An easy way to improve advertising process

When we do our agency remuneration benchmarking, we do not just determine if you are paying the right level to the agency, but we also look at the value of the remuneration. That is, we look at the level of resources required to deliver the scope of work across the various agency disciplines to help identify where the advertising process can be improved.


One of the areas that is often over-utilised is creative, especially in situations where the marketing team is large, layered and bureaucratic. Because in these situations, any lack of clarity in creative feedback and suddenly agencies can be producing multiple concepts for every brief. (Ok, the worst situations saw an average of 27 concepts for every creative brief and 22 media plans for every media brief)

What it does mean is that potentially you are not getting the efficiency from your agency. When I pointed this out to one Marketing Director he said “How else can I tell I have the best idea unless I see all of the ideas the agency can produce?”. It goes without saying he is no longer in that role.

So the question is – have you seen any of these types of creative critics?

Or do you know someone who is? Or perhaps there are some that are not here?

Let me know by leaving a comment.

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About Darren Woolley

Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email:
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5 Responses to An easy way to improve advertising process

  1. Anne Miles says:

    This is so funny! I totally agree that having 27 concepts is a symptom of poor process. I've seen many times that this is at the agency's expense as well so they need to get a handle on the process that protects them from this at the beginning. It's not about being rude to a client, just clear. Many are afraid to stand up to a client because they see it as confrontational, when both parties can actually benefit. Sometimes they agree to this in their contract just to win the account but even so, there are still ways to mange the process so that it doesn't get out of hand like this.

    I think there's one missing – The Visionary: "I don't know how to explain it but I'll know it when I see it!"

  2. Darren Woolley says:

    Hey Anne, The Visionary is a beauty. I know a few marketers who resort to this as justification for the agency needing to do many multiple iterations of ideas.

  3. Stephen Black says:

    Love it. I've got a variation on The Blender – 'The Cut and Paste Guy' – 'Why can't we cut and paste good stuff from the past into something new and save all the hassle & cost of more production – then we can tick all the boxes…' .

    Hey, there's a new one: 'The Box Ticker'. Sounds like a Seinfeld episode! Cheers.

  4. Darren Woolley says:

    I really like the "Box Ticker" Steve. It is like "lets just get this done and move on…."

  5. Shafneezal Rashid says:

    The three most common types are The Crammer, The Blender & The Micro-Manager. The worst thing is that these 3 types are prevalent with that 1 individual decision maker! I notice that marketers from a predominantly sales or business marketing/development background are most prone to fall into these types. Even when agency provides a yearly orientation program & agency-client-vendor communications planning workshop… still they keep sitting inside the box asking for out of the box idea. First step they should do is step outside the box in order to openly accept ideas that are different.

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