Why marketers focus more on creative rather than media challenges

Are there more brand challenges that need solving by finding that creative ‘big idea’ versus media planning/buying to target better with greater efficiency? There’s no doubt that ideally the brand needs creative and media working hand in hand so it should be both that are focused on to get the strongest result for the business. Continue reading

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Better collaboration does not mean collaboration meetings

In a complex world we all know it is important to collaborate. But why do so many people think that to collaborate means organising more meetings? There are already too many meetings. And there is more to collaboration than sitting in meetings. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: Public Relations and its role in marketing

Elizabeth Heusler is a media maverick, communications warrior and strategy zealot. Here she talks with Darren on the changing role and face of public relations and the opportunities marketers may overlook or misuse in the way they engage public relations into the communications mix. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The benefits and complications of production decoupling

Justin Ricketts is the CEO of Hogarth Australia and recently shared his thoughts on the media and creative agencies recombining, while still recommending that the resultant production should be decoupled. While decoupling production has been common in the UK for decades it is still a hot topic in many markets and he discusses the benefits and the challenges of getting it right. Continue reading

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Three amazingly true tales of where client agency communications have gone wrong

Marketing and advertising are in the communications business, right? Where we communicate with an audience to persuade them to do something like thinking positively about our brand, placing our brand on the consideration list or even buying the brand next time they are shopping. So you would think as professional communication people we would have this communicating thing down pat. Continue reading

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Viva Mexico! Where Ad Agency Innovations are Improving SOWs and Fees

Mexican ad agencies are calculating and negotiating fees based on the amount of content they produce for each client — with fees to be based on Scope of Work size rather than on arbitrary cost benchmarks dictated by clients. The effort is being led by the industry’s trade association, AMAP (they’re like the 4As, only more proactive) and Dentsu Mexican agency Flock, which was the first agency to embrace the concept. Since Scopes of Work are growing, AMAP and Flock reasoned, agency fees should grow as well. They’ve put the concept into action in Mexico. Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading

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Leadership Trials of the 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.   Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The challenges facing CMOs today

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. Continue reading

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Pitfalls to avoid when losing a pitch.

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

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Is ZBB (Zero-Based Budgeting) Mismanaged by Advertisers?

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 Continue reading

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Retained AOR or project fees? Which one is best?

While I have previously shared thoughts on comparing rate cards with retainers in 2008, ways to improve retainers in 2009 and most recently the considerations before moving from retainers to project fees in 2016 , I have not actually provided a comparison of pros and cons for advertisers and agencies.
Yet in the past five years we have had an avalanche of advertisers asking us for help moving their agency remuneration from retainers to project fees. Continue reading

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Who are the real victims in the lack of transparency in advertising production?

Last year the ANA responded to the investigation by the Department of Justice into Agency production practices and included this in their call for greater transparency in advertiser and agency relationships. The concern was that agencies and especially the Holding Companies that own the agency groups, were competitively tendering for advertiser commercial productions against the independent production companies in an unfair and biased manner. Continue reading

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What Happens When the Magic of Creativity No Longer Works?

In barbaric and prehistoric times, before primitive man invented religion and prayed to gods for intercessions, man was isolated and alone, facing an uncertain and terrifying world that worked by its own logic. Would the sun rise every day?  Would winter fade and spring follow in its stead? Would there be fish to catch, prey to hunt, rain for water and crops, bountiful harvests, cures for disease, pregnancy and babies, victory in war?  Would the tribe flourish?  Tribes were like advertisers today, looking for certainties and prosperity in a hostile world. Continue reading

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The Ad Industry in 2018 – The Year of Magical Thinking

Sir Martin Sorrell, the industry’s most prominent agency spokesman, now has the difficult job of explaining, on behalf of WPP and of the industry in general, why revenue growth has been so difficult to achieve and what can be done about it. Continue reading

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