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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Media transparency the biggest challenge last year and next

2016 was, generally speaking, a difficult year for the world. Brexit, the US election, and a number of iconic world figures dying, and various natural disasters, have not made for high levels of morale or happiness. So can we at least spread a bit of cheer in our tiny little corner of the world, that of the marketing industry? Unfortunately not; the past year has given us very little to cheer about. If advertisers are looking for some relief from the challenges and issues of the past year, I suggest they make sure they are well rested going into 2017 based on the biggest issues we have noted in 2016. Continue reading

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Relationships, remuneration and media transparency top trending marketing topics in 2016

Following a series of high profile international scandals, media transparency has, for the first time, made it into the top three most popular subjects in the Marketing Management Book of the Year 2016. While social media measurement and gender equality have also received considerable attention over the past 12 months, the relationship between client and agency once again tops the list, followed by posts on agency remuneration. Continue reading

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Don’t divorce your agency when you can simply change the place settings at the bridal table

Have you ever had to organise a wedding? Recently hearing about the challenges a couple were facing with the seating arrangements at the bridal table, not to mention the seating for the guests, it sounded like the proverbial Gordian Knot. Past relationships and current emotions meant that while the bride and groom wanted all of the extensive bridal party there, they had to carefully consider not only which bridesmaid was paired with which groomsman but also how and where they were seated at the bridal table to minimise the awkwardness and potential conflict that could arise when the champagne started flowing. Continue reading

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5 ways to optimise transparency in your marketing department

Transparency. Mention this word at the next industry function and most people will assume you are talking about the very hot topic of media transparency. Transparency in marketing and advertising has always been a bit of a topic and is primarily thought of as an output (an unnecessary one by some) that flows between the agency and client or brand and consumer. However, there is another movement around transparency that has been gaining momentum for the past number of years that positions it as an input, and that is transparency in the workplace. Continue reading

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If collaboration is causing you pain, here are 5 ways you are doing it wrong

Collaboration between partners requires mutual trust, aligned objectives and open communication. When executed well it leads to mutual benefit and rewards. So when Nick Cleaver, CEO of full service agency 303MullenLowe Australia, said he “hates” working with other agencies and argued it creates nothing but division and inefficiency, my first thought is that he is probably doing it the wrong way and doesn’t even know it. Back in 2010 we provided a Slideshare presentation on the range of various roster types from the highly diverse “Best of Breed” model to the Holding Company “full service” model. Continue reading

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5 myths about pitch management, agency remuneration and relationship management

When it comes to pitching there are lots of rumors, gossip and a huge amount of bull. So I thought it was time to myth bust a few untruths about a pitch and give my perspective, having worked over the last 2 years at TrinityP3 on numerous pitches and client projects. That is after quite a few years on the agency side. The fact is that while it has been really positive, there are many agencies (and even some advertisers) who really struggle with the pitch process. TrinityP3 has been running pitches for over 10 years without the “creative beauty parade” so one could say we are pretty tried and tested. Continue reading

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Do great client agency relationships deliver great performance?

“Great client / agency relationships deliver great performance”. You hear this said all the time by agencies, consultants and advertisers. It is like a mantra. But when there are millions and even billions of dollars at stake, is it a mantra that needs to be examined in more detail, rather than simply taking it at face value?Superficially it makes sense that in a business relationship that is influenced so heavily by the interaction between the stakeholders involved in developing strategies, concepts and executions, the better the relationship the better the performance and outcomes of those relationships. Continue reading

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Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client

The uneasy truth about being a client and what it means to build lasting partnerships in today’s cut-throat environment.

I’d like to confess. Actually, I have multiple confessions to make. Four to be precise. No worries. This is not a remake of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), so they won’t keep you up at night.

But if you’ve ever been a client, you too would have much to say. By now, we can all agree that the client/agency relationship is no longer what it used to be. Long gone are the days of long-lasting relationships where it took a major blowup for the partnership to be at risk. Continue reading

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