Managing Marketing: The changing role and challenges facing media agencies

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

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The mismanaged creative agency pitch

There was a creative pitch many years ago for Stanley Cook, manufacturer of Titan Nails at the time, later sold to BHP and then Otter Group. Anyway they briefed six creative agencies, about three too many, to come up with an ad campaign over the weekend to encourage builders and tradesmen to choose the Titan brand over the cheaper Asian nail imports. On the Monday morning the agencies filed in one after the other to present to the Managing Director, the Marketing Director and the Head of Sales at the time. Each agency had had basically three days to put a campaign together and 45 mins to present it to the senior management of Stanley Cook Limited. Continue reading

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Who’s In Charge? Marketing or Procurement?

Whether you’re a client looking for marketing services, or an agency pitching your wares, the question of who’s really calling the shots can be a pivotal one. On the one hand, the organisational perspective might be that marketing teams are evaluated on and are seeking things like improved performance, chemistry harmony between teams and agencies, creative brilliance and / or strategic smarts. Continue reading

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Yes, advertising agencies exaggerate their award entries – Poll result

Recent reports in the trade media have raised questions over the accuracy of the award entries of a particular multi-award winning agency. In fact it appears that this agency has continued to win awards overseas with questionable and inaccurate claims. Now the agency CEO has stepped aside it is time to discuss the implications this has for agencies, the industry and their clients. Accusations of behaviour like this undermines trust, not only in the agency involved, but the award process and the industry at large.Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. Continue reading

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Is it time marketers rethink agency competitive conflicts of interest?

A major and complex issue for marketers when looking for new agencies, or going to market with a tender, is concerns over conflict of interest. That is, not wanting to select an agency that already has a client that is a competitor. But what constitutes a competitive conflict will vary from advertisers to advertiser and category to category. It will also increasingly vary as the relationships between advertisers and their agencies evolve. Some categories are incredibly broad in what constitutes a conflict, such as financial services or alcoholic beverages, and therefore can quickly limit the choice of agencies without conflicts. Continue reading

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7 ways you might be demotivating your existing agencies

All marketing teams – naturally – want enthusiastic, committed and motivated agencies working alongside them to improve their business performance. In attempting to get to that ideal end-state, however, marketing teams can underestimate – or miss completely – the effects their actions often have on the motivation of their existing agencies. Here are seven of the easiest ways to demotivate an agency team. Have you ever been guilty of any of them? Continue reading

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When is the right time to set an Engagement Agreement? – Three case studies

Engagement Agreements are an effective way of defining the ways of working between advertisers and their agencies. One of the best times to undertake the process of defining the relationship and the expectations of both parties is at the beginning of the relationship, rather than waiting for things to either go wrong or for poor practices and misalignments to become major issues. Continue reading

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The ethics of Client / Agency behaviour: What is acceptable and what is not?

At the inaugural Mumbrella Asia 360 earlier this month Julian Barrans, Asia Business director and I curated a session on client / agency behaviour based around real life examples of dubious incidents we had either witnessed or had heard about from reliable sources. We put these to the audience to gauge what is acceptable today and what is not. The world of marketing, media and advertising is changing rapidly, especially driven by technology innovation, which is multiplying opportunities and options and magnifying pressure and demands. But has this impacted the way we work together? And if so how? Continue reading

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How to know if you need to pitch your agency

I often get asked by our clients to see them ‘about running an agency pitch’. The decision to pitch, for whatever reason, is generally already taken by the time they speak to me. Yet sometimes, based on what I hear, my advice is ‘actually, don’t pitch’, for a number of reasons. Reviewing an agency can often be an intuitive reaction to a given situation, change or perception. But, of course, this doesn’t always make ‘pitching’ the best option. Loss of IP, disruption to your BAU communications, internal stress and diversion of resource, and the risk of ‘new relationships with the same problems’ are all challenges associated with making the decision to go to market for something shiny and new. Continue reading

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What happens when the best agencies are no longer interested in pitching for your business?

Recently we have read reports from the CEO of WPP, Sir Martin Sorell and even our own Executive Chairman, Michael Farmer, talking about the almost irrational motivation of agencies to pitch for and win business at any cost. Certainly, with so many agencies in the market, you would think there is no shortage of candidates to pitch for an advertisers business. But the fact is that not all agencies are equal, yes, some are more equal, or perhaps more desirable than others. In any market there are a handful of agencies that are considered outstanding and then there are the others and behind them the ‘also-rans’. Continue reading

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Let’s Hear It for Madison Avenue’s Makeover!

Social media has turned us, I regret to say, into relentless, dour critics. In the advertising industry, every misstep is pounced on and amplified. Dove, Pepsi, McDonald’s and their agencies are pilloried for trying and failing. Misjudgments, mistakes and tone-deaf efforts are treated as capital crimes.  I’m as guilty as anyone, having written a long critique of ad agency management in my recent book, Madison Avenue Manslaughter, and in writing these weekly pieces. Whatever my (and our) good intentions might be, non-stop criticism is soul-destroying. It makes us tiresome and grumpy.  At a certain point in time, we need a shift of focus, from the negative to the positive — from Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter to Madison Avenue’s Makeover. Continue reading

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The dangers of pitching your agency on a regular basis

Do you work for a company that routinely has you take your contracted agencies to pitch every three years? Is this mandated by finance or procurement? Or is this something that the marketing team believe is the best option? We know that many organisations have a habit of going to pitch every three years, just as we know that in every switched on agency there is a new business person who marks down the date of your last pitch with a note to call you in two years and six months hoping to get on your next pitch.

But here is the thing you are missing. It is highly likely that while you have justified this practice as being good governance and due diligence, it is possible that you are wasting significant amounts of money and possibly doing damage to your corporate reputation, along with the performance of your brand and business. Now you may think this is counterintuitive advice coming from a company that you may associate with pitching, but the fact is pitches are less than 10% of the strategic management consulting we do and secondly it is the other 90% of work on marketing and agency roster performance that has informed this opinion. But let me explain as to what we have observed. Continue reading

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The Other Opioid Epidemic: The (Brief) High from Chasing New Business

The agency CEO asked me not to use his name.  He wanted to talk privately over breakfast.  “You know, this new business thing is getting to be a problem, he said.  “We’re addicted to falling in love with our next new client, and the one after that and the one after that.  They will solve all our problems.  We’ll do great award-winning work, be well paid, and loved in return … and all the industry crap will disappear.  We’ll pour our heart and soul into winning them.  They’re coy; both flirtatious and distant, making us want them even more.  We’re no better than lovesick teenagers.  And when it goes our way, and we get together and have a wonderful first year, it’s true love … before it turns to crap.  We hate the crap.  We would rather be in love.  That’s why we love new clients and everything it takes to win them.”

Are agency-client relationships becoming loveless marriages that end up on the rocks?  Do the divorced partners, free of the ties that bind, become serial daters, falling in and out of love so often that “commitment” sounds boring and dated — something that was done by their parents in another creative era?  If brands are the children of agency-client relationships, what will happen to them as they’re shuttled from one relationship to another? Will they grow and make positive contributions?  Or, more likely, will they underperform (as they are today)? Continue reading

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How TrinityP3 is helping optimise marketing performance through technology – Three 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. Continue reading

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

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.
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. Continue reading

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