Ad Agencies are Just Like Cruise Ships

We don’t see many Big Ideas any more. Content may be king, but content is forgettable, millions of tiny ideas in a million different places. Can anything new be said about a product? Or an industry, like the advertising industry? Well, I’m not a creative — more like a dreaded management consultant. Nevertheless, here’s a cross-industry Big Idea, free for the asking: Ad agencies are just like cruise ships! Don’t dismiss this out of hand. Read on! Continue reading

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When is the right time to apply the Golden Rule in marketing?

This is the first in a series of one minute videos that address one of the many complex challenges facing marketing, media and advertising today. The Golden Minute series is an attempt to prove Albert Einstein right when he said “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple”. But he also said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. So we will leave it for you to judge. Please let us know here if there is a topic you would like us to cover in a Golden Minute. 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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Managing Marketing: The importance of measuring performance in digital marketing

Luke Brown is CEO and co-founder of Affinity and here he discusses with Darren their approach to digital advertising and the importance in clearly defining business and marketing success upfront and developing a strategy and optimising the execution against that objective. Continue reading

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Where can Global Advertisers find the best Creative Value?

The global marketplace is increasingly becoming a global village thanks to the pervasiveness of the internet and growing mobility. The days of ‘centres of excellence’ are passing, as talent now has the ability to collect into cohorts anywhere in the world. For a global marketer looking to tap into the sources of world-class creativity, the issue is one of not only identifying the location of this creative talent but also the relative cost of assessing their value. Continue reading

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Ignorance of Pricing is Ruining Ad Agencies

All companies sell products or services at a price, and managing price is a major responsibility of top management. Car companies sell cars, and sticker prices are marked on side windows. Coca-Cola sells concentrate to its bottlers, setting price per gallon to match market circumstances. Pizza-Hut sells pizzas in restaurants, and pizza prices are marked on the menus. Bain sells consulting studies to corporations and prices them by study length and complexity. Agencies, though, are confused about what they sell and how to price it. Their ignorance of pricing is ruining agency operations and destroying agency value for clients, employees and holding company owners. The advertising industry is the only industry in the world without a concept of pricing. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The increasing role of science in marketing and advertising

Adam Ferrier is a Consumer Psychologist and the co-founder of MSIX the Marketing Science Ideas Exchange and best selling co-author of The Advertising Effect. Here he talks with Darren about the role of science in marketing and the importance of the symbiotic relationship between the Mad Men and the Math Men in driving innovation, creativity and most importantly performance. Continue reading

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Heaven and Hell in Advertising

Share175 Tweet76 +18 Share10Shares 269This post is by Michael Farmer, Chairman of TrinityP3 USA and author of Madison Avenue Manslaughter: an inside view of fee-cutting clients, profit-hungry owners and declining ad agencies, which won the Axiom Gold Business Book Award for … Continue reading

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Cannes. And Agency Crocodile Tears Over Remuneration

Yes, it’s almost that time of year again when the advertising community celebrates the best of the best at Cannes. Until 2012 it was known as the ‘International Advertising Festival’ then renamed the ‘Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity‘ as it’s known today. And it’s that ‘creativity’ piece that’s got me (and not in a good way). Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrating, sharing and focusing on creativity on a global scale and recognising the very best creative talent on the planet. But to me, this not-so little ‘festival of creativity’ has somehow lost its way and taken a nosedive into commercialism and excess that’s worthy of having a flashy ‘Trump’ logo emblazoned upon it. Continue reading

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How many brief types does an advertiser need to brief their agency?

I have noticed recently there have been a number of consultants and industry commentators again talking about the perennial problem of briefing. Quite rightly too, because in the endless search for advertising effectiveness, the process starts with the brief. Joe Talcott, ex-McDonald’s Marketing Chief and Creative Evangelist highlights nine big mistakes he notices marketers make when briefing. Meanwhile Casey Jones, CEO at BriefLogic shared advice on why marketing briefs should not be brief and the important difference between the marketing brief and the agency brief. Continue reading

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The Low Road or the High Road for Ad Agencies compensation?

The industry road that ad agencies are wandering down is about to narrow. Sooner or later, agencies will find themselves at a fork that is less like a choice and more like an inevitably. The fork will not involve a 50-50 choice. Heads to the left; tails to the right? No; it’s not that kind of fork. The choice will be between the High Road, to the left, and the Low Road to the right. The choice is not about political choice during this Trumpian age. It’s not about Blue States to the left or Red States to the right. It’s not about brands-as-causes versus brands-as-brands. 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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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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Why providing consultancy with integrity is more important than ever

Consultants. They often get a bad rap, particularly in the marketing industry. I work with many clients in a consultative capacity, across anything from bespoke vision or structural alignment projects, through contractual and remuneration assessment, to market pitches or agency selection work. I’ve also worked with many consultants in my agency days. The majority of the clients we work with are pretty happy. I would like to say that the majority of agencies we’ve worked with are – well, at least not unhappy – with the way in which we handle them. 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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