Financial Services is particularly competitive. Already there are a plethora of brands across the category, there is now significant disruption caused by FinTech start-ups, plus increased competition and fragmentation of the category.The market leaders are focused on innovating and transforming to stay ahead of the competition, but they are also looking for more effective and efficient ways to build and maintain their share of market and share of customer wallet.
Engagement Agreements are an effective way of defining the ways of working between advertisers and their agencies. One of the best times to undertake the process of defining the relationship and the expectations of both parties is at the beginning of the relationship, rather than waiting for things to either go wrong or for poor practices and misalignments to become major issues.
After more than 15 years of downward pressure on marketing costs, the majority of traditional businesses are struggling to deliver growth and yet marketing provides one of the most successful drivers of business growth and performance when properly invested and measured against performance. The problem is that in many organisations marketing is treated as a cost of business with little or no focus on the return on that marketing investment. No wonder the strategy of cost cutting to profit has had such a major impact on marketing and subsequently the marketing agencies and suppliers.
Technology platforms, both martech and adtech, provide marketers with the opportunity to be more effective and efficient in their marketing. But technology is said to be moving at click speed and the investment is significant. It is important when investing in marketing technology solutions that the marketer has defined objectives and has a clear view of what success looks like. But, more than this, it is important to take into consideration the current processes that the technology is intended to support and the cultural appetite for change.
We have been involved in helping companies select new technology platforms and tender for new vendors, but we have also worked with organisations that have legacy systems and platforms that are under-performing or not performing at all, and have provided a diagnosis and options for consideration. Also, we have reviewed our clients’ current technology stack to identify optimisation opportunities and assess the organisation’s technology transformation. Each time we bring a totally independent and expert perspective to the process. Here are three case studies of the work we have undertaken providing solutions to marketers’ technology challenges.
Just as marketing is increasingly complex, so the relationships between marketers and their various agencies are increasingly complex and difficult to manage. Many of the past practices, both formal and informal, struggle to keep pace with the changes and complexity. Over the past decade and more we have seen many marketers still relying on the assumption that the relationship they have will their agencies will naturally manage to work itself out. At the same time, we have witnessed an increase in complaints from marketers over the fact that their agencies struggle to work or collaborate together.
We have also witnessed an increase in agency contracts that appear to address this issue, with the inclusion of service level agreement (SLAs) and set up key performance indicators (KPIs). The trouble is that firstly, these are designed for the delivery of services, but do not easily define the interdependent relationship that exists between marketers and their agencies or between the agencies working with the marketer. Secondly, the agency contract, once signed, is often filed and not looked at again until an issue arises or the marketers are planning to take the relationship to the market.
The market is changing and becoming ever more complex, and therefore business and marketing strategies are changing to meet the challenge. But while strategies change, often marketing structure remains largely the same. At best, companies will make capability additions where needed, simply adding to the legacy structures of the past. Others will vacillate between centralised and decentralised structures and variations in between. What is often required, however, is a rethink and re-evaluation of the marketing structure against the strategy and the requirements of that strategy.