How TrinityP3 is helping optimise marketing performance through technology – 3 case studies

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.

CASE STUDY 1

Entertainment House of Brands – Underperformance of an Existing Technology Platform

Challenging Problem: With an increased focus on content marketing and an increased demand for advertising and marketing collateral, along with access internally and through partners to a wide range of digital assets, the company had been building in-house capabilities for producing advertising and marketing content across a range of brands within the organization. Several years ago a marketing technology platform was introduced to manage workflow, approvals and brand compliance. Today the teams are concerned that this platform no longer meets their needs or delivers the outcomes they require.

Creative Solution: Beyond the required capabilities, successful technology platform integration requires cultural, strategic, and process alignment with the organisation against specific outcome objectives. We proposed undertaking an assessment of the current platform against all four critical criteria, defining options and making recommendations.

Process: The process required multiple approaches including:

  • A series of one-on-one interviews with key internal stakeholders
  • Group interviews with external stakeholders and vendors
  • Technology review meetings with the existing platform vendor
  • Process and performance metrics reviews

The results of the discovery phase were reviewed internally, and a list of issues arising from the current platform integration and performance were identified. Continue reading “How TrinityP3 is helping optimise marketing performance through technology – 3 case studies”

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Don’t Count Out the Holding Companies – At Least Not Yet

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.

 

The latest holding company news, gleefully reported in the trade press, shows a shortfall in WPP’s first half 2017 growth rates, with forecasts of lower long-term growth in coming years.  WPP’s share price took a dive.  Campaign U.S. headlined “Sorrell under pressure to streamline WPP as FMCG clients cut back on marketing.”  Panic!  WPP is not the only holding company affected by advertiser spend cutbacks, but Sir Martin is highly visible, and he takes most of the industry flack.  How concerned should investors be?  Don’t count out the holding companies yet.  They have not played all the potential cards in their hands.

Holding companies have been visibly with us for the past 30 years, and during that time they have pursued Three Big Growth Strategies:

  1. Acquiring marketing communications and research companies;
  2. Setting and enforcing aggressive portfolio company budgets, requiring agency revenue and margin growth through business development, cost reductions, and other efficiencies; and
  3. Selling “holding company relationships” to give clients a broad range of agency services across media disciplines – required because their individual agencies did not integrate across disciplines.

There are other holding company initiatives, of course, like providing back-office services for portfolio companies (travel, accounting, IT, etc.) but the Three Big Growth Strategies have dominated their activities.

Individual agencies have been highly affected by the budget setting and margin growth priorities.  Indeed, over the past 30 years agencies have become veritable cost-reduction machines, and even though chronic cost reduction has had adverse effects on agency capabilities and relationships, it has remained Job No. 1 for agency CEOs and CFOs.  “Making the holding company margin” has dominated executive thinking and action, and even though their client relationships were slowly deteriorating, becoming shorter and more marginal over time, and their client fees were being reduced, these factors did not alter in any way their focus on improving margins by lowering costs.

What agency CEOs did not react to, though, were the growing threats to their clients’ brands, brought about by competition from e-commerce, the generational shift from Baby Boomers to Millennials, the growing strength of the trade’s private label products, the proven ineffectiveness of the current mix of advertising/content and the increased difficulty their clients were having in generating improved shareholder value. Continue reading “Don’t Count Out the Holding Companies – At Least Not Yet”

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Managing Marketing: The importance and the difference in marketing to women

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.

Kylie Rogers, Managing Director of Mamamia Women’s Network, and Lauren Joyce, Head of Broad, their strategic consultancy, talk with Darren on how women are driving commerce today, and why marketers may be missing out on this dominant audience by not marketing specifically to them in the way they want to be engaged.

marketing to women

marketing to women

 

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m here at the Mamma Mia Women’s Network with Kylie Rogers, Managing Director and Lauren Joyce, who’s Head of Broad, which is the strategic consultancy here at Mamamia. Welcome.

Kylie:

Thank you so much for having us, Darren.

Darren:

In actual fact, I should be saying thank you for having me because coming here to Mamamia, as soon as the lift doors open and I saw all of the pictures on the wall and all of the people and the energy I could tell that this was a very different place to work.

Kylie:

I appreciate your saying that. Sometimes in the furore of your working week you forget the energy that really does exist in this place; it’s very progressive. It’s almost tangible.

Darren:

It’s palpable when the doors open. I think that’s why I walked in a bit confused; it was like being hit with this energy and noise. There are workplaces where there are people screaming but it was just this energy that is happening here. It was very exciting.

Kylie:

Of 85 women who have lots of ideas and who want to execute those ideas and we have famous women on the walls that inspire us every day.

Darren:

And are executing. You guys produce a huge amount of content.

Kylie:

We average around 45 articles a day, give or take the news cycle, around six to ten videos a day and now 18 podcasts a week. And of course, you’re standing in our pretty remarkable podcast studio. We have one in Sydney, one in Melbourne, and one in our New York office.

Darren:

Amazing, and the infrastructure as well to support this. In a way, you’ve reinvented the news platform but you’ve also done it in a way that you’ve embraced technology as well, haven’t you?

Working to understand Australian Women

Kylie:

Yeah, thanks and I guess why we’ve done that is we’ve focused on trying to understand Australian women; trying to understand what they want from media today and trying to anticipate her needs and deliver her what she wants.

And we’ll probably get to it throughout our podcast but our women are telling us that they want media on her terms. They want personalised media. They’re very busy; they want media on the run. Therefore, we have worked hard at delivering that for her.

And case in point; our 18 podcasts. They are being downloaded in droves; we have celebrated our 20 millionth download and it’s quite extraordinary. It’s a really exciting time.

Darren:

Wow. But it seems interesting, Lauren, you look at Mad Men, which was a very popular programme a few years ago when women in that show were the secretaries, right? This is very much 21st century. This existence of the Mamamia Women’s Network is evidence of the fact that women are now front and centre in the workforce, in day to day life, and especially in commerce. Women are really driving the commercial realities, aren’t they?

Lauren:

They are. We do a survey each year of our readers and at the end of last year when we did our survey they told us they were feeling really powerful. They felt they had a figurehead in Hilary Clinton and they were following that kind of trend around female empowerment.

And I guess over the last few years we’ve seen brands get on board with that as well because they have recognised particularly the purchasing power that women now hold. Women are accountable for 50% of male spending are they are accountable for 85% of purchasing decisions on average so it varies.

Darren:

And a 100% of their own spending.

Kylie:

Yeah, that’s right.

Darren:

My mother used to say to my father, ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is me own.’ He’d make all the big decisions like how the family felt about politics and the environment and things like that and she’d make all the small decisions like what we ate, where we’d go for holidays, what car she’d like—all those small things that didn’t really matter as far as he was concerned.

The economic dominance of women

Lauren:

Yeah, the inordinate influence that they hold is amazing and that has been known for a long time but I think that brands, in the last two years or so, have become much more aware of that. We’re starting to see some really lovely examples of how brands are leveraging this theme of female empowerment.

But we feel that that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s really an of-the-now trend that brands are really getting involved in but there is opportunity well beyond that around unlocking the influence that women have over various categories.

Darren:

You say it’s of the now. Why is it now? Why wasn’t it 10 years ago, or 20 years ago or even 30 years ago? Because we’ve had the sexual revolution of the sixties where women became more empowered as they got more control. Women dominate the workforce now apart from salary equality but there are more women working than at any time in history.

Lauren: Continue reading “Managing Marketing: The importance and the difference in marketing to women”

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Are you benchmarking or butchering your agency fees?

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.

This is the tenth in a series of one-minute videos that address one of the many complex challenges facing marketing, media, and advertising today. The Golden Minute series is an attempt to prove Albert Einstein right when he said: “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple”.

But he also said: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. So we will leave it for you to judge. Please let us know here if there is a topic you would like us to cover in a Golden Minute.

 

Benchmarking has quite rightly earned a poor reputation. Recently Michael Farmer, Executive Chairman of TrinityP3, expressed this opinion in an article in Media Village republished here. This poor reputation is primarily because it is used by many in the industry to simply reduce agency fees and not as a way of obtaining a reference point for comparison, which was the original purpose of a benchmark.

I have shared this opinion with him and the industry way back in 2011 when it became obvious that many in the industry (including many competitors) were simply using benchmarking to reduce advertising agencies to the lowest common denominator. This is because many are simply benchmarking one dimension of agency being costs, such as hourly rates or day rates.

In this case, they are relying on titles and position descriptions as a measure of quality, or ignoring value completely, then simply butchering the fees paid for those resources to the lowest in the market. It can certainly deliver cost reductions, but usually at the expense of the quality of those resources.

Very early on we acknowledged that the rate or fee per resource was flawed and often criticised those who used cost per FTE resources as a benchmark for being the same type of people who would buy books by weight or choose a movie based on the length expecting it to represent better value. Instead, we set about developing benchmarks that better represented a benchmark of value rather than cost.

It is not benchmarking, but the misuse of benchmarking that is the issue.

Misapplication of agency remuneration benchmarks

I participated in a meeting of a Marketing Leadership Team (MLT) and was presenting the results of the agency benchmarking we had undertaken on a number of their agencies. The various agencies had different roles in the roster of agencies in regards to the type and quality of work they were expected to produce. They also had different specialist knowledge and skills that made the roster complimentary to the capabilities required by the marketing team.

Continue reading “Are you benchmarking or butchering your agency fees?”

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

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.

agency answers

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: Continue reading “7 Questions Everyone On Your Marketing Team Should Be Able To Answer”

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Is your TV production process moving forward or stuck in the old ways?

This post is by Clive Duncan a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. As a Director and DOP he has an appreciation for the value of great creative and outstanding production values, while also recognising the importance of delivering value for money solutions to the advertiser.

TV production process

Recently I received an email from an “Institute” claiming that they were researching the current state of the global TVC production industry.

They said that they had read several of my posts on the TrinityP3 site and considered me to be an expert on the international TVC production industry. Of course, I was extremely flattered to be labeled as an industry expert. The email then went on to propose that I forward my insights to them so that they could incorporate them into their “white paper” on the global production industry as it now stands.

It did not take long for the penny to drop (having a healthy cynicism is one of the most important traits a production expert should have). Of course the “Institute” would use my insights and re-brand them as their own, passing themselves off as industry experts and perhaps even make an income from their new-found expertise without doing the hard yards, many years of hands-on experience and constant monitoring of the industry. So I declined their kind invitation to share my specialist knowledge with them, instead to continue to share it here with you.

The state of the television production industry

But their invitation did make me think that the current state of the TVC production industry is one of confusion, mistrust, and fear. In fact, this could be said about the advertising industry in general. I will keep my generalisations to TV production and television as an advertising media.

This confusion is partly driven by the impact of technology on the advertising industry and particularly the production industry. The cost of entry into the production arena has dropped as digital technology has made production equipment and the process more cost-effective. In fact, it is so cost-effective that many companies, and particularly their marketing departments, are building video production capabilities in-house to cost-effectively produce the huge amounts of video content many marketers need for their content marketing.

Continue reading “Is your TV production process moving forward or stuck in the old ways?”

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Engagement Agreements to align expectations and performance – 3 case studies

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.

Seeing these issues becoming increasingly common and complex, TrinityP3 developed a process that allows groups of people to work together to define their way of working. This process allows the various groups, such as agencies and their clients, to define their expectations of each other and communicate these in a user-friendly document that defines the agreed way of working. It is also used within organisations to align expectations and agree on ways of working between internal teams, working together. The process is called an Engagement Agreement and it becomes the basis of how these groups work together. It is an operational document, outside of, but supporting the legal agreement, and is used to align the various groups to a common expectation.

Here are three case studies of ways the Engagement Agreement process has been used internally and with external agencies and across rosters as a way of improving the performance of the relationship.

Case Study 1

Alcoholic Beverages – Engagement Agreement

Challenging Problem: Over time the breadth of marketing requirements had seen additional agencies added to the core roster of agencies leading to confusion regarding roles and responsibilities of the roster to the brand. This was expressed as increasing infighting between agencies rather than working collaboratively.

Creative Solution: The marketing team had approached TrinityP3 as they were considering pitching one or more of the agencies on the roster as a way to solve the problem, but it became clear in discussions with the marketers and the agencies that the problem was there was no clear way of working together, with many of the new agencies to the roster unsure of the process or clear on their role. It was decided to organise a full day Engagement Agreement workshop with the brand team and representatives from the four main agencies on the brand agency roster.

Process: Prior to the workshop, TrinityP3 consultants met with each of the agencies and marketing teams to discuss the objectives of the workshop day and to map the interaction, touch points and processes of the marketing team with the roster.

Continue reading “Engagement Agreements to align expectations and performance – 3 case studies”

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What Happens When Ad Agency Creative Magic Fails?

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 agency creativity was pure magic in the traditional days of Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy.  Advertised brands flourished and grew, and iconic brands like Tide, Budweiser, McDonald’s, Visa, Chevrolet, American Express and others became genuine Lovemarks, earning countless millions for their brand owners.

Agency creativity has been much less magical in recent years with the advent of digital and social media, “content” instead of ads, and the widespread introduction of technology and e-commerce to the changing demographic mix of consumers, with fickle Millennials now the dominant segment.  Iconic brands are dead in the water, marketing spend is shrinking, and CMO job tenure is short and uncertain.  The magic of creativity disappeared along the way.

What happens in societies when magic ceases to accomplish what magic needs to do?  Ancient tribes and cultures depended on the magic of witch doctors and divine leaders to ensure the return of spring after the dead of winter, fertile fields, nourishing rains, healthy harvests, growing herds, and cures for fevers and other mysterious diseases. Continue reading “What Happens When Ad Agency Creative Magic Fails?”

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Is your marketing function centralised, decentralised or distributed?

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.

This is the ninth in a series of one minute videos that address one of the many complex challenges facing marketing, media and advertising today. The Golden Minute series is an attempt to prove Albert Einstein right when he said “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple”. But he also said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. So we will leave it for you to judge. Please let us know here if there is a topic you would like us to cover in a Golden Minute.

It is interesting that when you are talking to business people about marketing, the majority seem to think of marketing in the context of marketing communications, or what was not long ago considered Promotions or Advertising, one of the Ps in what was the 4Ps of marketing. This is probably not surprising as promotions and advertising are certainly the high profile and public end of the marketing process and certainly where a significant component of the budget is spent, especially on paid media, but increasingly on owned and earned media too.

But the fact that many organisations think of marketing as the marketing communications area, leaves the question of where the other traditional marketing functions are located within the organisation? The reason is that often when we ask what marketing structure you have, the most common answers are either centralised or decentralised. Only to find out that even when it is centralised, it is usually only the marketing communications function that is centralised and typically marketing is actually distributed across the organisation.

With the marketing function fragmented and distributed across the business, it makes it challenging when we are asked to redesign marketing to drive a customer-oriented strategy across the organisation. On top of this distribution, we typically find fragmentation of key capabilities such as customer data, digital technology skills and the like, built into pockets across the business and rarely inside what is considered or called marketing. This, combined with the dislocation of the full marketing capability distribution, means that a cohesive and aligned marketing strategy is next to impossible without significant realignment in objectives, strategy, structure, roles, responsibilities and performance expectations.

The way marketing is structured within an organisation is indicative of how it is perceived and positioned as part of the overall business as we demonstrated back in 2011 with this presentation on “If structure follows strategy how is marketing strategically positioned in your organisation?”

A more recent article in HBR titled “The Trouble with the CMO” studied the various job descriptions, roles and responsibilities for CMOs and identified three CMO job types that were related to the role and function marketing played within the organisation. Continue reading “Is your marketing function centralised, decentralised or distributed?”

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How To Improve Briefings To Your Agencies

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.

Brief

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 “How To Improve Briefings To Your Agencies”

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When “Best Practices” are Worst Practices

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.

Did you hear about the infamous Army briefing during the Vietnam War? “We had to destroy Ben Tre in order to save it.” The briefing referred to a terrible act, the annihilation of a Vietnamese village by overwhelming American firepower, carried out during a terrible war that was lost in any case.

So it goes when tactics, rather than strategies dominate a conflict. Less gruesome, but relevant is the bungled tactical war between advertisers and agencies. Well-meaning tactical “best practices,” used extensively and nearly universally by marketing procurement departments, are worst practices that destroy agency capabilities and annihilate partnerships. Unfortunately, agencies are equally complicit in their destruction.

The Relationship War began, like many wars, with a skirmish and a few opening shots. In the ’90’s, media commissions were giving way to labor-based fees, and advertisers were clueless about agency headcounts, salaries, overhead rates, and profit margins (let’s leave aside the stupidity of adopting this labor-based approach).

Advertisers asked their agencies to provide the necessary cost details. Agencies demurred, offended by the request, failing to recognize that procurement folks had been used to knowing intimate details from their manufacturing and distribution suppliers, and they expected the same transparency from their marketing communications suppliers.

The agency refusal to cooperate infuriated procurement. As one exasperated executive told me in 2003, “Who the hell do they think they are, anyway? A bunch of prima donnas. I’m going to whack their fees by 10% — maybe that will send them a message.”

Agency fee cutting became procurement’s raison d’être, and over the decades fee-cutting took on many sophisticated forms: Continue reading “When “Best Practices” are Worst Practices”

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Six reasons why you may have many more agencies and suppliers than you need

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.

agencies and suppliers

We provide a very popular solution called Agency Roster Alignment where we analyse and map the current roster against the advertiser’s strategic needs, spend and satisfaction with the incumbents.

Some of the really common responses when we report back on the current rosters is, first, many are surprised at the number of agencies and marketing vendors on the roster and, second, how they could have ended up in this situation with so many agencies and suppliers. Let me deal with the first response and then expand on the second in the observation points below.

First off, when we talk about rosters we are not simply talking about the major agencies such as creative, media and digital, plus perhaps a PR company, a design studio, and that sales promotion firm you use occasionally. We are talking about all of the agencies, suppliers and vendors that you spend your budget with, including market research firms, event companies, mail houses, technology solutions providers, and everyone in between.

Just as marketing has become more complex, the number of vendors, agencies and suppliers has grown too. But the fact is there are some very solid reasons as to why you may have more agencies and suppliers than you need. And that is not a good thing, as each extra one on your roster is consuming time and money by just being there. Continue reading “Six reasons why you may have many more agencies and suppliers than you need”

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17 ways advertisers can make their advertising production more transparent

This post is by Lyndon BrillAgency Remuneration Expert at TrinityP3. Lyndon has worked at the highest level in the advertising industry for over 10 years and is ideally suited and experienced to assist our clients in achieving their maximum growth potential.

Advertising production transparency

In light of the recent ANA Production Transparency Report in the US, and the growing trend for the ‘Big 6’ Networks to establish separate brands for production services, here is a list of key considerations for your current agency contracts. TrinityP3 believes terms and conditions should be transparent, and not support hidden agendas, especially where an agency may engage a related production supplier. So here are our seventeen areas or principles when reviewing your agency and production contracts:

1. Review your agency contracts regularly

The contract should contain transparent terms, which are clearly understood by both parties, and reviewed at least every third-year due to technological advancements and process efficiency within industry practices. Do you know exactly what the terms and conditions are of your agreement? If not, you should, transparency is paramount.

2. Be clear on the type of relationship your contract defines

Contracts are generally one of two formats. This is either one of Principal and Agent, or alternatively Principal and Contractor. Where the Agency is acting as an Agent, the Agency has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the client, and procure production at the best possible price. However, where the contract engages the agency as a Principal and Independent Contractor, often terms allow for the agency to mark-up or provide less disclosure and transparency over the sourcing of external production services.

There has been a recent shift towards these agreements where the Agency acts as the Principal with production suppliers, to limit the ‘risk’ of audit and potential compensation in the case of a breach of terms of the agreement. The Agency engages suppliers, which are often deemed external 3rd parties (although often related), which are not subject to the terms and conditions of any Master Services Agreement.

3. Investigate contracting third party production companies directly

A direct Production Services Agreement with the related 3rd party production house is always recommended, which should include the same transparent terms as the Agency agreement, and especially include the right to audit. This supports the move away from ‘fixed price’ and ‘non-auditable’ external production agreements, which are common within the industry. Continue reading “17 ways advertisers can make their advertising production more transparent”

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Do Clients Get The Agencies They Deserve?

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

client/agency relationship

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 “Do Clients Get The Agencies They Deserve?”

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Take the Pledge! End Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter!

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.

Madison Avenue’s self-destructive practices need to come to an end!  In the wake of a decade or more of marketing cost reductions, CMOs have lost credibility and power; procurement departments have confused benchmarking with marketing, and demoralised agencies have seen their capabilities severely compromised through downsizing, juniorising, and Scope of Work inflation.

Cost reduction programs have run their course. They were never a credible substitute for brand growth as a way of delivering shareholder value.

There have been few strategic winners during the past decade, other than the disrupters — Google, Facebook, Amazon and the unicorns of online commerce. Legacy brands are languishing. Millennials remain a mystery. Digital and social marketing are question marks. Trust has eroded. Advertisers and agencies alike are battered like addicts caught in a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior, their relationships increasingly unmanageable. Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter (MAM) has taken its toll.

Advertisers and agencies must develop a new paradigm and work in unaccustomed ways to restore brand growth and profitability. Continue reading “Take the Pledge! End Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter!”

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