Organisational Mishmash: The Ad Agency’s Unaccountable Structure

The global ad agency has become a complex, unmanageable mishmash of organisational positions. Complexity reigns. Accountability is invisible if it exists at all. No wonder clients are able to take such advantage of their agencies, loading on unpaid out-of-scope work and cutting fees! Top agency executives, though aware of the problem, are unable to launch a management counter-offensive. No one has the responsibility for the problem or the authority to turn things around. Continue reading

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The impact of economies of scale on scope of work cost

This is the second in a series of articles on agency scope of work management. Managing the scope of work for your agency is possibly the easiest and fastest way to increase the buying power of your marketing budget by removing the duplication and uncertainty as much as possible from the agency work. In this way you are able to get more for your agency budget without simply driving down the rates and prices. There has been a dramatic increase in the outputs agencies are producing for their clients these days, especially due to content marketing, social media and digital advertising. The multiplier effect on the scope of work can inflate the agency fee without the allowance for economies of scale. But economies of scale must be applied carefully to avoid undermining the process. Continue reading

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How to define an agency scope of work to deliver increased value

This is the first in a series of articles on agency scope of work management. Managing the scope of work for your agency is possibly the easiest and fastest way to increase the buying power of your marketing budget by removing the duplication and uncertainty as much as possible from the agency work. In this way you are able to get more for your agency budget without simply driving down the rates and prices. But why is specificity so important? Anyone that is involved in manufacturing, construction or technology knows, by clearly defining and specifying the actual requirements upfront you are better able to plan and execute the construction/manufacturing process more efficiently and effectively. Continue reading

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The natural fear of driving blind with your advertising media budget

Since the release of the ANA K2 Report on Media Transparency and now with Marc Pritchard, CMO of Procter & Gamble and Chairman of the ANA calling on the digital media industry to sort out their industry, many advertisers are in the difficult situation of knowing the need to address this issue but equally confused as to what to do first. Part of this is due to the complex nature of the digital media buying value chain, but it is also a fear of any changes revealing where they were possibly getting it wrong. Just as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) will often drive marketers into action when it comes to embracing new technology like Virtual and Augmented Reality, FOBFO (Fear Of Being Found Out) is often paralysing some advertisers from making the changes they need to make in the context of the very public statements of where digital media is failing. Continue reading

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What Kind of CMO Leadership Do Advertisers Need Today?

CMOs are getting a lot of attention from the trade press these days, where writers drag in the usual suspects — Big Data, analytical skills, experiential marketing, Instagram, programmatic buying, Facebook, mobile platforms, Millennials, AI, Virtual Reality, etc. All to demonstrate how CMOs need to become superhuman masters of everything new and challenging, pushing themselves and their marketing organisations to achieve higher levels of marketing and technological sophistication. Continue reading

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Marketing Technology and its impact on Media Ethics and Transparency

There is much discussion on Marketing Technology and the impact it has on Media Transparency. In this post, myself and David Angell from TrinityP3 deliberately take differing points of view to explore the issues and encourage industry discussion on this important topic. Continue reading

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What are we to make of the holding companies in 2017?

The marketing communications holding companies, like the industrial conglomerates that preceded them, were created through M&A transactions and run as decentralized financial holdings. In this business model, acquired agencies and businesses are expected to improve their financial performance by growing revenues, profits and profit margins. The holding companies make additional acquisitions, using their ever-increasing stock market prices to buy more efficiently. Continue reading

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The negative impact of overworked agency staff on agency remuneration

Any work related death is a tragedy. But the death of a young woman at Dentsu Inc in Tokyo on Christmas Day, 2015 was shocking. Even more so because the official cause of death was overwork. Her sad demise has resulted in a major rethink of the culture at the agency and contributed to the CEO announcing his resignation early this year. But this is not an isolated incident with a young copywriter dying from heart failure due to overwork and an overdose of energy drinks in Indonesia at the end of 2013. This culture of working often ridiculously long hours is not new to the advertising industry. I remember as a copywriter and especially as a creative director often working 12 hour days and longer, including weekends if we were working on new business pitches. Continue reading

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The importance of financial analysis in determining marketing priorities

In dealing with the management of marketing, a significant component of the work we do is assessing and benchmarking the value of the marketing investment of our clients. This budget is spent with a range of external suppliers. These external suppliers include advertising, digital and media agencies, but also the thousands of other suppliers who are competing for the share of the marketing budget. These suppliers can include everything from printers and merchandising providers to market researchers and software providers. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: Media value, transparency and relationships today

Steve Allen, Chief Executive of Fusion Media has seen significant changes in the media landscape in his career and here shares with Darren his views on media value, the problem with lack of media transparency today and the continued importance of having trusted and respected relationships with media owners, media and agencies and the advertisers. Continue reading

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