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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Organisational Mishmash: The Ad Agency’s Unaccountable Structure

The global ad agency has become a complex, unmanageable mishmash of organisational positions. Complexity reigns. Accountability is invisible if it exists at all. No wonder clients are able to take such advantage of their agencies, loading on unpaid out-of-scope work and cutting fees! Top agency executives, though aware of the problem, are unable to launch a management counter-offensive. No one has the responsibility for the problem or the authority to turn things around. Continue reading

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The impact of economies of scale on scope of work cost

This is the second in a series of articles on agency scope of work management. Managing the scope of work for your agency is possibly the easiest and fastest way to increase the buying power of your marketing budget by removing the duplication and uncertainty as much as possible from the agency work. In this way you are able to get more for your agency budget without simply driving down the rates and prices. There has been a dramatic increase in the outputs agencies are producing for their clients these days, especially due to content marketing, social media and digital advertising. The multiplier effect on the scope of work can inflate the agency fee without the allowance for economies of scale. But economies of scale must be applied carefully to avoid undermining the process. Continue reading

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Discovering your strategy with a business strategy story

Companies often mistake planning for strategy. This seems to be particularly true of large organisations. A few years back, we got a call from a large company headquartered in the Netherlands. Their head of strategy felt that their people didn’t understand the company strategy – a common concern across most big businesses. The strategy group consisted of 20 people, which is a lot by any measure. When I asked them to describe their strategy, they could spell out initiatives but were unable to put their fingers on the strategic choices the business had made to win. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The business challenges facing marketers and their brands

Mahesh Enjeti, Managing Director of SIA Marketing Counsel discusses with Darren the issues facing marketers today and the important role of brand in not just providing a customer promise or proposition but to define the purpose of the business or organisation for all stakeholders and to support the value proposition of the business through tangible financial contributions to the business success. Continue reading

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How to define an agency scope of work to deliver increased value

This is the first in a series of articles on agency scope of work management. Managing the scope of work for your agency is possibly the easiest and fastest way to increase the buying power of your marketing budget by removing the duplication and uncertainty as much as possible from the agency work. In this way you are able to get more for your agency budget without simply driving down the rates and prices. But why is specificity so important? Anyone that is involved in manufacturing, construction or technology knows, by clearly defining and specifying the actual requirements upfront you are better able to plan and execute the construction/manufacturing process more efficiently and effectively. Continue reading

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The natural fear of driving blind with your advertising media budget

Since the release of the ANA K2 Report on Media Transparency and now with Marc Pritchard, CMO of Procter & Gamble and Chairman of the ANA calling on the digital media industry to sort out their industry, many advertisers are in the difficult situation of knowing the need to address this issue but equally confused as to what to do first. Part of this is due to the complex nature of the digital media buying value chain, but it is also a fear of any changes revealing where they were possibly getting it wrong. Just as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) will often drive marketers into action when it comes to embracing new technology like Virtual and Augmented Reality, FOBFO (Fear Of Being Found Out) is often paralysing some advertisers from making the changes they need to make in the context of the very public statements of where digital media is failing. Continue reading

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Cut through the clutter in your marketing technology stack

The technology transformation era has caused businesses to sit up and take note that in order to sustain your brand for future growth and profit you need to invest in the latest technology to keep up with….what exactly? This question, and often panic, has led to businesses investing in multiple technology solutions and internal marketing departments facing restructure to manage the investment, which ultimately leads to more (poor) investment. Sometimes businesses get it right investing in technology and sometimes it can lead to dormant software and marketing divisions not really achieving results. Which leads to the big question that often cannot be answered, or in most cases is not even being asked ‘What has the ROI been on that investment?’ 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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How to optimise your agency roster and increase your budget value

The industry is talking about agency rosters, with companies like McDonalds, consolidating their roster with one agency or holding company to create a single entity roster. Other advertisers are choosing to move away from the Agency of Record (AoR) to a more collective roster of agencies (or a Village). This trend was so prevalent in the past 2 years that some industry commentators were calling the death of the Agency or Record. But many advertisers are yet to significantly review their roster of agencies and marketing suppliers, even though for many their marketing strategy and plans and therefore their requirements have significantly changed in the past five to ten years. Continue reading

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