Quality? Cost? Time? Which do you want from improving your marketing performance?

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.

It used to be that when it came to production there was quality, cost and time and that you could have any two. That is you could have high quality in a short timeframe but it would cost you. Or you could have a short timeframe and low cost but at the expense of quality.

However technology is changing this, enabling the production of a high volume of high quality digital assets in near real time and at relatively low unit cost. But the distinction of Quality, Cost and Time is an important one in marketing and advertising today and not for production but for all aspects of performance improvement.

marketing performance

 

You see it could appear to the observer of the advertising and marketing industry that the only measure of improvement is cost reduction. This is because when agencies and suppliers are selected and deals are done the main or often the only point of measure is cost, and usually only in reference to quantity.

That is agency fee based on the cost per hour or the number of people retained. This trend has been prevalent since the global financial crisis a decade ago and has given rise to the belief that advertising, is in a race to zero. Rarely, if ever, do we read, hear or see discussions on improvement in quality or time as a measure of improved performance or increased productivity.

Productivity versus Savings

The most common agency remuneration method is a cost based model either paid in hourly or daily fees for resource, project fees based on the amount of resources required, or retainer fees for the number and type of resources required.

It is unusual for these fees to be based on the productivity of the agency, which would be to pay the agency for what they produced or delivered, the outputs, rather than the resources and the hours that the agency allowed and the advertiser paid for, plus overhead and profit margin.

With the remuneration model not based on productivity, but on cost, it means that when the agency remuneration model is negotiated or reviewed at contract end or tender, the outcome is measured against the previous cost of the remuneration to identify cost reductions or savings.

Therefore if the retainer was $1.2 million per year previously ($100,000 per calendar month) and the cost now is $1 million then this is a 16.7% reduction. As the retainer is about the number of agency staff being retained, there would also be a measure of the number of agency staff in the retainer.

Following the same example if there were 4 full time equivalent (FTE) staff then the cost per FTE would be $300,000 per FTE per year. Remember this cost includes the agency overhead and profit margin, so this is about $150,000 per year as an annual salary per person.

Past Retainer New Retainer
Total Retainer Cost $1.2 million $1 million (16.7% reduction)
FTEs 4 4
Cost Per FTE $300,000 $250,000 (16.7% reduction)
Average Salary per FTE $150,000 $125,000

 

But what if the number of FTEs after the negotiation to reduce the retainer stays the same at 4 FTEs? On the surface this looks like better value because the cost per FTE is now $250,000 per FTE per year, which equates to an average of about $125,000 per year as an annual salary per person, which reflects the 16.7% reduction.

But what if the same number of staff, but lower cost and probably less experienced is not as productive (or perhaps as motivated) to deliver your requirements. Of course if you have not been measuring our outputs or deliverables how will you know? The agency will always argue that the amount of work has increased in volume and complexity and therefore like for like comparison is virtually impossible.

Speed versus Savings

Increasingly there is a requirement and a demand for advertisers to be faster and more agile in their go to market process. Some mistakenly refer to this as Agile Marketing, which is a different process of test and learn.

This increased agility and speed often requires a complete change in marketing structure and process and a significant change in the way you work with your agencies. But that takes time and can be difficult and complex. So instead the simpler solution is often delivered by increasing the agency resources. But here is the conundrum. Continue reading “Quality? Cost? Time? Which do you want from improving your marketing performance?”

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

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

Squeezing your agency

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.

What’s surprising in our experience is that while most marketers aspire to have their agencies deliver more, better and faster, their approach almost always ends up having the opposite effect. And it’s not only the client that’s to blame – agency management plays a role in all this too – effectively diminishing their own worth and value.

Whether requested by clients, or mandated by agencies – everyone wants to do more with less and it goes a bit like this:

Either, the client looks at the budget and/or bills and thinks ‘we’re paying too much – let’s cut something – better yet, let’s have the agency cut something…’ Or, the agency does some form of internal analysis and thinks ‘this is costing too much – let’s lean things out – better yet, have the client pay more’. A tug-of-war begins and everyone gets short-changed on their original objectives.

So what’s the solution?

Stop Squeezing. Start Juicing.

As counter intuitive as it may seem, doing exactly the opposite can help increase productivity, effectiveness and yes, profitability. Marketers need to be investing in their agencies – not just with money, but with enthusiasm, encouragement and an investment of time. And by investing in their clients with equal doses of enthusiasm, support, commitment and time, agencies will find themselves indispensible advisors in their client’s businesses.

Here are some juice driving ideas:

Pay For Performance

Mention pay for performance, PBR (payment by results) or even ‘bonus’ and many glaze over because they perceive the metrics by which pay for performance terms can be measured to be too difficult to agree, measure or implement.

If that’s the case the issue isn’t cost – it’s an investment in time that’s needed to define and agree those metrics and come up with ways to measure them. The goal is to incentivise agencies to deliver and for clients to feel good about paying for that effort so that it’s a win – win for both agencies and clients.

Take The Handcuffs Off

If you’ve hired your agency for their creativity or you’re an agency that touts its creative chops – then here’s an opportunity to unleash it. The catch is the corporate handcuffs have to come off.

No, I mean really off – not only allowing and encouraging agencies to think laterally, push boundaries and tap into areas that have never been previously (or properly) tapped, but also encouraging marketing to evaluate and nurture ideas with greater flexibility.

Leverage Others

By removing the boundaries that otherwise create turf wars between competitive agencies or specialised agencies, can spark fresh approaches and ideas that have previously not been explored.

Rather than protecting agency turf, marketers – and agencies themselves – should create and welcome a mechanism for alternate idea generation. Why should agencies welcome it? If they’re the right agency for their client they should have confidence in their role in their client’s ecosystem and confident in sharing idea generation.

Pay And Play Fair

The worst solution of all is not paying or playing fairly. All marketers need to pay fair market value for work provided and not have an expectation of ‘free services’. Similarly, agencies need to staff their client’s businesses with appropriate seniority and total resources. If there are questions around costs or resources, then they need to be openly discussed and resolved – not used as bargaining chips to eek out lower costs or greater profit.

Squeezing your agencies for better productivity or cheaper costs won’t get the juices flowing – it’ll drain them. In the same way, squeezing your clients to realise greater profit will only end up backfiring in the long run.

Juicing agency teams or marketing counterparts requires dialogue, innovation and confidence in your teams to be able to deliver the results you want – without breaking the bank.

Our Scope of Work Management service evaluates your current agency scope of work and recommends the best approach, calibrated to your needs. Read more here

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Managing Marketing: Innovation in the video and film production industry

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.

Harry Preston is the Managing Director A/NZ of Genero, a technology platform for more than 300,000 film and video creators, connecting this community with advertisers, marketers and their agencies. Here Harry discusses the innovations occurring in the industry and how technology is making high quality productions faster, more accessible and lower cost.

Film production industry podcast

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’ve got a chance to sit down with Harry Preston, who is the Managing Director of Genero. Welcome, Harry.

Harry:

Thank you, Darren, thanks for having me.

Darren:

For those who don’t know; what is Genero?

Harry:

Genero is a global video production marketplace. And what that means is we have a global community of filmmakers (300,000 filmmakers around the world).

Darren:

Oh my god, 300,000—that’s a lot.

Harry:

That’s a lot of filmmakers. And we connect them with brands and agencies to produce really high-quality content, affordably and at scale and speed.

Darren:

Fantastic but 300,000 filmmakers — I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from creative people that the only possible director for this job is director X. So, if there are 300,000 filmmakers how is it possible that there is only one possible director for this job.

Harry:

Well, I can’t speak for some of the creative departments. They may have their own reasons for wanting to work with a particular director. We do have a bunch of really talented directors on the platform.

Darren:

I’m sure you do but what I’m saying is that if you’ve got 300,000 directors you wouldn’t have 100% penetration into the production world would you?

A community of 300,000 production professionals

Harry:

We don’t have 300,000 directors. We’ve got production companies, directors, animators, editors, motion graphics designers etc, people who can make video.

What I would say is if a creative agency is looking for a treatment then they can post a brief, put their idea on the platform and then they would get a really decent response in the way of treatments and how a particular director would treat their job. And they may find that they’d get access to someone who is really high quality.

Darren:

Now, you don’t have the kid who just knocks up a couple of videos for his friends do you? These are actually professionals.

Harry:

No, these are professional filmmakers.

Darren:

How do you vet them?

Harry:

We don’t really discriminate in the sign-up process. It’s free to join for filmmakers. What’s quite exciting about the platform is that we may get someone sign up who is the next Ridley-Scott for example.

They may have just finished film school so that’s why we don’t really discriminate but at the same time the process through the platform is very iterative and collaborative.

It’s not like they’re off shooting video, and then they submit the video and that’s it. It’s a very iterative process and they’ll respond with their treatments and ideas and their past work, so you’ll quickly understand whether they’re the right person for the brief.

And that’s how we really vet them. We vet them through the creative and production process.

Darren:

So, it sounds like the process is traditional, but the starting point is certainly more of the modern era.

Harry:

Yeah, the process definitely adheres to the traditional way of working i.e. post a brief, get a response to the brief, the director’s treatment, you can work with a filmmaker to make sure it’s at a point where you’re comfortable to commission. So, it’s very true to that sort of process.

The tools on the platform enable efficiencies and the community we have enables choice.

Darren:

But this is not like Fiverr is it? Genero is not going to be able to get you a film made for $5?

Harry:

No. We work to any budget within reason.

Darren:

But you know what I mean; this is not about trying to squeeze the creative people?

Harry:

It’s not exploiting. It’s not meant to be exploitative. It’s not about off-shore production. It’s not about how quickly and cheaply can I get content? For everyone who uses it they can attest to this; it’s about access to really quality filmmakers—the right person for your job.

So, people who will respond. They’re passionate about your brand and the brief, they really want to work on it so it’s access to fresh creative thinking and high-quality production. It happens to be faster and more affordable than the traditional method. Continue reading “Managing Marketing: Innovation in the video and film production industry”

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Confused About the Advertising Industry? Who Isn’t? Read On!

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.

Advertising Industry

Holding company shares are falling. Their ad agencies are shrinking, with low morale, low salaries and hiring freezes. Accenture and Deloitte are the new, growing competitors. Advertisers are cutting spend but investing in-house. Chief Creative Officers are disappearing, not entirely due to sexual harassment charges.

Confused by some or all of this? Read on!

1)  What’s going on with the holding companies?

Holding companies are entering the third phase of their strategic development.

Phase One (“squeeze the fat”) lasted from 1980 to 2005. Overstaffed agencies — holdovers from the commission era — were bought and then encouraged to raise their profit margins, from 5% to 10% to 15%, through tough annual budgets. The agencies downsized, and they could certainly afford to do so. Downsizings were appropriate.

Phase Two (“maintain/grow under fee pressures”). This phase began after 2005. Holding companies continued to set ambitious targets, but their agencies downsized instead of managing price and fees upwards in line with growing workloads.

Agencies cut staff and juniorised, eliminating much of their senior talent and leaving too few people to handle growing (and undocumented) Scopes of Work. Quality suffered, along with relationships and fees. The focus on downsizing rather than on price management turned out to be a major strategic blunder.

Phase Three (“centralise and downgrade the silos”) is the recent holding company development. Agencies are short of talent and insufficiently integrated or creative, so holding companies are taking over as super-agencies.

Publicis Groupe calls this “The Power of One.”  WPP’s concept is “horizontality.”  IPG and Omnicom have yet to brand their approach, but they’re out selling it, anyway.  The super-agency organisation faces a dilemma: It is staffed by the very agency people whose poor managerial practices created capability problems in the first case.
Continue reading “Confused About the Advertising Industry? Who Isn’t? Read On!”

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The best advice I was ever given was….(From the TrinityP3 Consultants)

With social media there are now more opportunities than ever to read or heed career or business advice for free. Log in to LinkedIn, browse business groups, subscribe to newsletters and there it will be, business and career advice from someone you may know, may know of by reputation or not know at all.

And the advice?

best business advice

Well it could be life changing, inspiring and inspirational. Some have gone on to become internet memes that are shared and liked and fill up your newsfeed as they are shared over and over again. Some advice is simply regurgitated common sense. The rest is wallpaper that becomes part of the social media clutter.

So at the risk of either adding to the clutter or being more regurgitated dross, we present the best advice I was ever given as told by the TrinityP3 Consultants. Who knows, there could be something here that does inspire you or even change your life. If so, please let us know on social media as we would really love to know this made a difference, no matter how big or small.

Be the most enjoyable part of a client’s day

The best piece of advice I was given in my time in advertising was that our job, as the Creative Agency, was to be the most enjoyable part of a client’s day. We had the opportunity to surprise, entertain, delight and remove them from the other, less creative sides of marketing that took up most of their day.

I made it a rule to try and deliver this to all my clients and in order to do so, I often had to buy a bit more time or negotiate a bit more money. And 9 times out of 10 it worked and we got to deliver the fun stuff and the client got to enjoy it.

So in order to deliver this wonderful piece of advice, to truly make meetings with a creative, media or other communications agency the most enjoyable and memorable part of a client’s day, agency folk need to step up, often push back a little and give the agency the time it needs to deliver inspiring creative that clients will truly appreciate and applaud.

Anita Zanesco, Senior Relationship Consultant

Never come to me with a problem, always a solution

The one thing that stands out was being told ‘Never come to me with a problem, always a solution’. This has really formed the way I think and how I tackle life in every aspect. It changed the way I worked and also made me think twice when issues arouse to become a more valuable member of the Team. And less a pain in the butt! It’s something I always passed on to my own Teams.

Kylie Ridler-Dutton, Senior Consultant

A job title comes cheap

Here’s three quotes from senior executives I remember while I was growing up!

Regarding job promotion and remuneration:

‘Beware… a job title comes cheap… always go for real tangible benefits’

And

‘Don’t chase higher salary as the more you earn the more ways you find to spend it in an ever increasing level of commitment that’s hard to reverse’

On Market and Category domination:

‘Keep your competitors poor and ‘on the back foot’ as once you lose your market domination you lose it forever, given the increasing strength of retailers.’

Julian Barrans, Business Director, APAC

The most important thing remains the most important thing

My uncle gave me a terrific piece of advice ten years ago, which has helped me enormously, especially when the chips are down. He said that ‘in business, the most important thing is to make sure the most important thing remains the most important thing’. During really tricky periods, that’s the kind of advice that gets you through intact.

Nathan Hodges, Managing Director

Luck Is What Happens

When I was studying at University, a good mate of mine introduced me to the famous quote by the Roman philosopher Seneca, who famously stated “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity”. It resonated with me, and always has throughout my career, never more so than in the accounting space working within the creative industry.

As we all know, working for the big Multi-National Agency Networks is extremely complex, highly scrutinised by corporate governance, and regulated by strict policy controls and procedures. A large part of my success in this industry has been driven by following the guidelines in the advice of Seneca.

You certainly make your own luck, and career progression in accounting, is about being hard working, passionate and well prepared. For me, being well researched, highly organised and diligent in preparation has allowed me to thrive in the high-pressure environment that is advertising finance.

The ability to meet tight reporting deadlines, drive delivery of key objectives, and be commercially successful, is the result of being on the front foot due to always being highly prepared for what lies ahead….

Lyndon Brill, Lead Global Financial Consultant

You’re not saving the world Continue reading “The best advice I was ever given was….(From the TrinityP3 Consultants)”

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Why B2B companies should focus on marketing and sales, not sales and marketing

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.

Do you ever wonder why most people say “sales and marketing” in that order? When referring to the growth centre of their business it is typically sales first and then marketing, rather than marketing and then sales.

Yet the logical chronological order for these two disciplines is for marketing to create awareness and consideration and then sales to develop the relationship and convert the sale. As a business owner and a marketer I am acutely aware of this distinction as my colleagues and peers who refer to sales first invariably place sales at the forefront of their business growth strategy.

This is not unusual as in many business-to-business (B2B) companies sales actually leads marketing. In these companies sales generates leads, qualifies them, gets the sales and develops the relationship to deliver more sales.

marketing and sales

Meanwhile marketing is largely there to support sales, creating sales kits, organising trade presenters, organising events and developing the advertising that supports the sponsorship deals negotiated by sales and management.

It is why in these organisations the marketing department is often referred to as the colouring in department because largely they play no strategic or performance role beyond organising the production of the sales support materials and advertising.

This is particularly evident in professional services companies such as law firms and accounting firms, where the partners drive sales through their ‘sales’ roles of business building through their personal and professional relationships.

In this case when the firm gets to a size that justifies a marketing function then the role of marketing is simply to support the partners’ relationship building and perhaps create a consistent professional presentation framework that passes as ‘branding’.

But why are B2B companies so often sales led?

To understand this phenomenon, you simply need to observe how B2B companies grow. Companies that sell products and services to other companies will start out naturally focusing on sales. Sales provide a direct relationship between the company and the business customers.

Continue reading “Why B2B companies should focus on marketing and sales, not sales and marketing”

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Leadership Trials of the Agency CEO

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.

Agency-CEO

We don’t get to pick the era we live in.  We’re human, though, and we dream about other times and other places.  Given a choice, today’s agency CEOs might dream about turning back the clock sixty years or so, when the world — and the ad agency within it — was much simpler and a lot more fun.

Television was new and growing in 1958.  There were only 40 million TV households (today’s number is 120 million) and the agency’s creative challenge was how to get better at TV and print — and grow even faster than the post-war economy.

Remuneration was a fixed percentage of media, and on a normalized ad-for-ad basis, it was at least five times as high as today.  Agencies were privately owned and based in New York City.  Ogilvy & Mather was only 10 years old, with only 200 employees.  If an agency won a client, it could expect to keep it for decades, if not forever, and agencies would be in the driver’s seat about media plans and Scopes of Work.

Small wonder, then, that the CEOs of this past era wrote books, drafted inspirational memos and promoted creativity to the highest standard. Compared to today’s CEOs, Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett had easy lives. Advertising was a red carpet ride to fame and fortune. Mediocrity was the enemy; inspired creativity was the god. Economic growth was strong.  The rest took care of itself.

Kevin Roberts, the former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, identified with this past, and he chided me in 2014 for my “modern” concern that industry changes were getting the better of agency executives. Continue reading “Leadership Trials of the Agency CEO”

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The cost of moral injury due to unethical behavior in modern business

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.

Moral Injury

I recently attended The Ethics Alliance Sydney Event on Moral Injury in the Workplace.

It was an in-depth look at how high stress culture in modern business is giving way to the risk of greater unethical behaviour and causing higher levels of moral injury. It explored these key questions:

  • How do we communicate with someone in the workplace who is suffering from mental health issues?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of those employees and what are the ethical approaches needed?
  • High stress cultures are a part of modern business, so how do we ensure we are promoting a culture that protects people from being pushed too far?

Firstly, to get us all on the same page, what is moral injury?

The Ethics Alliance described it like this:

‘Moral injury’ is a term used to describe the way in which ethical beliefs and unethical actions can have severe consequences for someone’s psychological wellbeing. If someone is required to perform a task that conflicts with their own values and feels wrong, they are susceptible to suffering a moral injury.

It’s a concept, which has traditionally been most heavily discussed in high-stakes, trauma-heavy environments like the military, emergency first responders and among survivors of abuse. However, it’s not particularly well understood, especially outside of these specific fields, despite becoming a growing issue in other industries and workplaces too.

Moral injury can present differently for everyone, and the duty of care employers have to their employees may be easily breached. Often the injury can’t be seen, so how can we identify it?

It was a very timely event, especially given the recent admission by Australian cricketers (including the Captain Steve Smith), of cheating by tampering with the ball against South Africa.

For those non-cricketers, there is a set of laws that govern the game of cricket. Law 41.3 identifies changing the condition of the match ball as an offence and “unfair play”. Specifically, law 41.3.2 states:

“It is an offence for any player to take any action which changes the condition of the ball.”

It is also against the ‘Spirit of the Game’, which is also outlined in the Laws Of Cricket Preamble. Centred around playing hard but fair, respecting opponents and umpires, and showing self-discipline in difficult situations.

Now I don’t want to blow it all out of proportion, as I’m sure you’d agree that sport has been rife with cheating. And ball tampering in cricket isn’t new. People have been trying to get an unfair advantage for decades.

Sport is high stakes. With huge commercial gain and glory to be had by winning – whether it be a gold medal in the Olympics, taking the Tour De France, or almost any other personal or team sport where financial investment, endorsements and sponsorship opportunities are aligned.

Business is no different. Continue reading “The cost of moral injury due to unethical behavior in modern business”

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Managing Marketing: The challenges facing CMOs today

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.

Andy Lark is the Chief Marketer and Chair of Group Lark. He is also been a CMO, a board adviser, a Non-Executive Director and industry commentator and here he discusses with Darren the challenges and issues facing CMOs and Marketing Leaders today. Exploring everything from lack of alignment in objectives to increasing market diversity and complexity to issues with recognition and support.

Andy-Lark on challenges facing CMOs

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 down and having a chat with quite a high-profile person around the marketing industry but also in business and technology and that’s Andy Lark, Chief Marketer and Chair at Group Lark but also a high profile CMO and commentator for the industry.

Welcome, Andy.

Andy:

Hi, how are ya doing?

Darren:

Good. Your experience and certainly your profile with the pieces of business that you’ve worked on makes you the ideal person to have a chat about the role of the CMO today and really what’s going right and what’s going wrong?

Andy:

You look at the surveys, whether it’s the Spencer-Stuart survey, the Heidrick and Struggles survey (everyone’s got a survey) they paint a dire picture. And there’s no question CMO tenure is shortening, particularly in the mid-market it is under real threat.

There are not many CMOs (and I talk to a lot of CMOs) who are genuinely happy in their role and feel safe and secure and feel like they’ve got a great future ahead of them in the business they’re in. Most of them feel under threat, challenged, excluded, so it’s a tough thing being a CMO. I’m not sure there are that many people who want that job anymore.

On top of that you’ve got this layering of new roles. And wherever you have layering of new roles it’s quickly followed by rationalisation. So, the CEO ends up with too many reports. They’re quick to go, ‘oh my gosh, I was talking with our advisors at Deloitte; we’re going to create a Chief Customer Officer role’ and then three months later ‘oh, we need a Digital Officer’ and then ‘shit, I’ve got too many direct reports—we should consolidate all of these’.

The CMO being the first in is the first out. Suddenly you see more Chief Customer Officers running marketing.

Darren:

Or, in the case of Pepsi, I think they introduced the Chief Growth Officer.

Andy:

The larger the company the more ridiculous they are about what they do with marketing. Normally they’re more inept because most of these particularly large brands that are wedded to very old-world media models, they’re the ones losing the most market share and under the most margin.

If you look at the top CPG brands in the world, the majority lost share, lost profit, and saw declines in their distribution footprints, which are their most precious assets I would argue, other than the brand. So, they’re not doing very well.

The industry’s quite strange in that we listen to a lot of CMOs who are managing ever shrinking product and revenue portfolios and we celebrate the opinions of these people, like the job they’re doing is not particularly awesome.

Darren:

People talk about social media creating echo chambers. I think the industry has fallen into its own echo chamber.

Andy:

Absolutely.

Darren:

We’ve got trade media organising events every other day where they just wheel out a whole lot of people.

Andy:

And it’s largely ‘pay to play’.

When I got to Australia I never said I’m going to build my brand as a CMO. I never did one of these pokey should you become a thought leader? That never occurred to me but what I was intent on doing was I found the conversation around marketing in Australia to be really dull and boring.

And whether I agree with them or not, Byron Sharp and the like, I’m grateful that they are at least lighting up the conversation. Because if I have to suffer through another episode of the Gruen Transfer I’m going to kill myself. It’s just stupid. It has nothing to do with marketing.

Darren:

I think it’s a diluted, populist view of advertising, which they then lay the term marketing across.

Andy:

Precisely.

Darren:

But one of the things is that the industry doesn’t seem to be particularly good at having conflicting or opposing points of view. They can’t embrace complexity. Advertising is dead. Digital, T.V. is dead. It’s these extremes but not actually an intelligent informed conversation.

Marketing as a recognised profession

Continue reading “Managing Marketing: The challenges facing CMOs today”

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Technology, Business and Society make a trinity. Will marketers respond with maturity?

This post is by Mahesh Enjeti, Managing Director, SAI Marketing Counsel and Advisor, Bubblefish. Mahesh has an Honours in Physics and an MBA (with Marketing and Finance as majors) and has spent over three decades in advertising, sales and marketing across services, industrial products, consumer durables and technology sectors.

A lot has been written about how technology will transform businesses in coming years (scratch that, I mean coming quarters) and how consumers will benefit from greater convenience, comfort, customisation and cost benefits. Not a day goes by without a blog, an article, a podcast or a video about AI and how it is going to fundamentally change our lives.

business and society

Much of what is being foreseen seems plausible, while there are other things that appear somewhat far-fetched.

Call it synchronicity or mere coincidence, but the week before Easter witnessed a collision of multiple events (read forces) all at once. First, it was this Article in Singularity Hub, about how AI may mean different things to different people. The author, David Pring-Mill attempts to separate the hype from reality. It prompted my piece on LinkedIn titled why I like Natural Intelligence, an impassioned plea not to ignore our innate brain power.

Darren Woolley who read my blog straightaway pointed me to a recent TrinityP3 online survey on how marketers perceived the growing influence of AI. His dip stick research revealed a great divide among us, some welcoming AI with unreserved relish while others sceptical about its long-term usefulness.

Is Artificial Intelligence having a huge impact on the way we do marketing and business?

A day before that happened, both Darren and I, unbeknownst to each other had attended an Ethics Centre debate titled “Tear down the Tech Giants” at Sydney’s Town Hall. A poll taken at the end of the debate also revealed anxieties about these Titans’ (Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook) relentless power mongering and growing influence if unchecked by regulation. Continue reading “Technology, Business and Society make a trinity. Will marketers respond with maturity?”

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Pitfalls to avoid when losing a pitch.

This post is by David Angell, TrinityP3 General Manager and Head of Media. David has extensive commercial and media experience gained through a fifteen year career in media agencies, which he uses to help drive optimal results for TrinityP3 clients.

God knows, pitching is hard on agencies. To be honest, it’s hard on everyone, but the diligence required to make an informed and holistic decision about a commercial relationship of this nature naturally requires a lot of work.

The Joy of Victory

When agencies win pitches, they are naturally ecstatic. And why not? It’s payback for the sheer hard work that’s gone in.

As I’m sure you’re aware, there are many articles, my own included, that provide advice on how to win a pitch.

The Agony of Defeat (and how not to deal with it).

An area of interest to me lately, and which I don’t think is as often covered, is how, if you’re an agency, to lose a pitch – that is, when the decision goes against you, how best to react.

I’d never thought that this kind of advice would be required – I mean, we’re all grown-ups, right? But over the years I’ve spent running pitches, whilst the majority of agencies are gracious in defeat, I’ve come across some truly remarkable ‘losing’ behaviour.

losing a pitch

As a result of this, something I often say to marketing and procurement teams is that, in pitches and in general day to day relationships, you can tell as much about an agency – its people, culture and general sense of balance – by how it loses, as by how it wins.

The best way to illustrate is by providing a list of examples of ‘bad’ reactions.

This may seem like the negative approach, but I think doing the opposite (advising on all the good things you can say as a losing agency) is going to sound like I’m teaching grandmother to suck eggs.

In fact approaching this topic either way feels a bit grand-mothery, but I justify it based on the fact that I’ve experienced all of the following examples.

These things do actually happen and I doubt the agencies involved start out with destructive intent.

Whilst hearing tough feedback is obviously challenging, the heat of the moment, it seems, can be very powerful.

So, here’s a list of behaviours to steer clear of when losing a pitch – all of which are real-life examples.

1. Don’t be myopic about the feedback you receive.

This is a really common error. So many agencies leap on the defensive when given feedback intended as constructive. What many people fail to remember is that in a competitive process, everything is relative to the competition.

No matter how many times I state it in feedback, there’s often an agency who’ll shout back – ‘how can you say we missed this, we spent ages on it in our deck!’ No-one’s saying it was missed – but relative to the competition, you were pipped in this area for XYZ reason.

2. Don’t say, in a stroppy tone, ‘that you already knew what the decision was’.

If that’s the case, why are you so surprised and disappointed on the call or in the meeting? This response just smacks of arrogance and a desire to denigrate the client and/or the process. Whether an agency ‘knew the decision’ or not is immaterial.

Or worse – that ‘I knew from day 1 it was a foregone conclusion – this pitch is just a set-up’. If that was your view all along, why agree to participate in the first place? Continue reading “Pitfalls to avoid when losing a pitch.”

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How To Manage The Politics of Agency Search

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

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:

Lengthy Long Lists

Long-lists that comprise more than ten agencies are either a sign of uncertainty around the kind of agency being searched for, or that the process is being pressured to include additional agencies beyond those recommended.

Last Minute Inclusion

Agencies that are suddenly added at the eleventh hour at the request of others that weren’t part of your recommended list, potentially open the doors for further last-minute inclusions, diminishing morale on your team and creating uncertainty among participating agencies.
Continue reading “How To Manage The Politics of Agency Search”

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When is agile marketing not Agile Marketing?

This post is by Zena Churchill, a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. Over the past 20 years, Zena has worked for some of the biggest international and national brands. Having worked both agency and client side, Zena has strong insight and experience across most facets of marketing, specialising in media, strategy and BTL.

Agile Marketing

I love a buzzword as much as the next person, which is why I love working in marketing. Some of my favourites include, gamification, amplification, customer-centricity, authenticity, influencer and agile marketing.

Wait, what? Agile marketing isn’t a buzzword, it’s a genuine go to market strategy that has been transported across from the world of software development and is now being successfully utilised across marketing teams from education to garden centres. Isn’t it?

Well, no. It isn’t. Agile marketing is a term that has taken on a life of its own within the marketing industry and, usually, not only is the term ‘agile marketing’ being misused, it is also being misunderstood.

There’s no denying there are many brands who have successfully implemented agility into their marketing teams. But I would hazard a guess there are three times as many brands calling their marketing agile, when all they are being is fast, or worse reactive (but really, really fast to react).

Let’s get this straight. Reactivity is not agility. Just because your marketing team are reacting quickly does not mean they are practicing agile marketing.

Over the past two years, I have spoken with or worked closely with brands who believe they are practicing agility in their marketing. And while they may be employing some elements of what you would find in an agile marketing function, such as social listening or campaign testing, they are not implementing the more critical elements of agility.

4 reasons you should stop calling your marketing agile:

1. It’s competitor led, not customer led

Like all good marketing should be, agile marketing is all about the customer and delivering the best possible customer outcome. Identifying the best customer outcome comes from implementing solid test and learn practices that will drive insights to improve the customer experience – across product, delivery, customer service etc.

These insights will instigate a change in tactics, while keeping the overarching strategy in focus. Agile marketing is not about watching what the competitors are doing and making changes to product or communications to one up them. This is what I call ‘blind marketing’ and trust me, this is still happening.
Continue reading “When is agile marketing not Agile Marketing?”

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Is ZBB (Zero-Based Budgeting) Mismanaged by 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.

zero-based-budgeting

WPP points the finger at ZBB as the most important factor driving cuts in WPP’s agency revenues — cuts that have taken 35% off WPP’s share price from its 2017 high.  Leading industry analyst Brian Wieser identifies ZBB as a major factor suppressing holding company organic growth, along with other factors like increased contract scrutiny.

ZBB is the flavour of the month.  Mention ZBB to an ad agency and watch the panic. “Here it comes!  Another excuse to cut fees!”.
Continue reading “Is ZBB (Zero-Based Budgeting) Mismanaged by Advertisers?”

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Managing Marketing: The impact of data and technology on customer retention and acquisition

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.

Steve Emanouel is the Managing Director of Spyglaz, a data platform that helps organisations identify customers most likely to churn. Here Steve talks with Darren on how his career has evolved since they worked together at JWT in the late 1990s and the role of direct marketing and digital technology in B2B businesses. They also discuss the strategic flaws in focusing on acquisition and the importance of customer retention for business success.

customer retention

 

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m in sunny Collingwood catching up with an old colleague of mine, Steve Emanouel who’s now managing director of a company, an exciting company called SpyGlaz. Welcome Steve.

Steve:

Thanks Darren, thanks for having me.

Darren:

It’s great to catch up. Until we saw each other the other day it’s been too long.

Steve:

Twenty odd years

Darren:

Let’s just say too long but that was back in JWT days.

Steve:

That’s right.

Darren:

It was early on in both our, well early on in your career probably not in mine.

Steve:

Sure. It was a long time ago and very much a fun time. It certainly helped me sharpen my focus for where I’m at now.

Darren:

From my perspective you’ve had a really interesting career in that JWT was an agency role, but you’ve spent as much time on the marketing side, haven’t you?

Steve:

Yeah, I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent time on both sides of the fence so to speak so I guess the first half of my career was predominantly agency side and, in that sense, I learnt a lot about the nuances of marketing and advertising and helping clients get the best out of their products and services.

And then being a client myself for the other half of my career has also sharpened my focus around understanding what help and support clients need in order to be better at what they do and sell more of what they are trying to sell. The balance of the two worlds has really helped me develop the skill set that’s led me to play my role at SpyGlaz.

The transformation of direct marketing

Darren:

So, when I met you, you were very much a direct marketer and I remember in those days direct marketing was like the poorer cousin to main stream agencies.

Steve:

It was, and I guess it probably wasn’t as sexy as the main stream side of things.

Darren:

You mean licking envelopes.

Steve:

Licking envelopes and measuring response rates, working with data bases and all those sorts of things. Yeah it wasn’t the sexy side of things; it wasn’t putting things on TV and those sorts of things predominantly.

Darren:

But that’s changed.

Steve:

It changed massively. I think the tide has turned. Continue reading “Managing Marketing: The impact of data and technology on customer retention and acquisition”

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