Benchmarking the marketing FTEs within your organisation

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.

We regularly have marketers and procurement come and ask us to benchmark their agency resources. Do they have the right level of account management? Or too much strategy? Is the media trading team right? Or do they need a higher technology resource level?

We have the methodology and data to be able to accurately calculate and benchmark the level and mix of resources required to deliver the scope of work.

We can also provide the same process for the marketing communications resources within the organisation. A common issue within some marketing departments is that they have grown organically to become bloated and ineffectual, while other marketing teams suffer from not keeping pace with the growth in their work scope without a corresponding increase in their resources. Either can lead to inefficiencies and under-performance.

Line_Up_Of_AgenciesWhat do we mean by Marketing Communications?

This is important because just as marketing has become more complex and diverse, we are particularly focused on the communication component, which can include:

  • Campaign management
  • Agency / Supplier Management
  • Sponsorship
  • Events
  • Media (Traditional)
  • Media (Digital)
  • Advertising Production
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Customer Data & Analytics
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Social Media
  • Research
  • Production Management
  • Corporate Design

The list is extensive, but is specifically focused on the communications component of the marketing mix and excludes marketing functions such as NPD, pricing, distribution and the like.

What criteria are considered?

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Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency solutions, customer relationship management, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement, media planning & buying, resource rate calculator, social media & digital marketing, strategic management, television & electronic production | Leave a comment

12 essential tips for developing a content marketing 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. 

It seems that there is still a major problem around the development and ROI measurement of an effective content marketing strategy.

Questions asked in a series of recent seminars which Darren Woolley presented at demonstrated how much marketers are still struggling with the new digital content arena.

Is it too much of a leap?

Does it require too much new learning?

Learning something complex

And how can you possibly discriminate between those who know what they are talking about and can deliver results and those who have read all the right blogs and can regurgitate content strategy platitudes that appease those who are feeling just a little bit…

lost?

Yes, it is a big call. And there are many content marketing mistakes that can be made along the way – all of which will seriously hinder your results.

My 12 tips for developing an effective content marketing strategy

Here are my 12 primary, essential tips that you must take into account if you want all of the business benefits that a content marketing strategy can bring to your business – big or small.

1. Develop a strategy

Makes sense to start here doesn’t it?

It is hugely important that the content creation team (or person) has an understanding of who your customers are, what your business does, what needs your products or services satisfy, what language or jargon and tone of voice is appropriate for your customers and most importantly, what success looks like.

It is necessary to analyse personas and to develop content that will engage these potential customers.

Before conducting any research into potential search queries it is important to have an in-depth conversation to get familiar with USPs and competition, market reach and business goals.

These should all influence the type of content you are creating.

How frequently should you be publishing? What form will the content take? Who will be the business lead for this content?

The strategy should always be focused on solutions. It should answer your potential customers’ questions and should give value. It should also be structured for ease of indexing by search engines so your customers can find your solutions easily.

2. Publish content regularly

If there is not a commitment to regular content then a content strategy will not be effective. This is the big hurdle for some businesses.

As soon as things get busy many people have difficulty finding time to supply crucial information for their audience.

If you are struggling to resource this content creation from inside your company then you must outsource to writers who have an understanding of web structure and optimisation (but do not go down the “SEO copywriting” keyword repetition path) and who can write for humans, not robots.

What is regular enough?
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The good, bad, bizarre and unknown of Mergers and Acquisitions

This article was originally posted by Stephan Argent on the Argedia Group website. Stephan Argent is the CEO of Argedia Group and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3.

GooTube

So Apple just inked its acquisition of Beats Electronics for a whopping $3 billion.

Some argue the deal is pricey – even for Apple – given Beats headphones rail against Apple’s sleek design ethic. Others argue it gives Apple the opportunity to build a ready-made music subscription service, revitalising their music download business.

Time will tell whether the deal is good, bad, or bizarre for Apple to complete, but it got me thinking about mergers and acquisitions that have already made their marks on history in a variety of categories.

Here are my picks for the good, bad, bizarre and – like Apple’s acquisition of Beats – unknown:

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12 simple ways to improve agency communication and relationships

This post is by Kylie Ridler-Dutton, Marketing Management Consultant at TrinityP3. Kylie is a discipline neutral specialist with consulting and implementation experience spanning across retail, alcohol, utilities and telecommunications.

Achieve success with your agency through everyday relationship psychology

Like a pre-arranged marriage you go in blind and hope for the best. However, in this day and age we have the power to go into a relationship with the expectation that our needs will be met.

Agency communication

 

Laying out the ground rules through communication at the very beginning establishes clear expectations so it doesn’t turn sour. What works for you may not work for the next person. We are very complex creatures and with the plethora of partners we can choose, both business and personal, it feels easier to just start again.

The smallest changes in our communication can make a healthy lasting relationship

Set expectations at the very beginning:

1. Take the time to sit down and plan before you launch into every day life. Like personal relationships both parties want to feel their needs are being met and that they are understood.

2. Set time in your diaries to catch up on a regular basis and review your agreed requirements. Agree on areas for improvement and how this can be achieved to avoid disappointment.

3. Assess what you want to spend time together discussing or even not discussing, so the time spent together is productive and positive.

4. What makes you tick? Do you prefer a phone call to a million emails? Are you are a morning person, a coffee catch up before you hit the desk job?

5. Plan, plan, plan – Share how your day pans out, what meetings do you attend and when do you need some extra support or pro-active input. The more both parties are prepared the better the results.

6. Plan, Plan and Plan again - both parties will have goals to be met and daily tasks they need to achieve so if one party throws a curve ball the other is going to face conflict with achieving their goal which leads to frustration.

7. Allow for growth, trust takes time and often we are thrown together like a pre-arranged marriage. Most of us have a different work style, the planner or the person who gets a thrill from last minute cramming - recognise the work style of your partner/s and try to compromise on how to get the best results.

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3 questions for agency roster management expert – Darren Woolley

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.

As TrinityP3 continues to grow, so does the team of professionals within the company as 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?

Finally in this series of TrinityP3 expert videos I’d like to reintroduce you to me. As the founder and the Global Managing Director for TrinityP3 I have been involved in a wide range of projects with the full breadth of marketers around the world. The interesting commonality is that most marketers are struggling with the incredibly complexity being driven by technology and the impact this is having on people and the market.

In this video I address the issues surrounding this complexity. Technology is increasing the options and opportunities available to all marketers who are dealing with issues such as how to integrate this technology into customer relationships in an effective and seamless way and how to best structure their marketing teams internally and their suppliers externally to best deliver the strategy.

Q1. What are the biggest issues for marketers in managing their agencies?

I think the biggest issue today for marketers is managing the complexity of the marketplace.

Technology particularly is driving complexity throughout the marketing mix.  New channels, new ways of doing business, new ways that the consumer is engaging with brands is actually driving this.

And so what we’re seeing is that marketers are becoming confused or challenged by these constant changes in technology and what that means is in response to that, marketers are often finding themselves getting a range or a roster of agencies that covers all of these different areas.

So instead of just having their creative and media agency, they’ve now got specialists in each area. It’s not unheard of for marketers to have twenty, thirty, even up to one hundred different agencies to cover this level of complexity.
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The 45 second TVC up-sell – why does this happen?

This post is by Clive Duncan a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. As a Director and DOP he has an appreciation for the value of great creative and outstanding production values, while also recognising the importance of delivering value for money solutions to the advertiser.

Would you like fries with that? Or, “How come I ordered a 30 second TVC and ended up with a 45 second TVC?”

I have been in advertising for more years than I care to admit and I have seen the 45 second TVC up-sell happen on a regular basis. So why does this happen?

Hamburger

It usually happens when the “entertain and engage” part of the commercial has a complex plot scenario or the director has suggested some extra shots to enhance an already “full” TVC.

Many director’s think that it is their job to make these suggestions and to bring that “little bit extra” to a TVC, after all isn’t that what separates them from their rivals?

Every time I sit in on a director’s presentation and he or she says “Wouldn’t it be great if we could just add ……..”, I know that someone will be disappointed, and more often than not that will be the client.

Management of the TVC

If TrinityP3 is involved in the management of the TVC we suggest that a timed animatic is presented to the client and the agency so that decisions can be made before the shoot regarding what will fit into the 30 second version stipulated in the production brief.

Sometimes it is a chance to weigh up if the director’s suggestions could replace some of the agency’s story line but this is very rare indeed as the agency’s script has been crafted to fill the advertiser’s brief.

The director’s suggestions are typically there to enhance the drama, comedy or performance or whatever is the main driver behind the “entertain and engage” story. Quite often the timed animatic never gets made, and the cost to produce an animatic or the delay to the schedule is sited as the reason.

The advertisers in their innocence are told by the agency producer and client services that the director and creative team “know what they are doing” and that it will all “fit in” especially if there is no lip sync to drive the timings.

Are agencies deceiving their clients?

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10 questions to consider when you are searching for a new agency

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

Thinking of searching for a new agency? Well, think on this for a minute:

If you’ve ever bought a house, chances are that before you made the commitment to purchase, you envisioned actually living there. In doing so, you could see the potential the house had to meet your lifestyle for the next five or ten years – perhaps longer.

Telescope

It’s unlikely you interviewed previous owners on their experience with the house, because their requirements and lifestyle were likely irrelevant to your purchasing decision.

You likely narrowed your criteria by making sure the house was the right size and in the right location and had various attributes that differentiated it from others. But once those criteria were met, you envisioned the potential the house had for your own needs.

So when searching for a new agency, it’s strange that most marketers (and corresponding search processes) tend to focus on agencies’ past performance, rather than their future vision.

In other words, are previous strategies or creative ideas for other businesses (likely unrelated to yours), really the best measure of an agency’s future performance on your business?

You’ve likely selected the agencies you’re looking at based on their size, capabilities location and lack of conflicting business. Now, instead of looking deep into the past to see if the agency is right for you, why not look into their future as a better measure of their ability grow your business in the future?

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3 questions for sustainable marketing expert – Christopher Sewell

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.

As TrinityP3 continues to grow, so does the team of professionals within the company as 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?

Christopher Sewell, Senior Consultant at TrinityP3 has a burning passion about sustainability. This passion has seen him, through his own company, The Gaia Partnership, develop the CO2Counter to assist companies to measure, monitor and manage their carbon footprint.

These companies have invariably made a commitment to sustainability, not just as part of their CSR strategy, but because sustainability in business leads to reduced costs as well as reduced environmental impact. The irony is that often those same companies that focus on achieving sustainability throughout their operations, overlook achieving sustainability in the very function that communicates their strategy to their stakeholders.

In this video Christopher talks about how marketers have the opportunity to align to their companies sustainability strategies and in the process achieve a greater alignment with their customers and reduce their costs through eliminating waste in the marketing process.

Q1. What are marketer’s biggest challenges in achieving environmental sustainability?

A marketer’s biggest challenge in achieving environmental sustainability are really knowing when to act.  There’s a lot of noise out there in a political climate saying, “don’t do anything in an environmental space”, but there’s more and more research coming out that’s saying that consumers do want to act.  They do want to engage with businesses that actually do take the environment seriously.

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How to avoid the agency search and selection beauty parade

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.

When selecting a new agency, many advertisers still ask if they are buying a campaign and not a creative partner who will help them develop and execute their brand strategies over the coming months and years. Marketers have realised the flaws in the traditional creative beauty parade. Recently Debra Giampoli, Director, Global Strategic Agency Relations, at Mondelez International, wrote on why we needed to change the creative agency selection process.

There are still many marketers who stick to what they have always done, even though it is clearly flawed. We have written about the consequences of this, and yet only last week I was contacted by two marketers wanting to run a traditional creative beauty parade as their pitch process. In both cases they were open to discussing alternatives and in both cases they saw the benefits of the alternatives we offered.

In this video I outline the problems with the beauty parade, but more importantly share ways to avoid the process. Check it out and if you want to find a better way to select an agency partner let us know.

Transcript:

The flaws of a creative pitch

I have never really understood why marketers get agencies to do speculative creative work as part of the selection process.

Sure, if you are buying an idea it is fairly obvious but in most cases they are choosing a creative or digital or media partner. Someone they want to not just come up with one creative idea, but potentially hundreds.

Yet time and again, against my advice, marketers have fallen in love with an idea presented in the pitch, even though they do not feel the agency is right.

What do you do?
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Placing a financial value on a sustainable business

This post is by Chris Sewell, Business Director at TrinityP3. Chris has a wide ranging knowledge of all areas of the advertising and procurement world and specializes in helping companies understand the environmental impact of their marketing spend.

We are often asked to help quantify the benefits of embarking on a sustainable pathway.

While there are some clear measurables around energy reduction, the co-benefits are harder to put a dollar figure against.

Companies who trade in environmental goods and services already understand the importance of sustainability; as it is the life-blood of the businesses balance sheet.

For less enlightened businesses where sustainability is about corporate and reputational risk, the quest for tangible data to justify the short-term cost of the programme is not straight forward.

Green padlock signifying sustainability

Show me the ROI for a sustainability policy that works

Firstly we need to identify the non-transactional and co-benefits that flow from a committed sustainability programme.

A number of difficult to measure benefits are well laid out in a recent piece of research from The Imperial College London University – Centre for Environmental Policy. It is called Unlocking the Hidden Value of Carbon Offsetting.

I have summarised below what I believe are the relevant findings that can be applied to all businesses with or looking at a sustainability programme, regardless of whether they have a voluntary carbon offset policy in place.

The research involved companies that had a comprehensive internal carbon management strategy already in place. Many also had in-house sustainability or environmental departments.

As all respondents were actively participating in voluntary carbon offset programmes, the measurement and therefore the reduction of carbon had direct cost implications. The easiest to understand is ‘energy reduction’ which equates to direct cost savings in power bills.

What motivates business? – The not so quantitative reasons

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Posted in agency solutions, green marketing & sustainability, return on investment | Leave a comment