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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Book Review: Powerful. Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, by Patty McCord

Once, during a performance review I asked my boss, who happened to be the CEO, for negotiation training. He raised his eyebrow quizzically and asked, ‘which supplier do you need this for?’, my response was, ‘oh, I don’t need it for a supplier, I need it so I can better deal with a number of internal teams.’ Continue reading

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How to Avoid The Biggest Client / Agency Relationship Killers

Unless it’s a corporate governance requirement, global realignment or competitive conflict, calling an agency review isn’t something most clients undertake lightly. So what are the biggest client / agency relationship killers and why do marketers really call reviews? Continue reading

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We’re Like Collaborating, Right?

Marketers often tell us they’re a “collaborative” organisation or they’re a “collaborative” team. Agencies tell us they’re “collaborative” working with other agencies. But when it comes down to it, I’m not sure either marketers or agencies really understand what being “collaborative” really means or how to apply the term to their respective activities. Continue reading

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How To Transform Your Agency Relationships!

This week, we thought it would be worthwhile looking at some ideas to help transform your agency relationships. And we don’t mean just make them ‘bearable’ – we’re talking about making a transformative shift in the overall relationship and yes, better business results. As a general rule, the earlier we’re brought into to help identify and resolve client / agency issues, the more likelihood there is of being able to help clients avoid triggering a search, and instead getting their agency relationships not just back on the track – but transformed into positive, business building partnerships. Continue reading

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Take the Pledge! End Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter!

Madison Avenue’s self-destructive practices need to come to an end!  In the wake of a decade or more of marketing cost reductions, CMOs have lost credibility and power; procurement departments have confused benchmarking with marketing, and demoralised agencies have seen their capabilities severely compromised through downsizing, juniorising, and Scope of Work inflation. Cost reduction programs have run their course. They were never a credible substitute for brand growth as a way of delivering shareholder value. Continue reading

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The danger of confusing best practice with common practice

Many of the challenges marketers are facing are new. Digital technology has had major impact in disrupting all aspects of business and particularly marketing because it has disrupted consumer behaviour too. Therefore, while we agree that the foundations of marketing and marketing strategy are still essential, there are new challenges arising in the implementation because of the increased complexity and constant change. In the face of these new challenges and complexity, many of the old tried and true solutions no longer work. Yet it is human nature to stick with what you know or what has been tried and tested, rather than trying something new. Continue reading

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What are the biggest challenges facing marketing today?

Back in February this year we had our twice yearly get together in Sydney will all the TrinityP3 consultants from around the world, including Michael Farmer, our new Executive Chairman and the author of the best selling book “Madison Avenue Manslaughter”. Every six months we get the gang together to review and discuss the business and plan the future. Last February this conversation led to the changes you see on the TrinityP3.com site today. It was started with a conversation with Michael around the trends and challenges facing CMOs and their organisations, which could be summed up in one word – GROWTH – or more specifically the lack of it. Continue reading

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Tips for more successful agile marketing

Beware agile marketing, it’s time to transform the terminology. Are you an agile marketer? Or have you heard someone say that they are doing ‘agile marketing’ recently? We have heard the term being bandied about regularly in projects with local and global marketing teams for a few years now. So for this post, I’d like to firstly demystify what agile marketing actually means. It’s not all about speed by the way! As well as give some tips on how to make it work within your current organisational structure and roster of agencies. 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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Can Procurement Fix Madison Avenue’s Mess?

Could Madison Avenue’s mess be any worse? The unhappy picture can be reconstructed from articles in the trade press over the past two years. They say the following: Legacy brands are languishing in the marketplace. The consumer transition from Baby Boomers to Millennials has been rocky and unsuccessful for too many large marketers. CMOs are being held responsible for the lack of growth, and their tenure is only half as long as that of CEOs’. The average CEO will go through two CMOs and see a lot of marketing smoke and mirrors. In marketing, there’s uncertainty about what media mix to use, and there are major concerns about the effectiveness of digital and social media, even though the spend level in these areas is growing. 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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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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