8 ‘Less Obvious’ Reasons Why Agencies Lose Pitches

Pitches can be very capricious. The blend of human intuition, rhetoric, substance and circumstance can make even the best agency lose over the course of a pitch process. No one says that it’s perfect. But there’s a world of difference between a well-run pitch process and a bad one. Some mistakes are clichés…some are not. There are some pitch mistakes, made by agencies, which are obvious although often repeated (chest thumping attitude, not listening, not bringing the right people, banging on about oneself, profound gender skews in meeting rooms, etc). Continue reading

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Time to pitch your agency or not? And when it is the only answer

That indeed is the question many marketers ask themselves when agencies aren’t performing. Given one of our services at TrinityP3 is Pitch Consultancy, and I get paid to be a Pitch Consultant, one might think I would answer: “Pitch of course!” But alas, you would be mistaken to think I would say that without asking a few very pointed questions first. Continue reading

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Retuning the Marketing ‘Orchestra’

The marketing ‘orchestra’ needs to be reorganised and re-tuned. The orchestra players are highly skilled and totally dedicated. The problem is, they’re playing different scores, even if the music was written by the same composer. The first violins are playing a Bach fugue. The second violins are performing a Bach prelude. The cellos are holding their own with the Second Brandenburg concerto. The string bass players are improvising – Bach jazz-fusion. And the conductor? Frustrated, he / she stops the playing. “Again, the Bach! From the top!” Continue reading

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Am I allowed to audit my agency?

Having read “The 105th thing on your to do list” you will now know what kind of audit you’re looking to conduct. So what’s the next step? Before you go out looking for an auditor, you need to check that you are actually ‘allowed’ to audit your agency and, if you are, what can and can’t be audited. And so to find the contract. Your right to audit should be covered in the agency contract and should be fairly easy to find – look in your ‘Contracts’ folder and voilà, a beautifully filed copy of a fully signed contract between you and your agency will be sitting there waiting for you. Continue reading

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Clients: You Are What You Brief

Poor client briefings are a source of immense frustration to both agencies and the clients who issue them. Agencies that aren’t briefed properly spend a huge amount of time trying decipher or guess at what their clients really want, while clients end up disappointed, underwhelmed and frustrated by the agency’s seeming lack of insight and creativity. And I hate to break it to you, but from what we’re hearing, there’s something of an epidemic of dismal briefings darkening agency meeting rooms and inboxes. In short, agencies have a beef with their client’s briefs. Continue reading

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The 105th thing on your ‘to do’ list may be the most important…

So imagine the scenario: you’ve got a set marketing budget that seems to be squeezed year-on-year; new opportunities arise that need to be tested; old, well-trodden routes to market need to be sustained; constant evaluations need to be done to ensure you’re nimble and maximising the opportunities; and your parent company has just issued the (annual) email to say that it’s putting a stop on spending any uncommitted budget at the end of the month. Sound familiar? Continue reading

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Why cost benchmarking is the waterboarding of the advertising industry

Procurement and benchmarking rose to corporate prominence once “increased shareholder value” became the advertiser’s mantra. Marketing declined in importance, from an investment to achieve brand growth to a cost to be optimised. Benchmarking consultants jumped on the bandwagon. 4As shamefully accepted the ANA benchmarking trend with hardly a whimper, leaving its members to fend for themselves. Benchmarking is the waterboarding of the industry, enhanced interrogation that weakens its subjects but develops no useful information. Although benchmarking has become commonplace, it has had no positive long-term benefits. Indeed, the opposite is true — advertiser brands are still not growing, CMOs last in their jobs only half as long as CEOs and agencies have been compromised and weakened. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The challenges facing the advertising agency business model

Andrew Reeves is the Founder and CEO of ARC Limited with a lifetime of experience as an agency CFO. Here he chats with Darren on the current agency remuneration and business models and the challenges facing agencies in finding ways to make this work in rewarding agencies for the value they create. Continue reading

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Learn how CEOs & CMOs are restructuring their marketing teams for success – Infographic

Some of the more interesting work we have been undertaking at TrinityP3 in the past five years is designing new marketing structures for our clients. This work arose from the projects where we would restructure their external roster of agencies and suppliers to their strategy, only to have them ask if we could do the same with their internal structure, which they had realised through the process, was often aligned to the business silo structure and not the customer strategy.This work has been done for a wide range of companies and categories including Financial Services, Automotive, Higher Education, Property & Construction and more.Late last year I was interviewed by Lara Sinclair from Simple.HQ on the trends in marketing structures we had observed beyond the centralised and decentralised dichotomy typically seen in the past. Continue reading

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It’s more than the agency roster and the scope of work. It’s the relationship, stupid!

The disappearance of AOR relationships between advertisers and their creative agencies was not a good thing for either party. Both are at fault for letting this happen, and now both parties have suffered the consequences. Advertisers have to manage complex portfolios of specialised agencies who compete for a portion of the total fee. Advertisers have to take the responsibility for planning the detailed Scopes of Work and decide which agencies will be briefed for which deliverables. Continue reading

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