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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Which comes first, the media plan or the creative?

Sometimes, using a story can help put things into context; here’s one for this idea. A chicken and an egg meet in a dimly lit bar in New York. After a few drinks, it’s clear that they’re heading for romance. They get a room and feathers fly. Later, in the warm afterglow of the street lights and the hotel neon blinking gently into the room, the chicken lights two cigarettes, hands one to the egg and says, “Well, I guess that settles that.” My apologies, but the debate in the industry over which comes first, the media plan or the creative – is an almost certain way to fall fowl (pardon the pun) of good practice. But it does seem to me that more and more people are asking this (especially with all the new shiny toys and technology)– and it’s a great way of sorting the pros from the cons (The professionals or the people trying to con their way through). Continue reading

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How to optimise your agency roster and increase your budget value

The industry is talking about agency rosters, with companies like McDonalds, consolidating their roster with one agency or holding company to create a single entity roster. Other advertisers are choosing to move away from the Agency of Record (AoR) to a more collective roster of agencies (or a Village). This trend was so prevalent in the past 2 years that some industry commentators were calling the death of the Agency or Record. But many advertisers are yet to significantly review their roster of agencies and marketing suppliers, even though for many their marketing strategy and plans and therefore their requirements have significantly changed in the past five to ten years. 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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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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Marketing transformation: a cautionary tale of two marketers and two very different outcomes

No one can deny the innovations and changes that are driving transformation in marketing. Some call it a digital transformation, some a technology transformation, others a customer experience transformation or some simply a transforming of marketing strategy. These changes are leading to a rethink of marketing structure, process and implementation, including what the ideal roster of agencies and suppliers looks like. But that race to transform can be a challenge, with some taking a considered strategic approach while others rush around trying to find a quick fix. Continue reading

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Time for marketers to follow P&G’s lead and apply the Golden Rule

Congratulations to Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard on an excellent example of how marketers need to apply the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the Man with the Gold makes the rules. Or put another way, the market sets the price but the buyer sets the terms. But there is certainly an argument that for the past ten years marketing and procurement have been setting the price, using competitive tensions and tenders to drive down the agency fee but largely ignoring the importance of setting the terms. By terms I do not mean payment terms, but even the introduction of extended payment terms has been cost driven. Continue reading

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How to transform your agency relationships

As a general rule, nobody ever looks forward to the uncertainty and disruption of an agency search process. The earlier we’re brought into to help identify and resolve client – agency issues, the more likelihood there is of helping marketers avoid triggering a search and getting their agency relationships back on the proverbial rails.
So this week, I thought it would be worthwhile looking at some ideas to help transform your agency relationships. And I don’t mean just make them ‘bearable’ – I’m talking about making a transformative shift in the overall relationship and yes, better business results. Continue reading

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Agency search and selection for global health client – case study

A local marketing team, who had never engaged an agency before, were facing a major challenge. They not only required a local agency for their communications campaign locally, they also had an immediate need for campaigns to be developed across the various emerging markets, starting in Latin America and rolling out in the longer term to Asia. This posed a significant challenge for the marketing team to find and appoint and then work on a global communications campaign, but also a significant challenge for TrinityP3 to find the right solution to deliver the teams needs to the relatively limited marketing budget provided. Continue reading

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If marketing and their agencies were responding to a customer’s festive season brief

As we come to the end of another year I got thinking about what would happen if marketers and their agencies responded to a brief for the festive season, what would the outcome be? Imagine for instance if a letter to Santa Claus was delivered to the marketing department instead of going to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole? What would arrive on Christmas morning in response? Continue reading

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