Where do those props you paid for end up after the television shoot?

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.

There is a couple I have known for many years that work in the production industry. She is a stylist and he is an art director.

They have a lovely house in the country and they often brag it is totally furnished and decorated from the props and wardrobe from commercial production shoots.

Television shoot props

This is not unusual actually, as the practice is quite common and most people in the industry know about it. However, in this case they took it to a whole new level. Basically, various advertisers have funded their whole holiday home furnishing and decorating.

How does this happen?

The Props Budget

The Props Budget is on the production company quote and is there to cover the cost of procuring the objects required in the shoot. Depending on the shoot this could include all manner of items from home furnishings to works of art to almost any object you see in the shoot that is not wardrobe (A separate topic) or not created by the art department.

The fact is that the advertiser rarely sees this budget allowance as it is simply a line item in what is often six or more pages of costs from the production company. Yet many advertisers do not see the production company quote as it is the usual agency practice to reduce these six or more pages into a single line item on the agency quote.

Now while the Prop Budget may be a fraction of the total cost of the production, it can still often amount to tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on the concept being produced and the approach the production company takes.

Buy or rent

Continue reading “Where do those props you paid for end up after the television shoot?”

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Managing Marketing: bad pitch practice and better ways of working with agencies

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Debra Giampoli, Director, Global Strategic Agency Relations at Mondelez International, does not think the creative shoot out is the ideal way to select an agency. Debra and Darren discuss the limitations of the creative pitch and then explore a new way of engaging with agencies that is being piloted by Mondelez International.

Debra_Giampoli

You can listen to the podcast here:

Transcription:

Darren:

So welcome to Managing Marketing and this week it’s coming from Boca Raton in Florida and I’m sitting here talking with Debra Giampoli, Director of Global Strategic Agency Relations at Mondelez International, hi Debra.

Debra:

Hi Darren, nice to see you.

Darren:

It’s great to see you again and I wanted to catch up because it was almost over a year ago when you wrote a terrific guest post for me about the death of the creative shoot out or the need to kill the creative shoot out as a way of choosing agencies.

Debra:

Right.

Darren:

You know that was hugely popular by the way.

Debra:

That’s great to hear, I’m glad it added some value for you.

Why get rid of the creative shoot out?

Darren:

Well I got lots of sharing on LinkedIn and lots of Twitter interest and commentary largely supportive of the fact that we need to get rid of the creative shoot out.

What is it about that process that you think we need to get rid of? Continue reading “Managing Marketing: bad pitch practice and better ways of working with agencies”

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Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client

This post is by Bruno Gralpois, co-founder of Agency Mania Solutions, a premier service and technology firm specialising in helping large brand advertisers realise the transformational value of managed partnerships. 

The uneasy truth about being a client and what it means to build lasting partnerships in today’s cut-throat environment.

I’d like to confess. Actually, I have multiple confessions to make. Four to be precise. No worries. This is not a remake of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), so they won’t keep you up at night.

Client agency relationship confessions

But if you’ve ever been a client, you too would have much to say. By now, we can all agree that the client/agency relationship is no longer what it used to be. Long gone are the days of long-lasting relationships where it took a major blowup for the partnership to be at risk.

Now, relationships are very fragile. So fragile indeed that the only thing that might keep an agency from walking over the deadly precipice of a separation is a performance improvement plan (PIP) and a 90-day termination clause, which is increasingly shorter as clients ask for more flexibility and are unwilling to commit long term.

I’ve had the opportunity to work as a client many times over and manage a complex set of relationships with incredibly talented agencies and their holding companies. Managing agency partnerships successfully is both an art and a science.

Because it’s both, it’s subject to many challenges, biases and other intangibles that are part of our daily lives. Ignoring them is risky. Acknowledging and embracing them is a first step toward overcoming most common challenges.

Confession #1: Most clients don’t understand the agency business.

That’s the reality. I was lucky to have worked at agencies before, but most clients have never had this experience. It puts them at a disadvantage because it’s hard to fully understand how agencies operate, how they manage their P&L and why they behave the way they do at times, unless you’ve walked in their shoes.

What can be done to address this? Some agencies do a very good job of sharing with their client the unique operational nuances of their business and how these might impact the relationship or how it’s managed. I always encourage clients to spend time at their agencies to experience firsthand the inner workings of the agency life.

Some clients organise agency days where client teams get to spend time with their agency counterparts in their offices. The better you understand the agency business, the better equipped you are to build mutually beneficial partnerships.

Confession #2: Too many clients think agencies are operating with fat or hidden margins.

Continue reading “Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client”

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Why strategy workshops beat speculative creative pitches for agency selection every time

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 most common creative agency tender processes are typically based on a speculative creative pitch. Up until 2007 the pitches run by TrinityP3 were also based on the speculative creative pitch, even though it was clear the process was flawed.

The speculative creative work was rarely used; it was incredibly time and resource consuming and relatively insubstantial in assisting in the selection process.

Around this time I went overseas to find world-best practice for the various services TrinityP3 was offering at the time – production cost assessments, agency remuneration benchmarking and pitch management. It was this last one that led me to a consultancy in Amsterdam called Scan International and its principal Hein Brecht.

Hein shared with me his approach of organising full day workshops between the advertiser and the short listed creative agencies. It was a process that made sense and so we developed his methodology further and started recommending it to our clients in 2008.

speculative creative pitches

The different approaches

The speculative creative pitch involved selecting a number of agencies – reported as up to six or more – providing them with a creative brief and time to develop creative concepts in response to that brief, and then having them present their recommendations.

The strategic workshop relies on a filtering process to reduce a long list of suitable agencies down to a shortlist of three or four. This filtering process is based on assessing the agencies capabilities and the chemistry the agencies have with the marketers.

Once you have the short list of preferred agencies, we then brief the agencies on a strategic problem or opportunity. The marketing team then works with each agency during a one-day workshop.

The time commitment

One of the issues that arose when we first suggested this approach back in 2008, was that several marketers were concerned that spending a day with three agencies was excessively time consuming.

But in actual fact the time commitment for both the advertiser and the agency is similar for the speculative creative process as it is with the strategic workshops.

Table 1: Time commitment by advertiser
Speculative Creative
(5 agencies)
Strategic Workshop
(3 agencies)
Briefing session 1 hour x 5 agencies = 5 hours 1 hour x 3 agencies = 3 hours
Question & Answer 1 hour x 5 agencies = 5 hours Not required as covered in the workshop
Tissue Sessions 1 hour x 5 agencies = 5 hours Not required
Workshop Not required 7 hours x 3 agencies = 21 hours
Presentation 2 hours x 5 agencies = 10 hours Not required
Total Hours 25 hours 24 hours

The other benefit of the strategic workshop process is the fact it takes less days, meaning the selection process becomes less protracted. This is because with the speculative creative process the agencies need a minimum of four weeks to develop the creative concept and the presentation.

While the strategic workshop works best when the workshop takes place within a week of the brief.

Table 2: The process timeline

Continue reading “Why strategy workshops beat speculative creative pitches for agency selection every time”

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Managing Marketing: The disruptive effect of change on organisations

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Ashton Bishop, CEO of Step Change returns to Managing Marketing to talk with Darren on the relentless pace of change and the impact on categories, organisations and their marketing. They explore the drivers, the effect of change fatigue and explore the benefits of embracing change and the opportunities it creates on a personal and organisational level.

Ashton_Bishop

You can listen to the podcast here:

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and this week I’m joined by Ashton Bishop who is the CEO of Step Change, formally Step Change Marketing.  Welcome, Ashton!

Ashton:

Thank you Darren.

Darren:

Now, it’s really interesting and one of the reasons I wanted to get you back, because you were here previously with your business partner Jeff Cooper, but I saw a video that you guys produced about the change of Step Change Marketing to Step Change.

Ashton:

Yes.

Darren:

And the focus on change.

Ashton:

Yep.

Darren: 

And so I wanted to spend some time with you, having a chat about the insights behind change.

People struggle with change

Ashton:

Yeah. We had our own little change as you pointed out Darren where we dropped the “Marketing” off the name to really represent the coming together and the confluence of strategy, marketing and leadership where things acting in isolation have become less effective.

So trying to thread those things together and give organisations a sense of direction in these tumultuous times was really the change we really needed to make to support our clients.

Darren:

Yeah because we do live in a time, it becomes almost glib to say change is inevitable, but we do live in a time where change is ubiquitous, everywhere there is change and what I’m seeing is that so many people struggle with change, even though they’ll chant mantras about, “Bring on change, change is good”, and all that sort of thing.

Why do you think this struggle exists? Continue reading “Managing Marketing: The disruptive effect of change on organisations”

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What can marketers do now to manage brands through the media transparency debate?

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.

There’s an old saying. If it swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then even if it’s not 100% duck, it’s certainly been ducking around.

Last week’s ANA report on media transparency, and whatever follows in Australia, means that this issue is going to run and run.

media transparency debate

Maybe it’s the refreshing clarity of the ANA report that has finally made the problem impossible to ignore. But it cannot be a surprise to anyone in the industry for more than five minutes – agencies, marketers or publishers – that the issue itself has finally come to a head.

It’s been the elephant in the room for years. Every time we’ve blogged about it or raised it on platforms or panels the reaction has been nervous laughter, dead silence or a rapid offer to call a taxi.

But let’s get practical. What do you do, tomorrow, if you’re a marketer with 2017 marketing objectives to meet, a brand to protect and a communications strategy to implement?

Your life as a marketer just changed

Continue reading “What can marketers do now to manage brands through the media transparency debate?”

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Multi Market Advertising: Fish in the big pond

This post is by George Pesutto, Founder and Director of Global Media Solutions Group Pty Ltd.  He has worked in the media and advertising industry for over 26 years including senior positions with News Ltd, Fairfax and Time Inc.  

Buying media advertising internationally is NOT one additional market although many marketers budget and brief as if it is, that is, until they begin to field the queries and obstacles.  It is in fact, many markets planned, bought and executed independently. This means independent contracts with each media supplier in each country or region.

Multi market advertising

With globalisation accelerating, China still rolling along as the most popular frontier market and emerging markets almost tempting the new wave of investment, there is a growing desire and need to communicate, engage and sell to new markets.

However, understanding your home market is challenging enough. Even in Australia, over 10% of the population is born in Asia or the Middle East. So, how do we tap lucrative new markets in any region around the world with confidence and how do we handle multi-markets?

As an example, for those from abroad wanting to advertise on Australian TV, a marketer or their agent or their agent’s Australian office will face:

  • A different schedule in each metro market with each broadcaster
  • A different supplier for regional to metro markets
  • Different suppliers within regional markets

Understanding the nuances

An Australian TV schedule can require 10 times as many lines as other comparable markets. However, the key point is that each global region will have its own nuances.

In reverse, an Australian marketer’s international budget distributed across mulitple markets is watered down by the number of markets and then the by the buying power of the budget within each market.

The impact, if the marketer is unprepared, can be profound:

1. Consider the number of markets

A $1.5million international spend across 5 markets is actually on average $300,000/market…simple math.

2. What is the buying power of the budget within that market?

Continue reading “Multi Market Advertising: Fish in the big pond”

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The K2 Intelligence Media Report: Rebate-Gate or Stalemate-Gate?

This post is by David Angell, General Manager of the fast growing Melbourne market and National Head of Media. David has extensive commercial and media experience gained through a fifteen year career in media agencies, which he uses to help drive optimal results for TrinityP3 clients.

Earlier this week, the investigative company K2 Intelligence, on behalf of the ANA, issued a report entitled ‘An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry’. You can download the report here.

The K2 Intelligence Media Report

 

Industry speculation has been that the report would go some way to cementing wide-held beliefs about ‘non-transparent’ practices inherent in media agencies and their holding companies.

No pulling punches

For the naysayers, the report hasn’t disappointed. ‘Pervasive’ and ‘substantial’ were words used more than once to describe what the report termed as ‘non-transparent media practices’, across a broad range of areas.

K2 Intelligence Media Report

K2 Intelligence Media Report

The report focuses on the US market. Does that mean that these things do not happen here in Australia, or in other markets? Of course it doesn’t. The companies investigated by the report are global entities, with practices designed to maximise profit in all operating markets – which, let’s just say here, is largely the same for any global business, in any industry.

Furthermore, TrinityP3 observes via contractual assessment some of the practices outlined in the report when dealing with our own APAC based clients.

Stalemate-Gate?

The report is comprehensive and extremely well put together, in our opinion. But in a way, it exacerbates frustration caused by the apparent stalemate we all face.

Between marketers who blindly or intentionally misunderstand and fail to act on the issues, and media companies who, often contractually protected, do not wish to change their practices, everyone struggles to see the right way forward.

The report is great. But it doesn’t offer much in the way of actual solutions, because presumably that was not in scope. The solutions are basically implied, but with no guidance on how to execute them. Additionally, every piece of evidence it has generated has been under conditions of anonymity, which of course is understandable.

So we continue with the stalemate. People are, apparently, happy to talk off-record.

Publically, it’s a different story: the media companies, with no-one to actually coerce them and apparently little in the way of actual regulation in this area, largely continue either to refuse commentary, or to deny everything (something else that we see quite regularly, when asking questions).

This strategy also appears to be global. From Sir Martin Sorrell’s denouncement of the report,through to local Australian leads refusing to comment, the media industry is not exactly embracing the findings.

From the agency perspective, what supports such an approach is that anyone who has been in the business long enough knows that explosions in the transparency debate are not new. They’ve happened before, and they’ll happen again. So, ‘batten down the hatches and ride out the storm’ may seem attractive, in the circumstances.

The Report, Condensed

Continue reading “The K2 Intelligence Media Report: Rebate-Gate or Stalemate-Gate?”

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Marketing Procurement: highly effective at the wrong thing?

This post is by Tom Lewis. Tom is responsible for the IPA’s finances and advises members on agency financial issues. He is a Chartered Accountant and has held senior financial positions across the FMCG, marketing services and advertising sectors, including Coca-Cola, Ogilvy & Mather, Huntsworth and Omnicom.

Professional buying of marketing services is highly inefficient – it just happens to be very effective.

Unfortunately at the wrong thing.

Marketing Procurement

Professional buying of agency services is based on two key behavioural insights:

  • you cannot win a negotiation that you are not prepared to walk away from
  • the more emotionally invested you are in a process, the harder it becomes to walk away

If, as a professional buyer, you are incentivised to obtain cost savings from your suppliers, you would naturally develop a buying process that maximises your chances of achieving that.

It is somewhat ironic, of course, that our industry is tasked with behaviour change yet has not properly recognized the behaviour-shaping processes by which our services are bought.

It is said that process is 80% of professional buying; the professional buying process is designed to do two things: Continue reading “Marketing Procurement: highly effective at the wrong thing?”

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Why I’m already sick of the ‘full service agency’ debate

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.

One of my schoolteachers used to tell us ‘never try to go back’. He was quite good at life advice, but rubbish at parallel parking. (You see, consultants can tell jokes. We just choose not to.)

It might just be me, but almost everywhere I went last week, I kept running into agency people desperate to give me their views on the return of the ‘full service agency model’.

Full service agency

For cheap entertainment and the purpose of making my point, I’ll arbitrarily divide these agency people into four groups, then brutally over-simplify what they were saying.

The Nostalgics

The first group are what we might call the Nostalgics. For them, the simple wrong turn made 20 years ago was to separate media agencies from advertising agencies. And, since nothing else has changed in marketing over that time, all we have to do is go back to when creative ideas were all big ideas and media agencies put them on TV and everything will be simple once again. Brilliant. Clearly there are no flaws in this argument.

The Extremists

Let’s call the second group the Extremists. For them, everything in the current marketing and agency world is dead and there’s no in-between. Full service is dead because advertising is dead. Creativity is also dead. The big idea is dead. So is TV or any kind of broadcast medium. So are holding companies. All agencies are dead – and media agencies are extremely dead.

The trouble is, if you read this group’s frequent ranting blog posts for more than five minutes, it becomes quite hard to work out what’s actually alive. But at least that’s consistent – because they also believe that thinking anything is alive is dead.

The Data Led

The third – the data-led group – well, they’re a million laughs. Because each of those laughs is based on unique data points about the individual laughee’s recent laughing behaviour, optimised in real time and retargeted via their own laughing DSP.

For them, full service means all about the data. Nothing happens in a full service agency that isn’t based on data. It doesn’t matter much what happens, as long as it’s based on data. Everything is about the data.

If you don’t believe me, try offering one of these guys a cup of tea. Like I said, they’re a million laughs.

Dark Lords

Continue reading “Why I’m already sick of the ‘full service agency’ debate”

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