8 ‘Less Obvious’ Reasons Why Agencies Lose Pitches

Pitches can be very capricious. The blend of human intuition, rhetoric, substance and circumstance can make even the best agency lose over the course of a pitch process. No one says that it’s perfect. But there’s a world of difference between a well-run pitch process and a bad one. Some mistakes are clichés…some are not. There are some pitch mistakes, made by agencies, which are obvious although often repeated (chest thumping attitude, not listening, not bringing the right people, banging on about oneself, profound gender skews in meeting rooms, etc). Continue reading

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Advertisers with Performance Problems Turn to Management Consultants

“Watch out! They are coming!” reported The Drum when Accenture and Deloitte appeared on the pitch list for Nissan-Renault’s global account review. They are “spreading their tentacles, seduced by marketing services!” Accenture sees it another way: “CMOs are seeking our talents, not the other way around.” Is consulting going to the mountain, or is the mountain coming to consulting? Continue reading

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Why providing consultancy with integrity is more important than ever

Consultants. They often get a bad rap, particularly in the marketing industry. I work with many clients in a consultative capacity, across anything from bespoke vision or structural alignment projects, through contractual and remuneration assessment, to market pitches or agency selection work. I’ve also worked with many consultants in my agency days. The majority of the clients we work with are pretty happy. I would like to say that the majority of agencies we’ve worked with are – well, at least not unhappy – with the way in which we handle them. Continue reading

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Time to pitch your agency or not? And when it is the only answer

That indeed is the question many marketers ask themselves when agencies aren’t performing. Given one of our services at TrinityP3 is Pitch Consultancy, and I get paid to be a Pitch Consultant, one might think I would answer: “Pitch of course!” But alas, you would be mistaken to think I would say that without asking a few very pointed questions first. Continue reading

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Why advertisers should never accept a ‘sound-alike’ music track for advertising

The international scandal from New Zealand concerning the court case between the publisher of Eminem’s song Lose Yourself and the National Party of New Zealand reminds us why advertisers should be very careful when it comes to copyright, music rights and intellectual property. During my career as a copywriter I witnessed on so many occasions situations that could easily have ended up in the same embarrassing court battle that the National Party of New Zealand is currently facing. Continue reading

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Retuning the Marketing ‘Orchestra’

The marketing ‘orchestra’ needs to be reorganised and re-tuned. The orchestra players are highly skilled and totally dedicated. The problem is, they’re playing different scores, even if the music was written by the same composer. The first violins are playing a Bach fugue. The second violins are performing a Bach prelude. The cellos are holding their own with the Second Brandenburg concerto. The string bass players are improvising – Bach jazz-fusion. And the conductor? Frustrated, he / she stops the playing. “Again, the Bach! From the top!” Continue reading

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Am I allowed to audit my agency?

Having read “The 105th thing on your to do list” you will now know what kind of audit you’re looking to conduct. So what’s the next step? Before you go out looking for an auditor, you need to check that you are actually ‘allowed’ to audit your agency and, if you are, what can and can’t be audited. And so to find the contract. Your right to audit should be covered in the agency contract and should be fairly easy to find – look in your ‘Contracts’ folder and voilà, a beautifully filed copy of a fully signed contract between you and your agency will be sitting there waiting for you. Continue reading

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Clients: You Are What You Brief

Poor client briefings are a source of immense frustration to both agencies and the clients who issue them. Agencies that aren’t briefed properly spend a huge amount of time trying decipher or guess at what their clients really want, while clients end up disappointed, underwhelmed and frustrated by the agency’s seeming lack of insight and creativity. And I hate to break it to you, but from what we’re hearing, there’s something of an epidemic of dismal briefings darkening agency meeting rooms and inboxes. In short, agencies have a beef with their client’s briefs. Continue reading

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CMOs, Shareholder Value and the Decline of Marketing Risk-Taking

You’d have to be older than a Millennial to remember a time when corporate CEOs were heavily involved in marketing decisions, like increased spend on media, the development of new Big Idea ads, the launching of new consumer products (rather than the spitting out of line extensions) and the formulation of strategies designed to outsmart competitors. That was a time before “shareholder value” became the universal corporate objective — the value to be delivered to shareholders because of management’s ability to grow earnings, dividends and share price. Continue reading

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The 105th thing on your ‘to do’ list may be the most important…

So imagine the scenario: you’ve got a set marketing budget that seems to be squeezed year-on-year; new opportunities arise that need to be tested; old, well-trodden routes to market need to be sustained; constant evaluations need to be done to ensure you’re nimble and maximising the opportunities; and your parent company has just issued the (annual) email to say that it’s putting a stop on spending any uncommitted budget at the end of the month. Sound familiar? Continue reading

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