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Author Archives: Nathan Hodges

About Nathan Hodges

As TrinityP3′s General Manager, Nathan applies his knowledge and creativity to the specific challenges of marketing management, with a particular focus on team dynamics and behavioural change. He is an HBDI Practitioner and an experienced facilitator and coach. Read Nathan's bio here or email nathan@trinityp3.com

Marketing transformation: a cautionary tale of two marketers and two very different outcomes

No one can deny the innovations and changes that are driving transformation in marketing. Some call it a digital transformation, some a technology transformation, others a customer experience transformation or some simply a transforming of marketing strategy. These changes are leading to a rethink of marketing structure, process and implementation, including what the ideal roster of agencies and suppliers looks like. But that race to transform can be a challenge, with some taking a considered strategic approach while others rush around trying to find a quick fix. Continue reading

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Reading between the lines of the AANA/Adnews Interview

Finally, after over six weeks of careful consideration and extensive internal discussion, Matt Tapper and Sunita Gloster of the AANA broke cover and were interviewed by AdNews last week on the issue of media agency transparency. You can be forgiven for missing it though, since the headline for the interview – ‘transparency isn’t where it should be’ – was an award-winning, no-kidding masterpiece of understatement. But what a reassuring read it was. Continue reading

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Five common traps when assessing or defending agency value

Benjamin Graham famously wrote ‘Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.’ He was a smart guy, and one of Warren Buffet’s favourite teachers. (No doubt though, twenty far less smart people will still be posting his quote as a LinkedIn meme five or six times over the next ten days. Probably alongside yet another fake picture of a pack of wolves, with a trite exhortation to vote or breathe deeply or something. Jeez. What did they do to LinkedIn?) Anyway. Back to price and value. Continue reading

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What can marketers do now to manage brands through the media transparency debate?

There’s an old saying. If it swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then even if it’s not 100% duck, it’s certainly been ducking around. Last week’s ANA report on media transparency, and whatever follows in Australia, means that this issue is going to run and run. Maybe it’s the refreshing clarity of the ANA report that has finally made the problem impossible to ignore. But it cannot be a surprise to anyone in the industry for more than five minutes – agencies, marketers or publishers – that the issue itself has finally come to a head. Continue reading

Posted in agency remuneration / compensation, agency solutions, industry news & trends, interesting observations, marketing process optimisation, marketing procurement, media planning & buying, return on investment, social media & digital marketing | Comments Off on What can marketers do now to manage brands through the media transparency debate?

Why I’m already sick of the ‘full service agency’ debate

One of my schoolteachers used to tell us ‘never try to go back’. He was quite good at life advice, but rubbish at parallel parking. (You see, consultants can tell jokes. We just choose not to.) It might just be me, but almost everywhere I went last week, I kept running into agency people desperate to give me their views on the return of the ‘full service agency model’. For cheap entertainment and the purpose of making my point, I’ll arbitrarily divide these agency people into four groups, then brutally over-simplify what they were saying. Continue reading

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Why every agency village usually has an idiot

For many marketing organisations, a diversified roster of specialist agencies can be an extremely effective and appropriate model. Particularly at the moment, it would seem. It’s easy to understand why. For many marketing organisations, a diversified roster of specialist agencies can be an extremely effective and appropriate model. Particularly at the moment, it would seem. It’s easy to understand why. With channels, data opportunities and technological options developing as fast as they have over the last few years, specialists are sometimes what you need. When marketers feel that they need to move faster, cheaper, and more flexibly, specialist agencies can often help them achieve that. Clients can start with a clean slate with a new agency for each new initiative. When working with individual roster agencies clients are fronted by a team of discipline enthusiasts working on a single, focused channel brief. Continue reading

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How many agencies do you need on your roster and how do you get there?

I’m here today to answer perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions we get, that is “how many agencies do you need and what do we do about that?” . Before the webinar began, I was just listing the actual number of clients that we’ve been working with over the last year alone that have come to us with this problem. The problem is usually phrased as, “I think we’ve got too many agencies”. Sometimes there’s a solution attached to that problem, but the problem is normally expressed like that and I counted over eleven in the last year alone. And as I say, often it’s just a problem, sometimes a solution is suggested there as well like, “We’ve got too many agencies. We need to pitch which is not necessarily the solution at all” or, “We’ve got too many agencies and we’re not sure what they all do”, which is very common. Or, “We’re sure we’ve got too many agencies but we’re not quite sure about that”, and there’s another one there. Continue reading

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The secret replies of the marketing generalists

There’s been some interesting reaction to my recent blog post on the secret death of the marketing generalist.
Naturally, some senior marketers have been getting really quite cross about it. They’ve been claiming that the view I took undermines their positions and cedes ground to those in marketing who would base more and more on data and technology and less and less on insight and ideas. It feels like an oddly willful interpretation of what I wrote, I have to say. And to assume that nothing about the way marketers go about their jobs needs to change seems very strange. Continue reading

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The secret death of the marketing generalist

Has there ever been a more interesting, challenging time to be in marketing? Probably not – until next year that is. And no doubt the year after that. As things change in marketing – at varying rates and to varying degrees of course, depending on the category, the company, the market you are looking at and the volume with which people are shouting about it – it is always useful to look at what isn’t changing, and ask why and whether it should. Continue reading

Posted in industry news & trends, interesting observations, marketing process optimisation, social media & digital marketing, strategic management | 3 Comments

Getting smart about a neglected part of marketing management

It’s the curse of many a right-brained marketer to be drawn to the shiny and new. We’re all guilty of it to an extent, if we’re honest. It feels much more exciting as a day job to be dealing with the marketing possibilities, innovation and general sexiness of digital channels or social media than to turn our attention to, for instance, the somewhat less racy world of print buying. Continue reading

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How smart marketers are moving beyond the agency remuneration stalemate

For those of us working in what we call the ‘real’ world, although we all say we’d love to do it, in the end basing any remuneration on results is just too hard, too controversial and too complicated. Instead, the question of agency remuneration depends on budgets, head hours, rate cards, resource levels, scopes of work, mix of resource, overheads, estimates, mark-ups, disbursements, ad serving costs, payment terms, a large serving of guesswork and a dollop of gut feel. Maybe ROI might get a look-in now and again. Not often though. Like most problems that first present as binary choices, there is of course another solution. Continue reading

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3 smart ways to make decentralised marketing structures perform better

Sometimes, if you read the marketing trade press, it seems that everyone in marketing is able to work unchallenged to champion their great cause on behalf of their fantastically co-operative business. Of course, those of us who spend any time working with marketers or in marketing know that it is not usually the case. Rare are the occasions where marketers have control of even more than one of the traditional 4 Ps of marketing. Continue reading

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Implementing an output-based cost marketing model – Case study

The client’s marketing function was decentralised and operating across eight different business divisions. Budgets were fragmented, processes were inconsistent, and multiple campaigns and initiatives were being created independent of each other. The marketing effort involved more than 120 marketing FTEs working with an agency roster of almost 100. Continue reading

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Implementing a marketing model to match specific business needs – Case study

The client’s marketing function was decentralised and operating across six different faculties and entities. Strategic governance was either inconsistent or entirely absent, budgets were fragmented and independently managed, there was no common campaign development process, and multiple campaigns and initiatives were being created across the organisation with no control or idea of ROI. Continue reading

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Why are you wasting your money on pitch consultancy?

We’ve written before about why a pitch is often the wrong answer to the wrong question. But sometimes it’s the right answer. When it is, then in our experience full management of a pitch process takes around 190 hours. This surprises some people. Until, that is, they understand what a thorough, comprehensive pitch process actually looks like. But first of all, just for clarity, here’s what it doesn’t look like. Continue reading

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