Why Squeezing More From Your Agency Can Be A Really Bad Idea

Are you a marketer that wants to squeeze more from your agency? Do you feel like they should be doing more? Delivering better results? Turning things around faster? All sound like good ideas, right? So if like most marketers you’d find these kinds of attributes desirable from your agency(s), then read on. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: Innovation in the video and film production industry

Harry Preston is the Managing Director A/NZ of Genero, a technology platform for more than 300,000 film and video creators, connecting this community with advertisers, marketers and their agencies. Here Harry discusses the innovations occurring in the industry and how technology is making high quality productions faster, more accessible and lower cost. Continue reading

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Pitfalls to avoid when losing a pitch.

God knows, pitching is hard on agencies. To be honest, it’s hard on everyone, but the diligence required to make an informed and holistic decision about a commercial relationship of this nature naturally requires a lot of work. When agencies win pitches, they are naturally ecstatic. And why not? It’s payback for the sheer hard work that’s gone in. Continue reading

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How To Manage The Politics of Agency Search

Corporate politics on an agency pitch is something marketers don’t often talk about and rarely like to admit. But like it or not, politics can – and do – have an effect on some pitch processes. And while politics may be obvious in some cases, they can also be subtle but potentially just as damaging. Some of the hallmarks and pitfalls of an agency search process that is experiencing political influence could be some or all of the following: Continue reading

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Retained AOR or project fees? Which one is best?

While I have previously shared thoughts on comparing rate cards with retainers in 2008, ways to improve retainers in 2009 and most recently the considerations before moving from retainers to project fees in 2016 , I have not actually provided a comparison of pros and cons for advertisers and agencies.
Yet in the past five years we have had an avalanche of advertisers asking us for help moving their agency remuneration from retainers to project fees. Continue reading

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Ten common problems with agency retainers

Reading the trade media on the trend towards agency project fees, you would think that the agency retainer is dead, (along with the Agency of Record). And while the ANA Agency Compensation Survey shows that the retainer is not as common as it once was, it still accounts for a significant proportion of major agency remuneration models and is well and truly alive and well. But lets be honest, while the agency retainer is often set and forget, it has a few problems especially with the way many of these retainers are set up and managed. In fact while many advertisers and their agencies often default to the retainer model it has more problems then most are willing to recognise. Makes you wonder why it became so popular in the first place. Continue reading

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Who are the real victims in the lack of transparency in advertising production?

Last year the ANA responded to the investigation by the Department of Justice into Agency production practices and included this in their call for greater transparency in advertiser and agency relationships. The concern was that agencies and especially the Holding Companies that own the agency groups, were competitively tendering for advertiser commercial productions against the independent production companies in an unfair and biased manner. Continue reading

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What Happens When the Magic of Creativity No Longer Works?

In barbaric and prehistoric times, before primitive man invented religion and prayed to gods for intercessions, man was isolated and alone, facing an uncertain and terrifying world that worked by its own logic. Would the sun rise every day?  Would winter fade and spring follow in its stead? Would there be fish to catch, prey to hunt, rain for water and crops, bountiful harvests, cures for disease, pregnancy and babies, victory in war?  Would the tribe flourish?  Tribes were like advertisers today, looking for certainties and prosperity in a hostile world. Continue reading

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The Ad Industry in 2018 – The Year of Magical Thinking

Sir Martin Sorrell, the industry’s most prominent agency spokesman, now has the difficult job of explaining, on behalf of WPP and of the industry in general, why revenue growth has been so difficult to achieve and what can be done about it. Continue reading

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How Ready Are You For Agency Pay For Performance?

When it comes to assessing, reassessing or creating new agency contracts, most marketers now ask us about structuring some kind of pay for performance terms as part of their overall agreement. But coming up with a pay for performance model is actually the easy part. The hard part is ensuring our clients are corporately prepared for what pay for performance really means, the implications for managing such agreements and how they need to be administered. Continue reading

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Lower Cost Does Not Mean Higher Quality in the Ad Industry

If we were on a guided tour of the advertising industry, here are the points of interest that ought to be on every sightseer’s list. 1) The Advertisers.  “Lower cost” is their strategy du jour, with reductions in media spend, cuts in agency fees, continued use of cost benchmarks and investments in less expensive internal agencies.  Amazing!  Increased shareholder value — marketing with the stroke of a pen, crossing out columns of unnecessary figures. Continue reading

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Marketers and Procurement Who Want to Talk Turkey With Their Agencies Can Learn A Lot From Chickens

OK, what the heck have chickens got to do with marketing and procurement teams negotiating with their agencies? The answer is: Everything. It goes like this: If you’d been craving some Kentucky Fried Chicken in the United Kingdom a few weeks ago you’d have been out of luck and perhaps crossing the street to Burger King instead. Why? Because at the end of last year, KFC chose to change to DHL, a lower cost distributor, which, as it turned out, provided a poorer quality of service with little or no contingency planning. Continue reading

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Marc Prichard, the low creative ratio at your agencies is not their fault, it’s yours

Okay, perhaps not yours Marc, but when you recently stated that you would like three quarters of your agencies to be creative, it made me reflect on the literally hundreds of agency remuneration deals we have benchmarked, negotiated and managed over the past 18 years and the fact that in every case the agency resources required were directly related to the requirements and expectations of the marketers. Continue reading

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Have It Your Way: A Marketing Award for a Commercial Mess

Once upon a time, we learned that marketing had something to do with creating, keeping and satisfying customers.  Marketing success created growth and profitability. Chief Marketing Officers had this responsibility and they spent gads of money with their media and creative agencies to make it happen. When economies were growing, especially in the decades after the Second World War, marketing was a straightforward activity and CMOs were successful.  Recent times have been more troublesome, with e-commerce, digital/social and those pesky Millennials killing brand growth. Continue reading

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The mismanaged creative agency pitch

There was a creative pitch many years ago for Stanley Cook, manufacturer of Titan Nails at the time, later sold to BHP and then Otter Group. Anyway they briefed six creative agencies, about three too many, to come up with an ad campaign over the weekend to encourage builders and tradesmen to choose the Titan brand over the cheaper Asian nail imports. On the Monday morning the agencies filed in one after the other to present to the Managing Director, the Marketing Director and the Head of Sales at the time. Each agency had had basically three days to put a campaign together and 45 mins to present it to the senior management of Stanley Cook Limited. Continue reading

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