Managing Marketing: The essential role of business innovation beyond being a management fad

Dr Lee Styger, Director of the Executive MBA at Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong, discusses with Darren the importance of innovation in businesses, but innovation that is based on developing and delivering enhanced customer experiences, rather than being yet another management fad. Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing. Today I’m here with Lee Styger who is the Director of the Executive MBA at Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong and it’s a great opportunity because we’re going to be discussing a hot topic, which is innovation. Welcome, Lee.

Lee:

Thanks, Darren.

Darren:

Except that it’s not a hot topic, is it? Because everyone’s talking about it from the boardrooms down to the grassroots or the factory floor but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of innovation actually happening.

Lee:

What we discussed in the Green Room – we’re old enough to look at the history of management fads from business process re-engineering, total quality management, all of these things and about every 18 months a new one comes around and I think innovation is currently one of these perceived magic pills by leaders all around the place.

You say innovation; by what measure? How are you doing your innovation? What is innovation? What does it mean to you and your customer? What happens? You’ve got a department for it that ticks a box for it on the annual report.

Darren:

I think I measure fads by the number of consultants that are pushing the particular service because certainly my LinkedIn feed over the last three years has suddenly bloomed with people giving advice on how to become more innovative, which I think is an interesting promise because from my perspective innovation is at the very core of a business culture isn’t it, or not?

Lee:

It should be or not. Now, where do you go with this? It’s about core. I sat in a meeting recently when we were looking at a little bit of re-engineering of an organisation and the team brought in to do this were all describing themselves and their strengths. Not once did they mention customer.

So, we’re going to innovate our own strengths to create a super team with no connection to customer. If you’re going to innovate, if you’re going to change, if you’re going to do anything new, exciting, who are you going to do it for? And if it’s about business then it’s got to be customer.

Darren:

Absolutely.

Lee:

And good old Deming told us that all of those years ago and somewhere along the line we’ve lost it.

Darren:

We said before it’s either core or it’s not except that it was also Edward Deming who said you don’t have to change after all there’s no mandate to survive. If you don’t want to change just prepare yourself for business death

Lee:

The inevitable.

Darren:

And yet you see so many companies (Einstein’s definition of insanity) that are doing the same thing over and over again in a market that is being disrupted by technology. Technology is disrupting the economics. It’s disrupting the business processes and therefore disrupting categories, and yet it seems like Boards and the C-suite for a lot of companies are absolutely paralysed in the face of change.

Lee:

Yeah.

Darren:

So, why? Continue reading

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How TrinityP3 is helping optimise marketing performance through technology – 3 case studies

Technology platforms, both martech and adtech, provide marketers with the opportunity to be more effective and efficient in their marketing. But technology is said to be moving at click speed and the investment is significant. It is important when investing in marketing technology solutions that the marketer has defined objectives and has a clear view of what success looks like. But, more than this, it is important to take into consideration the current processes that the technology is intended to support and the cultural appetite for change.

We have been involved in helping companies select new technology platforms and tender for new vendors, but we have also worked with organisations that have legacy systems and platforms that are under-performing or not performing at all, and have provided a diagnosis and options for consideration. Also, we have reviewed our clients’ current technology stack to identify optimisation opportunities and assess the organisation’s technology transformation. Each time we bring a totally independent and expert perspective to the process. Here are three case studies of the work we have undertaken providing solutions to marketers’ technology challenges. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The importance and the difference in marketing to women

Kylie Rogers, Managing Director of Mamamia Women’s Network, and Lauren Joyce, Head of Broad, their strategic consultancy, talk with Darren on how women are driving commerce today, and why marketers may be missing out on this dominant audience by not marketing specifically to them in the way they want to be engaged.
Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m here at the Mamma Mia Women’s Network with Kylie Rogers, Managing Director and Lauren Joyce, who’s Head of Broad, which is the strategic consultancy here at Mamamia. Welcome.

Kylie:

Thank you so much for having us, Darren.

Darren:

In actual fact, I should be saying thank you for having me because coming here to Mamamia, as soon as the lift doors open and I saw all of the pictures on the wall and all of the people and the energy I could tell that this was a very different place to work.

Kylie:

I appreciate your saying that. Sometimes in the furore of your working week you forget the energy that really does exist in this place; it’s very progressive. It’s almost tangible.

Darren:

It’s palpable when the doors open. I think that’s why I walked in a bit confused; it was like being hit with this energy and noise. There are workplaces where there are people screaming but it was just this energy that is happening here. It was very exciting. Continue reading

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7 Questions Everyone On Your Marketing Team Should Be Able To Answer

When it comes to setting expectations with your agency(s) – and your marketing team – there are some ‘price-of-entry’ questions everyone should be able to wrap their head around. None are complex, but they are the bedrock of creating harmonious client/agency relationships and ensuring everyone is focused and aligned.

And even if you think your teams are completely clear and in sync with their respective roles and responsibilities, some of the answers (or lack thereof) might surprise you. So, why not test them out? Here is what we believe are the top 7 questions everyone on your business should be able to answer:

What are our expectations?

Whether asked from an individual or corporate perspective, expectations of – and between – everyone should be the starting point. The sting in the tail of this question is that if people can’t answer it, chances are you’ve not been clear or never articulated expectations to begin with – so if there’s a worrying silence after asking it, perhaps it’s an opportunity to bring teams together and let them know. Continue reading

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Engagement Agreements to align expectations and performance – 3 case studies

Just as marketing is increasingly complex, so the relationships between marketers and their various agencies are increasingly complex and difficult to manage. Many of the past practices, both formal and informal, struggle to keep pace with the changes and complexity. Over the past decade and more we have seen many marketers still relying on the assumption that the relationship they have will their agencies will naturally manage to work itself out. At the same time, we have witnessed an increase in complaints from marketers over the fact that their agencies struggle to work or collaborate together.

We have also witnessed an increase in agency contracts that appear to address this issue, with the inclusion of service level agreement (SLAs) and set up key performance indicators (KPIs). The trouble is that firstly, these are designed for the delivery of services, but do not easily define the interdependent relationship that exists between marketers and their agencies or between the agencies working with the marketer. Secondly, the agency contract, once signed, is often filed and not looked at again until an issue arises or the marketers are planning to take the relationship to the market. Continue reading

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Is your marketing function centralised, decentralised or distributed?

It is interesting that when you are talking to business people about marketing, the majority seem to think of marketing in the context of marketing communications, or what was not long ago considered Promotions or Advertising, one of the Ps in what was the 4Ps of marketing. This is probably not surprising as promotions and advertising are certainly the high profile and public end of the marketing process and certainly where a significant component of the budget is spent, especially on paid media, but increasingly on owned and earned media too.

But the fact that many organisations think of marketing as the marketing communications area, leaves the question of where are the other traditional marketing functions located within the organisation? The reason for asking is that often when we are what marketing structure do you have the most common answers are either centralised or decentralised. Only to find out that even when it is centralised it is usually only the marketing communications function that is centralised and typically marketing is actually distributed across the organisation.
Continue reading

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Six reasons why you may have many more agencies and suppliers than you need

We provide a very popular solution called Agency Roster Alignment where we analyse and map the current roster against the advertiser’s strategic needs, spend and satisfaction with the incumbents. Some of the really common responses when we report back on the current rosters is, first, many are surprised at the number of agencies and marketing vendors on the roster and, second, how they could have ended up in this situation with so many agencies and suppliers. Let me deal with the first response and then expand on the second in the observation points below.

First off, when we take about rosters we are not simply talking about the major agencies such as creative, media and digital, plus perhaps a PR company, a design studio, and that sales promotion firm you use occasionally. We are talking about all of the agencies, suppliers and vendors that you spend your budget with, including market research firms, event companies, mail houses, technology solutions providers, and everyone in between.

Just as marketing has become more complex, the number of vendors, agencies and suppliers has grown too. But the fact is there are some very solid reasons as to why you may have more agencies and suppliers than you need. And that is not a good thing, as each extra one on your roster is consuming time and money by just being there. Continue reading

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17 ways advertisers can make their advertising production more transparent

In light of the recent ANA Production Transparency Report in the US, and the growing trend for the ‘Big 6’ Networks to establish separate brands for production services, here is a list of key considerations for your current agency contracts. TrinityP3 believes terms and conditions should be transparent, and not support hidden agendas, especially where an agency may engage a related production supplier. So here are our seventeen areas or principles when reviewing your agency and production contracts:

Review your agency contracts regularly – The contract should contain transparent terms, which are clearly understood by both parties, and reviewed at least every third-year due to technological advancements and process efficiency within industry practices. Do you know exactly what the terms and conditions are of your agreement? If not, you should, transparency is paramount.

Be clear on the type of relationship your contract defines

Contracts are generally one of two formats. This is either one of Principal and Agent, or alternatively Principal and Contractor. Where the Agency is acting as an Agent, the Agency has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of the client, and procure production at the best possible price. However, where the contract engages the agency as a Principal and Independent Contractor, often terms allow for the agency to mark-up or provide less disclosure and transparency over the sourcing of external production services.

There has been a recent shift towards these agreements where the Agency acts as the Principal with production suppliers, to limit the ‘risk’ of audit and potential compensation in the case of a breach of terms of the agreement. The Agency engages suppliers, which are often deemed external 3rd parties (although often related), which are not subject to the terms and conditions of any Master Services Agreement.

Investigate contracting third party production companies directly

A direct Production Services Agreement with the related 3rd party production house is always recommended, which should include the same transparent terms as the Agency agreement, and especially include the right to audit. This supports the move away from ‘fixed price’ and ‘non-auditable’ external production agreements, which are common within the industry. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The importance of understanding culture to stay relevant in a changing world

Sharon Foo is the Client Partner at Sparks & Honey and she talks with Darren on the importance of diversity, data, and technology in understanding the cultural changes occurring in society and staying relevant to your audience, allowing you to change to meet the future needs of the market. Continue reading

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Who’s Guilty and Who’s Innocent in the Industry’s Transparency Wars?

Bill Duggan recently penned a piece in MediaVillage.com continuing the ANA’s attack on ad agencies – this time over production transparency, which is the code name for unethical and possibly illegal bid-rigging activities conducted by some agencies to secure production contracts at favourable rates. A previous transparency issue, media transparency, was investigated by ANA in 2016, and it confirmed instances of media agencies enriching themselves at client expense through rebates, kickbacks and other “non-transparent” practices, many of them not forbidden by existing contracts. Continue reading

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The Three Ring Circus: Money. Agencies. Marketers.

The simultaneous performance of money, agencies, and clients is a Three Ring Circus of wild, confusing and engrossing, but very far from entertaining. In fact, some agencies’ futures are at stake, while clients are at risk of squeezing the life out of the whole advertising industry – their own teams included – in their quest to lower costs and drive increased profits. Continue reading

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Are all your strategies getting in the way of delivering marketing performance?

As we have shared previously, much of the work we do with our clients is to align their structure and process to effectively deliver their marketing strategy. The starting point in this process is reviewing the agreed strategy so we can determine the requirements of that strategy that need to be delivered to achieve the results or objectives. But with all of the complexity in marketing these days and the diversity of business objectives, especially in larger organisations, that are supported by marketing, we often find there is more than one strategy and often multiple strategies that are misaligned or even worse, in conflict with each other. Continue reading

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How TrinityP3 is helping marketers restructure their marketing for the future – three case studies

The market is changing and becoming ever more complex, and therefore business and marketing strategies are changing to meet the challenge. But while strategies change, often marketing structure remains largely the same. At best, companies will make capability additions where needed, simply adding to the legacy structures of the past. Others will vacillate between centralised and decentralised structures and variations in between. What is often required, however, is a rethink and re-evaluation of the marketing structure against the strategy and the requirements of that strategy. Continue reading

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How many agencies is too many when it comes to roster size?

A very common complaint we hear is “How did I end up with so many agencies?” usually closely followed by the question “How many agencies should I have?” And while Nathan Hodges has answered this comprehensively here, it is interesting that marketers often find themselves with way too many agencies on their roster either because they have inherited a roster that is out of control or it has grown organically right under the nose of the marketing team. Continue reading

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Ad Agencies: Prisoners of a Creative Past

Who needed “hands-on management” when revenues were high and automatic, workloads modest, TV dominant, creativity celebrated, brands growing, agencies respected, employees well-paid, parties outrageous and clients long-lasting? Creativity was the foundation of agency success, and to nourish creativity, management got out of the way, lest its intervention destroy the magic. “A creative agency needs to operate like an ant colony,” declared Kevin Roberts, former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, “where every ant knows its job and has the freedom to do it. As long as we hire and inspire the right people, to do the right thing … our agency should grow and our creativity should flourish.” Continue reading

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