speaking, the organisational perspective is that marketing teams are evaluated on and seek:

  • Improved performance
  • Chemistry harmony
  • Creative genius
  • Strategic brilliance

While for the most part procurement teams are evaluated on and seek:

  • Risk mitigation
  • Cost savings

And with those perspectives, it’s hardly any wonder both marketing and procurement teams find themselves at odds with each other.

So how should each side approach agency selection or contract negotiation in order to meet the goals of minimising risk and costs, while ensuring maximum performance through best in class capabilities?

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Automotive sport sponsorship assessment – Case study

Client Category: – Automotive – Sport Sponsorship

Challenging Problem:

The client was re-negotiating a major National sport sponsorship and was seeking an independent, industry-based assessment of the package, partnership extension and overall value.

Sport sponsorship

Creative Solution:

TrinityP3 examined the elements and detail of the proposal on 4 levels:

1. Business alignment. How strongly the sponsorship aligned
to the client’s business objectives

2. Quantifiable results. Would the sponsorship deliver on what it was promising and how quantifiable was the spend.

3. Cost / value equation. What additional value would the client receive from the sponsorship for the investment.

4. Leverage. How well does it offer opportunity to leverage connections with potential customers.
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Who in ad agencies gives clients the best value for money?

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.

In benchmarking the cost of agency resources, you generally find that the rate is commensurate with the experience or seniority of the resource position. But the question of value goes beyond simply cost to determining the return on the investment. So in considering the value we need to balance the cost of the resources against their contribution to the return on the investment.

All roles play an essential part

It is important to acknowledge for the development of advertising, all parties make a contribution to the outcomes. Media, creative and digital are all responsible for completing their part of the process to deliver the desired outcome. There is no point running media if you have no content and likewise a great idea is worthless if no one ever sees or hears about it.

Agency_Team

So putting these to one side, (collective responsibility and increase in cost associated with seniority) if we look at each of the individual functions, their roles and responsibilities and the cost we can appreciate if any one area offers greater value than anyone else in the advertising process.

To assist with interpretation we are applying a Value Index purely to provide a numeric comparison between each and to further the discussion on agency value. In this case value is defined by the level of investment managed by the cost of the resources managing that investment. While not perfect (few are perfect) hopefully this is useful in furthering the discussion on agency value.

Account Management

Starting with Account Management, this is seen as the linchpin of the process, liaising between client and the agency and managing the outputs of the relationship. The more strategic the account manager, the more value and insight they can add. But at the most basic role and responsibility the value they add is in quality control and the efficient running of the account.

Value Index. 5/10.

Strategy Planning

The Strategy Planner is responsible for developing the communications strategy, important in ensuring you have the right message to achieve the marketing and business objective. But quality strategists are in short supply and high demand commanding significantly higher rates than their Account Management colleagues and even some of their Creative colleagues.

Value Index. 7/10.

Creative

There is a lot of focus on Creative rates and fees and it is true that at the top end, a handful of creative talent in Creative Director and Executive Creative Director roles are charged out at significantly higher rates based on industry reputation. While much of the industry is focused on creativity and especially awards, many successful advertisers are not relying on Award-Winning work to drive their business success.

Value Index. 6/10.

Digital

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Financial Services ecommerce website review – Case study

Client Category: – Financial Services

Challenging Problem:

The client was launching a new e-commerce website for a direct to customer model in the insurance industry. TrinityP3 was approached to assess 2 stages out of an overall 5 stage project, as the client felt that costs were starting to exceed industry average.

Shopping online

Creative Solution:

Taking the ecommerce website scope of work and estimates, we applied our benchmarks to calculate the agency resources required and the associated costs.

We analysed each line item down to a task requirement, resource type, and hourly level and compared this to the timeline and technical SOW provided. This created an independent reference point to compare the agency costs, deliverables and project value proposed by the agency.

Process:

The scope of work document was provided along with a 3-stage usability testing estimate.

These were in addition to previous prototype and testing stages (excluded from this assessment, however taken into account in terms of an overall project cost). The assessment was first discussed with the client in terms of potential savings and then discussed with the agency.

The agency then responded with reductions in relevant areas. They were prepared to significantly reduce costs based on a clearer scope of work and definition of services being delivered based on the TrinityP3 assessment. Continue reading “Financial Services ecommerce website review – Case study”

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Trading desks, demand side platforms and programmatic buying explained

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.

Programatic buying, trading desks, ad exchanges, real time bidding, demand side platforms and the like feature heavily in the trade press and in marketing departments around the world because of issues including transparency in regards to cost and profits, data ownership issues and accountability on ad placement environments.

We have written about the issues surrounding this previously, but for marketers increasingly involved in this area (and that is anyone with a digital media budget), it is important to understand what it is and how this whole process works. In this video I explain the whole process in plain language to introduce the elements and concepts involved.

It is clearly useful, because since loading the video to YouTube, thousands of people have viewed it. If you find this useful too, please leave a comment or like it and check out some of the other videos I think are useful on this topic including: 200ms: The Life of a Programmatic RTB Ad Impression by Media Crossing, Display Advertising Basics (DSPs, RTB, Ad Exchanges, DMPs) a 20 minute video by Pete Kluge, the IAB: How an Ad is Served with Real Time Bidding (RTB) or Real Time Bidding 101 by AcuityAds.

Transcript:

What are demand side platforms, trading desks, real time bidding and programmatic buying?

If you are working in media, advertising and marketing I am sure you have heard of terms like demand side platforms, trading desks, real time bidding, programmatic buying and the like.

You have probably also heard there is quite a bit of controversy about it due to issues like transparency and quality control.

And like many, you are probably not completely sure what it all means.

Well this is not a dummies guide to digital media, but I think it is worthwhile trying to explain what this is all about in plain English.

So here we go.

Internet advertising

Digital or Internet advertising, like all advertising, is about getting your message to the right people, in the right place at the right time. The difference is that in most other media you plan and commit to placing your ad in a certain place, be it on television at a specific time in a specific program where you hope the audience will see it. Or in a magazine where you hope they will read and notice it.

But the Internet is different in that your ad only appears when the webpage the person is looking for is loaded on to their computer, or tablet or mobile and your ad is placed or “served” there.

Making sense so far?
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Posted in data & direct marketing, industry news & trends, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement, media planning & buying, mobile marketing | Leave a comment