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Author Archives: Michael Farmer

About Michael Farmer

Michael Farmer is Chairman of TrinityP3 USA and author of Madison Avenue Manslaughter: an inside view of fee-cutting clients, profit-hungry owners and declining ad agencies, which won the Axiom Gold Business Book Award for the best marketing / advertising book of 2016. He currently serves as Adjunct Associate Professor of Branding and Integrated Communications at The City College of New York (CCNY) and is at work on a new book about the challenges facing Chief Marketing Officers.

Can Procurement Fix Madison Avenue’s Mess?

Could Madison Avenue’s mess be any worse? The unhappy picture can be reconstructed from articles in the trade press over the past two years. They say the following: Legacy brands are languishing in the marketplace. The consumer transition from Baby Boomers to Millennials has been rocky and unsuccessful for too many large marketers. CMOs are being held responsible for the lack of growth, and their tenure is only half as long as that of CEOs’. The average CEO will go through two CMOs and see a lot of marketing smoke and mirrors. In marketing, there’s uncertainty about what media mix to use, and there are major concerns about the effectiveness of digital and social media, even though the spend level in these areas is growing. Continue reading

Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency solutions, Evalu8ing - Relationship Performance Monitoring, industry news & trends, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement, strategic management | Comments Off on Can Procurement Fix Madison Avenue’s Mess?

Organisational Mishmash: The Ad Agency’s Unaccountable Structure

The global ad agency has become a complex, unmanageable mishmash of organisational positions. Complexity reigns. Accountability is invisible if it exists at all. No wonder clients are able to take such advantage of their agencies, loading on unpaid out-of-scope work and cutting fees! Top agency executives, though aware of the problem, are unable to launch a management counter-offensive. No one has the responsibility for the problem or the authority to turn things around. Continue reading

Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency solutions, interesting observations, marketing process optimisation, media planning & buying, strategic management | Comments Off on Organisational Mishmash: The Ad Agency’s Unaccountable Structure

What Kind of CMO Leadership Do Advertisers Need Today?

CMOs are getting a lot of attention from the trade press these days, where writers drag in the usual suspects — Big Data, analytical skills, experiential marketing, Instagram, programmatic buying, Facebook, mobile platforms, Millennials, AI, Virtual Reality, etc. All to demonstrate how CMOs need to become superhuman masters of everything new and challenging, pushing themselves and their marketing organisations to achieve higher levels of marketing and technological sophistication. Continue reading

Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency solutions, data & direct marketing, industry news & trends, interesting observations, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement, return on investment, strategic management | Comments Off on What Kind of CMO Leadership Do Advertisers Need Today?

What are we to make of the holding companies in 2017?

The marketing communications holding companies, like the industrial conglomerates that preceded them, were created through M&A transactions and run as decentralized financial holdings. In this business model, acquired agencies and businesses are expected to improve their financial performance by growing revenues, profits and profit margins. The holding companies make additional acquisitions, using their ever-increasing stock market prices to buy more efficiently. Continue reading

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