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Author Archives: Stephan Argent

About Stephan Argent

Stephan Argent is a former agency planner from England, and has held senior roles in agencies in both Canada and the United States. Most recently he was Vice President of Digital Media at CTV, and is now President of Le Riche Argent, Canada’s leading independent Agency Search and Media Management Consultancy.” Visit Le Riche Argent here

Why Squeezing More From Your Agency Can Be A Really Bad Idea

Are you a marketer that wants to squeeze more from your agency? Do you feel like they should be doing more? Delivering better results? Turning things around faster? All sound like good ideas, right? So if like most marketers you’d find these kinds of attributes desirable from your agency(s), then read on. Continue reading

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How To Manage The Politics of Agency Search

Corporate politics on an agency pitch is something marketers don’t often talk about and rarely like to admit. But like it or not, politics can – and do – have an effect on some pitch processes. And while politics may be obvious in some cases, they can also be subtle but potentially just as damaging. Some of the hallmarks and pitfalls of an agency search process that is experiencing political influence could be some or all of the following: Continue reading

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We’re Like Collaborating, Right?

Marketers often tell us they’re a “collaborative” organisation or they’re a “collaborative” team. Agencies tell us they’re “collaborative” working with other agencies. But when it comes down to it, I’m not sure either marketers or agencies really understand what being “collaborative” really means or how to apply the term to their respective activities. Continue reading

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How Ready Are You For Agency Pay For Performance?

When it comes to assessing, reassessing or creating new agency contracts, most marketers now ask us about structuring some kind of pay for performance terms as part of their overall agreement. But coming up with a pay for performance model is actually the easy part. The hard part is ensuring our clients are corporately prepared for what pay for performance really means, the implications for managing such agreements and how they need to be administered. Continue reading

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Who’s In Charge? Marketing or Procurement?

Whether you’re a client looking for marketing services, or an agency pitching your wares, the question of who’s really calling the shots can be a pivotal one. On the one hand, the organisational perspective might be that marketing teams are evaluated on and are seeking things like improved performance, chemistry harmony between teams and agencies, creative brilliance and / or strategic smarts. Continue reading

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Dare Yourself To Ask: Is Your Marketing Team Terrible?

For anyone to hear the words ‘your marketing team is terrible…’ would be pretty devastating. But the reality is, when talking to agencies, we often hear comments about marketing teams that – in the context of how the client / agency relationship is unfolding – are well… less than flattering. The most common complaints vary from broad capabilities to specific day-to-day challenges and include things like: Continue reading

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Warning Signs Your Agency Relationship Is Heading For The Rocks

While many agency relationships have their own natural rhythm and their tide of satisfaction ebbs and flows a little, sometimes rocks can appear seemingly out of nowhere. In most cases, the rocks should be navigable – providing you know they’re ahead and providing there’s a clear chart to course to avoid them.  And while agency relationships don’t necessarily have lighthouses to warn of danger, there are some common warning signs that your client / agency relationship isn’t as strong as it needs to be. Continue reading

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How To Transform Your Agency Relationships!

This week, we thought it would be worthwhile looking at some ideas to help transform your agency relationships. And we don’t mean just make them ‘bearable’ – we’re talking about making a transformative shift in the overall relationship and yes, better business results. As a general rule, the earlier we’re brought into to help identify and resolve client / agency issues, the more likelihood there is of being able to help clients avoid triggering a search, and instead getting their agency relationships not just back on the track – but transformed into positive, business building partnerships. Continue reading

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7 Questions Everyone On Your Marketing Team Should Be Able To Answer

When it comes to setting expectations with your agency(s) – and your marketing team – there are some ‘price-of-entry’ questions everyone should be able to wrap their head around. None are complex, but they are the bedrock of creating harmonious client/agency relationships and ensuring everyone is focused and aligned.

And even if you think your teams are completely clear and in sync with their respective roles and responsibilities, some of the answers (or lack thereof) might surprise you. So, why not test them out? Here is what we believe are the top 7 questions everyone on your business should be able to answer:

What are our expectations?

Whether asked from an individual or corporate perspective, expectations of – and between – everyone should be the starting point. The sting in the tail of this question is that if people can’t answer it, chances are you’ve not been clear or never articulated expectations to begin with – so if there’s a worrying silence after asking it, perhaps it’s an opportunity to bring teams together and let them know. Continue reading

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How To Improve Briefings To Your Agencies

We often hear complaints about weak marketer-side briefings – both from agencies who receive them and (surprisingly enough) from marketers who admit their briefings aren’t as good as they could be. Even more surprising perhaps is that clients are forthcoming about acknowledging they’re ‘part of the problem’. What’s perplexing perhaps is that when asked, ‘why don’t you fix your briefing process?’ they ask, ‘sure, but how…?’. For anyone asking, we run training workshops for marketers looking to strengthen their internal resources and create stronger working relationships with their agencies, from providing feedback to agencies, to evaluating creative and yes how to write better briefings. But for the purposes of this post, here are a few questions worth asking to help set your teams up for success and writing better briefings: Continue reading

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Do Clients Get The Agencies They Deserve?

You’ve likely heard David Ogilvy’s famous words, ‘clients get the advertising they deserve’ but when it comes to their agencies… do clients get the agencies they deserve? Over the last seven years or so, we’ve done enough marketer problem resolution work and agency searches to be able to answer that question with some conviction. The answer is unequivocally, yes. Invariably, agency relationship challenges can be traced back to their marketing masters and are a reflection of how the agency is being managed. But if you’re reading this with some scepticism and thinking, wait a minute, this is like saying dogs look their owners – consider these behavioural attributes: Continue reading

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The Three Ring Circus: Money. Agencies. Marketers.

The simultaneous performance of money, agencies, and clients is a Three Ring Circus of wild, confusing and engrossing, but very far from entertaining. In fact, some agencies’ futures are at stake, while clients are at risk of squeezing the life out of the whole advertising industry – their own teams included – in their quest to lower costs and drive increased profits. Continue reading

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10 ways to save money with your agencies (without shooting yourself in the foot)

Share125 Tweet83 +111 Share11Shares 230This post is by Stephan Argent, CEO of Argedia Group and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3 If you’re reading this thinking it may be an easy fix guide to squeezing the living daylights … Continue reading

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10 Key Chemistry Questions To Ask During An Agency Search

During most agency searches, considerable emphasis is placed on the functional capabilities of the agencies you’re evaluating: Size, scope, and capabilities, balanced against strategic and / or creative proof points – all weighed against an acceptable financial model. But just like any interview process, marketers should dig deeper to find out if the chemistry between prospective agency(s) and their marketing teams is strong enough to stand the test of time. An agency that looks good on paper or appears to tick all the proverbial boxes, may end up being a disaster if client facing agency resources and marketing teams don’t actually like each other. Continue reading

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Why a well managed Agency search is more critical than ever

Share55 Tweet +18 Share13Shares 76This post is by Stephan Argent, CEO of Argedia Group and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3 If you’ve ever undertaken your own agency search, you know they can be disruptive, costly and … Continue reading

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