Marketers. Are there any leaders left? (Why we need The Marketing Academy)

This post is by Lucio Ribeiro, Managing Director of Online Circle Digital, a full-service advertising agency with digital DNA.

Along with managing an agency and teaching at University, I mentor a few young marketing students at RMIT. One day one of these young marketing students told me a story about her worst boss.

She told me that her boss would constantly give her direction on what to do, pass by her desk, tap her shoulder and tell her “What a great job” she was doing, give information on what to do next, and move on. I asked her what was wrong then and in a heart-beat she said she didn’t want to work for her – there’s no inspiration, there’s no charisma, vision, or sense of sincerity. Oops.

marketing academy

The Marketing Academy Cohort 2018 – Marketing Leaders

That moment opened my eyes. Have I been acting like that?

In an industry that relies heavily on people was I uninspiring for my team? At the beginning I felt myself trying to shut down the thoughts, trying to justify to myself every decision I had made, trying to surrender myself to the calm and easiness of ignorance; but I couldn’t.

I knew at that moment (this was 2016) that I had to face my own thoughts, weaknesses, fears and vulnerabilities if I wanted to excel and to start developing new leaders in my way. And I did want to.

Leadership is a tough gig; Google it and you will find hundreds of thousands of articles, it’s the most prevalent topic at HBR with over 24,000 articles and many books written about it.

It’s confusing and daunting. That set me on a personal journey to discover my own truth about leadership, the elements that together would allow me to be a better person, better marketer and a better citizen.

The most pernicious tall tale of leadership is if you have charisma and vision you are a leader – either you are born or not born with it. The reality is that leadership skills are not inate. The characteristics can be learned, acquired, exercised and honed.

I was lucky enough (my simplification of hard-work) to join another 29 brilliant minds in Australia and to be chosen as part of the Marketing Academy 2018 co-hort.

The 30 of us have now embarked on a journey of discovery, learning, camaraderie, and paying-forward.

This is my story.

The Marketing Academy – Getting Accepted

The Marketing Academy was created by Sherilyn Shackell as a non-profit and voluntary organisation.

Their reason to exist is to develop leadership capability in talented marketers from the Marketing, Media, Advertising and Communications industries through mentoring, coaching and experiential learning. All of The Marketing Academy programmes are provided free of charge.

Continue reading “Marketers. Are there any leaders left? (Why we need The Marketing Academy)”

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Lower Cost Does Not Mean Higher Quality in the Ad Industry

This post is by Michael Farmer, 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.

ad industry

If we were on a guided tour of the advertising industry, here are the points of interest that ought to be on every sightseer’s list.

1) The Advertisers.  “Lower cost” is their strategy du jour, with reductions in media spend, cuts in agency fees, continued use of cost benchmarks and investments in less expensive internal agencies.  Amazing!  Increased shareholder value — marketing with the stroke of a pen, crossing out columns of unnecessary figures.

2) The Holding Companies.  Restructuring and cost reduction is their response du jour.  Only the restructuring is new — they’ve been reducing costs every year for more than two decades, imposing tough budgets on their agencies, who react to the chronic fee cuts foisted on them by their procurement-led clients.

3) The Media and Creative Agencies.  Downsizing is their annual modus operandi, shedding senior people, leaving themselves with staffs that are significantly more junior and stretched.  Add to this hiring freezes, depressed salaries (see Glassdoor.com) and high employee turnover.

4) The Agency Scopes of Work.  They’re not so easy to see since they hardly exist.  In my consulting work, I gather and analyse Scopes of Work to figure out “how much work are agencies doing at the request of their clients.”  In 25 years, I’ve had to reconstruct these SOWs from interviews, incomplete Word documents, PowerPoint slides, e-mail communications and job jackets.  Thus far, we’ve had to reconstruct 977 Scopes of Work.

Continue reading “Lower Cost Does Not Mean Higher Quality in the Ad Industry”

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Managing Marketing: The changing role and challenges facing media agencies

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

David Angell is the General Manager and Head of Media at TrinityP3 and here he chats with Darren on the increasingly complex role played by media agencies and the challenges they face in meeting the needs and demands of their advertiser clients. As intermediaries between advertisers and the media providers they are increasingly challenged with not just managing this complex relationship but also contributing to overall marketing performance too.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m sitting in a car in one of the many famous lanes of Melbourne, having a chat with David Angell, who is General Manager of TrinityP3 and head of Media. Welcome, David.

David:

Thank you, nice to be here.

Darren:

I should say, ‘welcome Darren’ because we’re in your car. You’re hosting me.

David:

But technically your city, my city too.

Darren:

Your town, your paper.

David:

I’m hosting you in this lovely car in this lovely avenue so it’s nice.

Darren:

It’s been a hot topic. You joined TrinityP3 about three years ago.

David:

Just over three years.

Media from a advertiser and agency perspective

Darren:

But before that you’ve had quite an extensive career in media from both an advertiser’s perspective and an agency’s perspective. I wanted to start off getting your reflections on that; the different perspectives. We’ve had a lot of discussions about the relationships between agencies and advertisers.

What do you see as the biggest difference between sitting on one side of the table with the budget and, on the other side of the table, talking to your client?

David:

That’s an interesting question and I would add that my experience with Trinity P3 has also been a very valuable client-side experience because I’m effectively sitting with those clients when we are talking to agencies.

I think the challenge with media agencies has been to view the world in quite a myopic way. Sometimes that’s because they’re driven by the client to think like that and sometimes it’s because they haven’t got the skill sets to think more broadly.

But the difference is where they are thinking of media as being a major component of marketing, the marketer is thinking of media being one of many, many channels that he or she has to navigate.

And the agencies that are winning at the moment are the ones that are able to translate what is effectively media strategy into a broader commercial marketing and business approach. And that’s something that continues to challenge agencies even today. Continue reading “Managing Marketing: The changing role and challenges facing media agencies”

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Marketers and Procurement Who Want to Talk Turkey With Their Agencies Can Learn A Lot From Chickens

This post is by Stephan Argent, President of Agency Search and Media Management Consultancy Le Riche Argent and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

marketers and procurement

OK, what the heck have chickens got to do with marketing and procurement teams negotiating with their agencies?

The answer is: Everything.

It goes like this: If you’d been craving some Kentucky Fried Chicken in the United Kingdom a few weeks ago you’d have been out of luck and perhaps crossing the street to Burger King instead. Why? Because at the end of last year, KFC chose to change to DHL, a lower cost distributor, which, as it turned out, provided a poorer quality of service with little or no contingency planning.

An unfortunate road accident next to DHL’s single depot caused an epic delay in deliveries which resulted in KFC having to close more than 600 of its restaurants as a result of depleted chicken supplies. If you’re intrigued and want more on the whole story – here it is.

Burger King, also lured by similarly enticing lower costs, had apparently fallen into the same trap several years prior and subsequently switched back to their previously trusted supplier, Bidvest Logistics. Continue reading “Marketers and Procurement Who Want to Talk Turkey With Their Agencies Can Learn A Lot From Chickens”

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Managing Marketing: Talking digital, innovation and CX for business

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Erik Ingvoldstad, the CEO and Founder of Acoustic Group talks with Darren about their focus on helping companies manage their digital transformation from a cultural foundation, discover innovation within the organisation and manage the customer experience as a way of building brand. He brings a unique perspective with experience in the Army, business school and years in digital and direct marketing.

 

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I get a chance to sit down with Erik Ingvoldstad who is the CEO and founder of the Acoustic Group, here in Singapore, welcome Erik.

Erik:

Thanks, happy to be here.

Darren:

Well it’s interesting because you and I both have history as being creative people; creative writers and creative directors but today we are doing very similar things. I believe the Acoustic Group, most of the work you are doing is really helping people with the digital transformation and dealing with the digital disruption that is happening with marketing and in the market place.

Erik:

That’s right. Basically, we work in three areas. One is digital transformation (and I hate the word digital transformation as many do, because it doesn’t really capture what it’s all about) which for me is a cultural shift and is an ongoing process. It is not like a moment in time.

If you want to change yourself, you can’t just do it on a Wednesday, you have to do it on a Thursday and a Friday and years to come, right, and it is the same thing for businesses. They have to make digital changes to the way they operate. That’s a cultural issue not a technology issue.

So, we work with digital transformation from a cultural perspective: how can we make services and products that consumers or people out there think solve their daily problems? That’s what it is all about.

The second thing we do is work with innovation. A lot of companies are setting up innovation hubs and the challenge with that is that people tend to think innovation is someone else’s problem, you know the R&D department, the innovation lab, they are the ones to innovate, but innovation has to happen close to the customer.

So, we work with culture to see how innovation can work in a more efficient way inside a company. How can you identify problems? I don’t want to talk about internal problems. If you ask a client what’s your problem? They will start talking about their internal problems; getting their ROI’s and KPI’S and all of that, and I am like, I am not interested in those problems. Instead, I am interested in your customers problems. What are your customer’s problems and how are you going to solve them?

When we start asking those questions, people are much more creative and much more interested in finding solutions but you have to understand you have a problem first. In the corporate world, I am sure you’ve heard this, people say, we don’t call them problems, we call them challenges or opportunities or whatever and I am like ‘No, a challenge is something you can put off until next year, a problem is something you have to solve today’.

The last part of this offering and customer experience, and I am not talking about that fake customer experience where you do something for a video and then you put it on line where everyone talks about it. That is not customer experience. Customer experience is the real interaction with real customers.

It is like, take a brand like HSBC which have these inspiring ads all over the airports, but if you walk into the bank and you get treated poorly or the cashier is not doing a great job or they have an internet banking solution that’s like from 1998, then you have a problem. That’s the problem you have to solve, not the advertising part, not talking about it.

Placing people at the front of digital transformation

Darren:

The thing that resonates with me is that all three of those are based around people. It is all about solving people problems. Because the first one, even digital transformation, culture comes from the people within the organisation and it is actually about transforming that culture and the way people think about their role and what the business means.

Your second one innovation, the biggest thing that annoys me is that so many organisations are racing outside to get someone else to innovate them rather than knowing that it actually exists within their organisation, they have just forgotten how to do it.

Erik:

Maybe they need a little bit of help to recognise the problems and then find solutions to those problems, but they should have a focus on solving them internally.

Darren:

And the third one, customer experience, we have seen people that actually almost have like a check list of customer touch points and what the experience will be at each of those but it is trying to find a recipe to a situation which should be customised. The best customer experience is the one that is personalised to the needs of the customer.

Erik:

Absolutely, and it is interesting because that is where branding is moving to, and I think that is the most central part of branding today. It is not advertising, it is customer experience. Jeff Bezos once said, ‘a brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room’, which I think is a perfect way of looking at it. If people talk about your brand and they go ‘I went into this and this store and people treated me like this and this’ that was a negative experience then that brand is a negative value to that person or the opposite. Continue reading “Managing Marketing: Talking digital, innovation and CX for business”

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How “Broken” Is Marketing at Major Advertisers?

This post is by Michael Farmer, 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.

major advertisers

Marketing is not fully represented by the career-stressed Chief Marketing Officer. Marketing is not the digital/social specialist or the advertising manager. Marketing is not the head of promotions or the brand manager.

Marketing is the network of corporate executives, loosely connected by money, expertise and objectives to achieve improvements in shareholder value, presumably from higher product growth rates. Marketing is the CMO, the heads of Business Profit Centers, the head of Indirect Procurement, the CFO, the CEO and their media, creative and other ad agencies.

Once upon a time, this marketing network operated like a fine Olympic crew, pulling on the oars in unison and winning competitive races, slicing through the water with nary a splash. This is no longer the case. The marketing team is broken.

Cost reductions have replaced investments in marketing, and there is a loss of confidence in how to effectively spend marketing dollars. Embarrassingly, CMOs brag about their muscular cost reductions, as if cutbacks in marketing spend were heroic accomplishments rather than symbols of failure in expertise and execution. Continue reading “How “Broken” Is Marketing at Major Advertisers?”

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Marc Prichard, the low creative ratio at your agencies is not their fault, it’s yours

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

Marc-Prichard

Okay, perhaps not yours Marc, but when you recently stated that you would like three quarters of your agencies to be creative, it made me reflect on the literally hundreds of agency remuneration deals we have benchmarked, negotiated and managed over the past 18 years and the fact that in every case the agency resources required were directly related to the requirements and expectations of the marketers.

Not just the marketers currently in the marketing department, but also the generations of marketers that have added to the huge amount of complexity within marketing and their marketing departments. Because as you acknowledge, part of the problem Marc is that marketers often expect agencies to mirror or partner with the marketing teams, but it is worse than that.

In the increasingly complex and complicated world of corporate marketing, the number of agency resources required has been increasing for the past three decades and the number of account management people, or project managers as you refer to them, has been multiplying for some very specific reasons.

Interestingly the marketing department causes all of these reasons and the marketing department can directly manage all of them. But they do not. Let me explain.

The creative to account management ratio

In our work with advertisers and marketers on their agency remuneration, one of the important factors we consider is the creative FTE (Full Time Equivalents) to Account Management FTE ratio (C/AM).

Why? Because this provides an indication of the complexity or demands of the client on the agency. Let me explain.

As Michael Farmer discovered in his early projects on scope of work measurement with Ogilvy & Mather in the 1990s, the number of creative personnel to account management personnel was 1.5. (Michael has reported that that this has since dropped to 1 to 1 under client pressure for efficiencies and lower costs).

What this means is that if the creative work required takes one creative person full time to deliver that work then it would typically require 1.5 account management people to manage, administer and co-ordinate the other client, agency and supplier functions to complete the task.

A low C/AM means that there is less administration, management and co-ordination, so more of what Marc Pritchard says he wants. A high C/AM means more administration, management and co-ordination to the creative time spent.

We similarly use this as a measure of complexity and demand. We did call this a measure of account maintenance but some advertisers where offended by being labelled ‘High Maintenance’ so changed it to complexity. But findings go beyond an industry average and start to look at the C/AM by category of advertiser and by individual advertiser to determine a measure of efficiency.

You see, Marc Pritchard is right in saying that a higher level of account management to creative is a sign that the relationship is overly complex and therefore highly demanding of the agency from an administrative and management perspective.

What we found was there is a significant range in the C/AM from 1 to 1, as reported by Michael Farmer, right up to the highest ratio so far of 1 to 7.2. We have excluded relationships, which have had no creative requirements but included relationships where the bulk of the creative work was adaptations of the global creative in regional and local markets.

Measuring retained resources to actual resources used

One of the important issues to consider when measuring the C/AM is that you need to often look beyond the number of agency resources in the retainer and try to establish the actual resources used by the agency to deliver the scope of work. Increasingly we find that the actual agency resources required could be more than 40 or 50% of the resources actually retained.

But it is incredibly difficult for agencies to charge for these as often the resources are highly fragmented with up to 20 or 30 individuals contributing to a handful of FTEs. That is because while the advertiser may retain say 3 people or FTEs in creative, this could be delivered by many more individuals contributing fractions of their time to make up the 3 FTEs.

Revealing this to the client would indicate a lack of cohesion and consistency of work in the creative department and raise unwanted questions of the agency. Continue reading “Marc Prichard, the low creative ratio at your agencies is not their fault, it’s yours”

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Agile Marketing delivery – Become an instant expert

This post is by Anton Buchner, a senior consultant with TrinityP3. Anton is one of Australia’s leaders in data-driven marketing. Helping navigate through the bells, whistles and hype to identify genuine marketing value when it comes to technology, digital activity, and the resulting data footprint.

For the penultimate post in the Become an Instant Expert series, we’d like to focus on Agile Marketing Delivery.

Agile marketing delivery

To agile or not to agile?

It’s a great question, and has been the starting-point for many marketing teams this year, when looking for ways to improve their go-to-market process.

Should you consider an agile marketing approach within your organisation?

Well before you do, it’s important to first understand what agile marketing is and isn’t.

Agile marketing explained

It’s a term that came from the software development industry back in the 1950s, whereby solutions were developed and evolved with cross-functional team collaboration.

Agile software development was designed to have all aspects of planning, analysis, design, coding, and testing included together to have working prototypes and products developed and presented to stakeholders for fast approval and implementation throughout defined release cycles.

It involves the notions of minimum viable product, test and learn, and fail fast allowing defects to be repaired, and a continuous improvement culture based on fast feedback to be created.

Marketers then jumped on the bandwagon over the past few years, to speed up their go-to-market processes for specific product launches, events, and media/channel opportunities. Resulting in tactical teams being created to get activity into market quickly and provide feedback on failure/success to management.

However, from TrinityP3’s perspective, marketers and agencies are mixing up speed to market, with the essence of more effective collaborative creation.

Five tips

So if you are hearing “agile” being used within your marketing team, then here are five areas to be aware of if you’re going to become an instant expert and successfully implement an agile marketing approach: Continue reading “Agile Marketing delivery – Become an instant expert”

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Have It Your Way: A Marketing Award for a Commercial Mess

This post is by Michael Farmer, 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.

Marketing Award

Once upon a time, we learned that marketing had something to do with creating, keeping and satisfying customers.  Marketing success created growth and profitability. Chief Marketing Officers had this responsibility and they spent gads of money with their media and creative agencies to make it happen.

When economies were growing, especially in the decades after the Second World War, marketing was a straightforward activity and CMOs were successful.  Recent times have been more troublesome, with e-commerce, digital/social and those pesky Millennials killing brand growth.

Marketing adjusted a bit.

CMOs abandoned their spending proclivities to procurement, and then CMOs changed their job titles to Chief Growth Officer to remind them of their responsibilities. That should have been enough … until Cannes confused the picture by honoring Burger King as Cannes Lions’ Creative Marketer of the Year for 2017.

Burger King is not a business or marketing success. It’s more accurately a failure. Its sales per restaurant put it at the bottom of the heap among its major competitors, at only $1.36 million per store, behind burger competitors Jack in the Box, Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

Its sales per store are only slightly more than half of McDonald’s. [By the way, what’s Chick-fil-A doing, leading the pack at $4.41 million per store, when it’s only open six days per week? McDonald’s, are you paying attention? Is your new agency paying attention?  Do you hope to catch up?]
Continue reading “Have It Your Way: A Marketing Award for a Commercial Mess”

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The mismanaged creative agency pitch

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

bad sales pitch

There was a creative pitch many years ago for Stanley Cook, manufacturer of Titan Nails at the time, later sold to BHP and then Otter Group. Anyway they briefed six creative agencies, about three too many, to come up with an ad campaign over the weekend to encourage builders and tradesmen to choose the Titan brand over the cheaper Asian nail imports.

On the Monday morning the agencies filed in one after the other to present to the Managing Director, the Marketing Director and the Head of Sales at the time. Each agency had had basically three days to put a campaign together and 45 mins to present it to the senior management of Stanley Cook Limited.

By the end of the day, having sat through five rather lack lustre presentations, the three businessmen were drawn and depressed. Clearly none of these agencies really understood their business. The fact that they had allowed no time for the agencies to get to know their business did not pass through their saw-dust filled brains.

They were slightly excited about the last agency of the day, a new upstart in the industry that they had heard a lot about because of their fresh approach to advertising. The team from the agency entered the room. The Managing Director, Head of Planning and the Creative Director introduced themselves and commenced their presentation.

They dispensed with the usual vacuous waffle on the agency and the approach and simply acknowledged that by the end of the day, they believed that the management of Stanley Cook would clearly be more interested in the creative than the strategy.

With much nodding from the client-side of the table the Creative Director stood up and said “This one advertisement will make your brand famous, not just with your target market, but across the land”. The senior management team leaned forward, clearly excited by the fresh approach, but also hesitant that they could be heading for another disappointment. Continue reading “The mismanaged creative agency pitch”

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Enabling Data in Creative, to pull the final lever for digital success

This post is by Richard Knott, Regional Director, APAC, for Celtra and co-founder of Puzzle Creative Technology Solutions. He is also the Chair of the IAB Mobile Advertising Council in Australia. 

There are 3 main levers to drive results in digital advertising – media, data and creative.

The media lever, typically controlled by a DSP, enables you to optimise media schedules and placements based upon audience, environment, response and price. The data lever is currently managed by DMPs, linking data and knowledge to audiences and outcomes.

Finally, creative, historically the most important lever to illustrate, engage and persuade, has unfortunately been excluded from any kind of scalable, integrated, management system, that could drive mastery of this lever in the digital world.

This disconnection, or somewhat “offline” treatment of digital creative, has not only meant creative has become a bit of an afterthought in digital, it also means data typically can’t touch it and therefore ends up only empowering the media decisioning, never the creative decisioning.

At best, data only provides some last-gasp optimisation option through DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimisation) or A/B testing.

Data in creative

The opportunities for data in creative far exceed the typical DCO style of whether a ‘purple call to action has a better response rate than an orange one’. DCO has some value in the ecosystem, but it is extremely limited. It is akin to being presented with your choice of M&M rather than your choice from an entire confectionary store. Hence the differences driven are often underwhelming.

The role of the Creative Management Platform

CMPs or Creative Management Platforms have risen out of the old Ad Builder and Ad Server world to provide a centralised management tool to make, manage, measure & master digital creative. A crucial difference when reviewing CMPs, versus reviewing DSPs or DMPs, is you need to not only assess features, but ensure that two hugely significant baseline provisos must have been met by the CMP.

One, you have to be able to make whatever you want. It has to be fully functional across rich html, animation, and the multiple forms of video. These CMPs must not limit creativity in any way through limited functionality, formats or products. Otherwise it is completely understandable, however tragic, that you might feel the need to revert back to using developers and stand-alone executions to get what you need.

This would defeat the whole purpose of the consolidation within a CMP.

Two, you must be able to deliver and execute that creative wherever you want. The CMP must not limit where you can execute your creative solution through a lack of certification or capability. Individual publishers and other media will always enforce some limitations and particular nuances of style (e.g. Snapchat only accepts vertical-orientation video) that will require tailoring of a solution.

However, every CMP must be able to execute to the fullest extent, within those particular publisher requirements, everywhere that you wish to buy an ad. A CMP should always be able to execute something on any publisher. Build in one place, execute in every place, has to be the baseline motto for every serious CMP.

Once you know your creativity won’t be limited and your creative platform won’t be defining your media plan through its limitations, then you are ready to start benefiting from this new and exciting tool. Not least, the enablement of data. Continue reading “Enabling Data in Creative, to pull the final lever for digital success”

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Who’s In Charge? Marketing or Procurement?

This post is by Stephan Argent, President of Agency Search and Media Management Consultancy Le Riche Argent and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

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.

Marketing and procurement

On the other, client procurement teams are likely going to be evaluated on things like cost based efficiencies, savings, synergies and risk mitigation.

And with those perspectives, it’s hardly any wonder marketing and procurement teams can find themselves at odds with each other, leaving potential agency partners a little bewildered as to who’s really calling the shots.

We’re increasingly asked to work with procurement when undertaking an agency search – either to work on the search itself, or to work with them through the negotiation or contract development process.  And while relationships between marketing and procurement vary between organisations, there are some consistent themes that are worth addressing.

In our experience, the primary issue many organisations still have difficulty coming to terms with is that marketing needs to be viewed as an investment – not a cost. In other words, it’s not something that needs to be “minimised” – it’s an investment that needs to be “maximised”.

So how should each side approach agency selection or contract negotiation in order to meet the goals of minimising risk and costs, while ensuring maximum performance through best in class capabilities? Continue reading “Who’s In Charge? Marketing or Procurement?”

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Who Will Put “Accountability” Back in “Account Management?”

This post is by Michael Farmer, 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.

account management

Account managers were giants of accountability during the Mad Men era, when agencies were paid by media commissions and it was important to convince client executives, up and down the line, that high media spending was good for brands.

Everyone benefited from this.  TV advertising was effective, so clients and brands benefited from this account management salesmanship.  TV advertising unleashed the agency’s creative capabilities and allowed creatives to flourish and do their best work.

Senior account people sold the agency’s creative ideas to their clients, acting as intermediaries (for better or worse), solidifying account executives’ credibility in the eyes of their clients.  Although there were plenty of turf wars between the “suits” and the “creatives,” the overall process assured a high degree of unity, purpose and intimacy with clients.

Finally, and not insignificantly, agencies made a lot of money — much more than they earn today.

How different it is nowadays!  After the shift to fee-based remuneration, account management lost its media sales role, and with it credibility for advising on the health of brands.  Social and digital innovations provided a coup de grâce — account managers were as confused about media choices as their clients.

Subsequent years of fee-bashing, agency downsizings and juniorisations demolished account management departments. The hiring of strategic planners and project managers took away key responsibilities, leaving account managers as notetakers, responsible for doing what clients asked.

Account managers no longer had pro-active responsibilities to plan and sell-in Scopes of Work, since clients assumed these responsibilities.  Clients (and agencies) ceased using account managers as gatekeepers for creative work; creatives worked directly with clients.

Where does this leave account managers today?  What are their roles and responsibilities? Defining their jobs falls squarely in the laps of agency CEOs.  What do CEOs expect from account managers?  Helping clients achieve improved brand performance?  Negotiating fair fees for existing SOWs?  Winning growing fees for growing SOWs?  Eliminating out-of-scope work?  Restoring AOR status?  Safeguarding relationships from competitors’ incursions?  Achieving longevity of relationships?  Retaining, rather than losing their clients?  Meeting defined profit targets?  Keeping clients happy?
Continue reading “Who Will Put “Accountability” Back in “Account Management?””

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The importance of unsubscribe management

This post is by Anton Buchner, a senior consultant with TrinityP3. Anton is one of Australia’s leaders in data-driven marketing. Helping navigate through the bells, whistles and hype to identify genuine marketing value when it comes to technology, digital activity, and the resulting data footprint.

unsubscribe management

Important changes to data privacy for EU marketers

From 25 May 2018, Australian businesses of any size will have to comply with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements if they:

  1. have a business entity in the EU
  2. offer goods and services in the EU
  3. monitor the behaviours of individuals in the EU

What is the GDPR?

It’s a regulation designed to standardise data privacy laws across Europe and to protect and empower all EU citizens’ privacy.

It’s similar to the Australian Privacy Act, and is helping reshape the way organisations across the EU approach data privacy.  

The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’, which means ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person’ (refer Article 4) – including a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

It also introduces a new concept of “pseudonymous data” – in simple terms, personal data that has been subjected to technological measures (like hashing or encryption) such that it no longer directly identifies an individual without the use of additional information. 

And it goes further than the Australian Privacy Act in offering additional protections to the processing of ‘special categories’ of personal data, which includes:

  • personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership
  • the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person such as fingerprints, facial recognition, retinal scans etc
  • data concerning health
  • data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation

So if you’re advertising, managing social media platforms, or conducting analytics that track or monitor activity and individuals from the EU, then you’ll need to update your policies, procedures and systems accordingly.

You’ll need to revisit what data you are collecting and understand whether it is caught by the personal data requirements of the GDPR.

And you’ll also need to evaluate your information handling practices and governance structures and seek legal advice where necessary.   Continue reading “The importance of unsubscribe management”

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Ageism in advertising is as much a cost issue as a perception one

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

Louis Loizou, a Freelance creative Director in the UK recently shared on LinkedIn his thoughts “I’m not 54. I’m 22 with 32 years experience”.  It is a passionate and considered argument for why older advertising creative professionals have not passed their use-by date, but are actually “still passionate but with pragmatism and discipline”.

Ageism in advertising

Too old for advertising? The reason ageism is rife in advertising is economics and perception

Louis is not alone. Search ageism+advertising on LinkedIn and you will find literally hundreds of posts from older, experienced advertising professionals. On Google the same search delivers 490,000 articles. In most cases it is these older, experienced advertising professionals arguing that they are still creative, passionate, capable and more expensive. And this is the point where most of the writers get it wrong.

The issue of ageism is not about price, it is actually about cost.

It is not just that older, more experienced advertising professionals usually get paid more, it is the fact that in a cost obsessed industry, where marketers are wanting to pay less and agencies want to make more, senior staff are uneconomical. Let me explain.

Advertisers want to pay less for their agencies

Have you had an advertiser tell you that they are happy to pay more for their agency? While most believe that their agency remuneration should be fair, the definition of fair is often judged by the marketplace through pitching where agencies are known to lower their fees simply to win business.

The role of procurement in this has resulted in a race to zero. Michael Farmer has proven this in his book Madison Avenue Manslaughter, where his data shows that agencies have had a 70% reduction if their fees in real terms since 1995.

But with agencies being businesses they have had to adapt to the increased price competition and the downward price pressure by reducing costs. Becoming more efficient, especially at the back end, was the game plan for the holding companies, who leveraged their economies of scale.

But prices continued to fall and so agencies looked to generate resources from other sources such as rebates and volume discounts from suppliers and even integrating vertically with production capabilities, which has led to increasing issues with transparency, especially in media and production.

But there was one area that many agencies were able to make increased margins while responding to the pressure from advertisers for lower costs and that is in agency resources.

Agencies make their profit by marking up their resource costs

In the face of falling prices advertisers are willing to pay, agencies had one game plan in regards to their agency staff. The way agencies calculate fees and especially retainers is to take the cost of the resource (the salary cost for the time committed, then multiple by the overhead and profit margin). Continue reading “Ageism in advertising is as much a cost issue as a perception one”

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