This is the third in a series of three articles written by TrinityP3 directors. Each is written for one of the audiences in our name TrinityP3. In this case, being ‘Marketers and Advertisers’. The other two are ‘Agencies and Marketing Suppliers’ and ‘Procurement and Sourcing’. The P3, in TrinityP3, stands for helping people achieve commercial purpose through the creative process. In this series, we explain how we apply the process and purpose to deliver value to the people in our trinity.
As marketing management consultants, for years, we’ve been working with marketers, helping them to solve performance issues with their agencies, or selecting new agencies, solving roster issues, helping them achieve a level of media transparency and define media value, develop and implement more accountable agency fee models and more.
But we wanted to explain how, beyond what we do, how the way we do it adds significant value for marketers. How the underlying ways we work, our scientific and analytical approach, leveraging our broad industry experience and knowledge and our independent and innovative thinking, provides value beyond the task delivered.
After all, almost anyone could run a pitch, and many do. But our rigorous and analytical approach to supporting marketers in this increasingly complex process, navigating their way through an increasingly crowded market, means not only do marketers have an increased chance of a successful and longer-term sustainable outcome, but they have the data to support their decision. Increasingly important in these times of accountability.
These ways of working add up to a dizzying cocktail that helps reduce the complexity you face as a marketer, delivering better value for your budget, by adding our unique value to your marketing ecosystem.
Let me explain how we add that value.
Combining Qualitative and Quantitative analysis
Everyone on the management team has an opinion and this seems particularly true when it comes to marketing and advertising. It was true when I was a Marketing Director with Mars and continues to be true with my experience over the last decade on the agency and consulting side.
But while opinion and instinct can be hallmarks of good marketers, we have seen the credibility of these opinions challenged in the face of data and analytics. It is no longer enough for the CMO /EVP/Marketing Director to have an opinion, based on experience, they need proof….data!
“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale
Marketers have to work that much harder to convince their colleagues on the management team to support the marketing strategy.
Having a scientific and analytical perspective and also understanding the creative world, we use data and a quantitative approach to understand what’s going on. From day one, we have been collecting and analysing data around all aspects of the management of marketing, media and advertising.
While other consultants think benchmarking is just salaries and hourly rates, we model the resources required to undertake thousands of creative tasks and millions of media combinations. While others were quantifying scorecards on relationships, we developed methodologies to measure and quantify collaboration.
In effect, we have quantified what was previously the unquantifiable to help marketers to ‘see the wood through the trees’ for the first time.
It is the combination of using structured and unstructured data, and a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques, that allows us to bring a new perspective to your challenges, beyond just being another opinion in the room.
We then use this data output and its analysis to make quantifiable sense of what was previously seen as statements, hearsay and opinions…. to now be able to add value to the value of marketing itself.
This analytical approach allows us to measure the greatest obstacle to marketing value – complexity… with an approach that is not just quantifying complexity but calculating its financial impact on the value of the marketing budget itself.
We strive to make the complex, simpler
Our analysis over the past two decades has empirically proven that marketing, media and advertising continue to become increasingly complex. More channels, more choice, more demands of marketing and a budget that never appears enough to get it all done. The irony being, that same complexity, is robbing marketers of the value within their marketing budget and stretching agencies beyond their resource capabilities.
The fact is there is no simple fix for complexity. So, unlike some consultants who make issues more complex to justify their fees, we embrace complexity. It is ensuring you understand the challenge as intimately as possible and then to acknowledge the details. But of course, no-one knows the details and the nuances as well as the marketers facing these challenges. Therefore, we work with our clients in exploring possible solutions. Only then are you able to design solutions specific to the particular circumstances.
“Pat answers to complex problems are the hallmark of intellectual mediocrity” – Theodosius Dobzhansky
Complexity also means that what may have worked in one situation will not always work. The idea that every issue is the same, is an intellectual shortcut to finding a solution, as, it’s not necessarily the solution that the issue or challenge needs. Certainly, experience with a wide range of solutions can help inform the development of your bespoke solution. But if you are looking for a solution, rather than a band-aid, then you need to go beyond the latest trend or the first idea that presents itself.
Innovative and actionable marketing solutions
Innovation is essential to drive an organisation and in marketing terms, we’re not just referring to your product or service. In a world driven by technological change, there are those that have had an impact on your marketing eco-system, just consider the dramatic impact that digital media has had, or technology enabling marketing management systems. This means that if you haven’t evolved with such changes then you are really going backwards.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter F. Drucker
This is why our approach outlined here is designed to drive innovation within your marketing ecosystem.
First, understand the issue, problem, challenge or opportunity not just from a qualitative perspective, but a quantitative perspective too. Where are we? More importantly, why are we there? Second, where do we want to be? What does success look like? Third, we use design thinking to develop possible solutions.
The starting point is often to identify what is the usual way to solve this problem. But then go beyond the way it is usually done to find better, more effective solutions to meet needs, relevant to marketing and fit within the organisation.
While some may want a consultant to come and tell them what to do, our approach is to offer options as solutions and then collectively review and assess the best direction. Just as no two problems are alike, no two organisations and their circumstances are the same. This approach allows us to provide a number of considered and valid solutions.
Then collectively we arrive at the solution that best fits the circumstances. We add value by helping you find the right marketing solution that fits the broader objectives and strategy of your organisation.
There is never just one right answer
As explained in more detail above, our approach is to clearly and accurately define the challenges or issues.
“The formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution” – Albert Einstein
Having defined and agreed on the problem or issue to be solved, the fact is, there are many ways to solve the problem. From ignoring it completely through to radically reinventing the construct that created the issue in the first place, each possible solution will come with its own challenges, disruption and risks. Plus, each will solve the problem to a specific level of satisfaction to all involved.
Too often we have seen consultants offer a cookie-cutter approach to many of the issues facing marketers. The one size fits all certainly has significant limitations. The least being, it is invariably the only solution the particular consultant knows. Think hammer and nail.
Our approach is to offer options as solutions and then collectively review and assess the best direction. This approach allows us to provide a number of considered and valid solutions. Then collectively we arrive at the solution that best fits the circumstances, the right one for you and the organisation.
Experience has shown us that collectively reviewing these solutions and collectively deciding the best way forward not only delivers greater engagement from all involved, it also therefore, leads to more sustainable, longer-term solutions. Better than sticking a band-aid on it and hoping it goes away.
Broad industry perspective
There are generalists and there are specialists. When it comes to consultants in marketing, there are management consultants with no marketing experience. There are management consultants with no business experience. There are marketing consultants that have only been marketers. There are marketing consultants that have only worked in media or have only been in agency account management.
TrinityP3 is a specialist. We only work on marketing. In fact, we pride ourselves on offering the experience of a marketing generalist but with the skills of marketing specialist experts that come from our access to a wide community of such consultants. We’ve built and worked on this approach for a long time and believe it is the best way to add value… providing access to the broad industry skills and support that marketers need.
“Diverse groups of problem solvers outperformed the groups of the best individuals at solving complex problems”. – Scott E. Page
At our disposal are a diverse community of experts in data and analytics, media, agency management, marketing management, business management, production, environmental sustainability, and much more. We have a very experienced team that gives us a global reach, no bag carriers………we carry our own.
We have also had the pleasure of working with hundreds of companies, across multiple business categories, over the years. We have worked on a multitude of challenges, developing hundreds of tailored solutions. If you’re thinking….’ we can do this ourselves’, then consider the sheer experience level you’re missing out on with that thinking.
Instead, how about the power of our real and valuable experience, proven methodologies and independently derived recommendations, standing behind your marketing desire, when you present to your management team. To be honest, it would have been fantastic help adding persuasive data and solutions, in some of the management debates I experienced, if such had existed, in my day.
We are working for you
Maybe this is overstating things a little, but it illustrates an important principle for us. Unlike a lot of consultants, we have no agenda to sell a pre-prepared technical solution to our clients’ problems. We like to maintain our objectivity and freedom to recommend the most effective solution, not the one that makes us the most money.
Our focus is on developing sustainable, long term solutions and innovations you can manage. Sure, over time we have built and developed methodologies, tools, applications and more, based on our insights and experience of solving our clients’ challenges for more than 20 years. They are simply the tools that help us get to the solution faster and implement it in a more robust and effective way to help our clients achieve their objectives.
We have been free to continue to do that and evolve our capabilities, tools and solutions, un-hindered, so we can continue to add value where we see the opportunity. That is what independence means to us… the independence to help add value to you the marketer!
Of course, it is not completely transactional. Over the past two decades, we have clients often return every 2 – 3 years for a tune-up or a new challenge. Success helps breed more success!
We assess the strength of your delivery and work with you to trim the fat, untangle the threads and improve your marketing results. Learn more here