The transition from one agency to the next is becoming more complex

Reading the marketing and advertising trade media you would think that the tender or pitch process is the start, middle and end of the client / agency relationship. Tenders and pitches make great news, with winners and losers. Plus all the intrigue of why one agency won and another lost. But in actual fact, the selection of the agency and the signing of the contract is just the start of the process. In the euphoria of the new relationship, it is usual for the parties involved to get on with the job and start working together. But like most areas of marketing, advertising and media, the process has become more complex due to the changes in the process created by technology. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The complex issue of ever expanding agency rosters

Nathan Hodges, General Manager of TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants discusses with Darren the ever increasing complexity of marketer requirements that leads to corresponding expansions in agency and supplier rosters, especially in large marketing departments in service centric companies such as telcos and financial services. Continue reading

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It’s time to get back to Marketing ROI basics and that means starting with the budget

How would you handle finding out your marketing spend had been misreported by millions of dollars? More importantly, how would you go about reallocating that spend against campaign activity to give you a better indication of ROI? Could you? Would you? ROI is a hot, hot topic. Well to be honest, it has been for a while now but as ROI software, apps and other such tools become accessible to businesses of all sizes, it seems it’s all anyone can talk about. Continue reading

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The hidden waste buried inside many agency retainer agreements

While the reported trend is to move away from the resource-based retainer, it continues to be popular with agencies because of the guarantee of cost recovery and cash flow and with advertisers because of the “all you can eat” and “set and forget” convenience. The reason for the move away from the popular retainer is because of the increasing fragmentation of the advertisers scope of work requirements, resulting in an increased number of agencies on the roster and a diminishing in the prevalence and importance of the Agency of Record (AoR). There is also the continued downward pressure on costs in an attempt to drive greater cost efficiencies and ultimately cost reduction in marketing. Continue reading

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How to strategically align an existing team

Hands up who has ever moved into an exciting new leadership role only to have the gloss of it all rapidly fade when you realise the team you are now responsible for just doesn’t work – at all? No matter how experienced you are in the industry, one of the biggest challenges you will face when you take on a new position, either within the same company or with a new company altogether, is taking on an existing team. These teams will have a dynamic and with that a status quo, so as a result it can be tough to integrate in and make leadership decisions while you are still trying to figure who is who and what the hell is going on. Continue reading

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10 key issues to consider when building your marketing technology stack

And the winner of Chiefmartec’s 2nd ‘Stackies’ Award, for the best in class Marketing Tech Stack is…….Datapipe – for organizing its marketing tech stack around the buyer’s journey. Datapipe’s tech stack also clusters components around different marketing functions (eg Search Engine Optimisation, paid search, conversion, remarketing, email marketing, CRM etc), plus highlights the data flows between each technology. They applied a simple question: “how does a particular software technology solution move buyers forward?” Continue reading

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You want transparency from your media agency? Look at your own behaviour first

I read with interest the recent interview with Jon Mandel, the ex-Mediacom CEO credited, via some forthright conference commentary about his experiences, with playing a major role in sparking the global media agency transparency debate that has dominated much of the industry agenda over the last 12-24 months. All the key topics were covered; the role of AVBs, the US-based investigation into agency practices, the newly released ISBA guideline contract out of the UK, the legal action allegedly taken by some agencies to protect their secrets, and the drain of distrust, complaint and counter-complaint around which media agencies, marketers and commentators are viciously circling. Continue reading

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How Value Based Compensation can support Zero Based Budgeting

We are increasingly enjoying discussions with a range of advertisers and marketers on the implementation of Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) to the marketing function in their organisations. Unilever recently announced publicly that they were adopting ZBB for their global marketing teams and many other major advertisers are either already down that path or following suit. The reaction from many marketers we have discussed ZBB with is interesting as there appears to be a lot of skepticism about the reason for the introduction of ZBB into marketing and the impact it will have. But the fact is that this trend also means that increasingly more organisations are considering changing their agency compensation model to better align the agency fee to the intention of the ZBB approach. Continue reading

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Sustainability and the hidden cost of your media inefficiency

For many years, CPM (‘Cost Per Mille’, otherwise known as cost per thousand as a dollar value) has been a staple metric used to calculate media efficiency and develop media plans. That’s all well and good. But as we move into a carbon constrained future, there’s a growing argument which holds that the carbon cost of communication will become a much more important consideration in media planning and buying. At first glance this hidden cost might not seem significant. But as the media market fragments, the carbon footprint of buying media inexorably grows. Continue reading

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The critical mission to save the Marketing Director

I’m out to get the Marketing Directors of the world. Get them out of trouble, that is. I’m out to extend their lifespan. I’m out to get them the credit they deserve – and for the companies and brands they work with – the just rewards they can rightfully earn. How can I hope to do this? I’m partnering with the founder of TrinityP3 (Darren Woolley) to launch it in the UK. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Darren’s a bit like me – started life doing something quite different – a scientist – and then moved on to a career as a very successful creative director and now marketing change agent. Continue reading

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Is Media Transparency desirable only until it costs advertisers money?

There is a lot of discussion regarding the importance of transparency in media, especially in regards to digital media and programmatic buying. The discussions in the US between the advertisers, represented by the ANA, and the agencies, represented by the 4As, led to open public disagreements and calls for apologies.
The same discussions are being held between their various counterparts around the world. Even in Australia the Media Federation representing the media agencies developed and provided guidelines on transparency with their advertisers counterpart the AANA. But it is interesting having discussions with advertisers on an individual basis regarding media transparency. It appears that on an individual basis the attitude is more aligned with the famous ad man Bill Bernbach “It’s not a principle until it costs you money.” Continue reading

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What you may not know about the digital marketing landscape

Have you heard this lately? Or have you found yourself saying this lately? It’s a phrase that seems to keep popping up in marketing management circles. And one that I also use from time to time to help keep up with the never-ending stream of new technologies, data services, digital platforms and media opportunities. It’s a great way of fleshing out information from a supplier, but also a way of determining someone’s actual capability and level of knowledge. I met with a global media manager, head of procurement and digital leader last week. It was a great meeting, and the conversation went in a variety of directions, however two key questions stood out for me at different stages of the meeting: Continue reading

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The art of saying no to clients without feeling guilty

We all want to be liked. It is human nature to crave acceptance and feel we belong. It is possible that some disciplines such as advertising and marketing attract a more socially focused personality type than others. So when it comes to saying ‘No’ to a client request, it can be an incredibly difficult task, which leaves you feeling dejected and guilty.

But there are times when it is important for the health and well-being of a relationship and your own self esteem that you are able to master the art of saying no without causing offence or ending up wallowing in guilt and self loathing. Continue reading

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