How do I choose the right marketing contract compliance auditor for the job?

In the clause on Audit Rights, it will not only set out the scope of any audit (and any limitations on the scope – see previous post), but it may also specify what type of auditor you can use. There are different types of auditor I hear you say? I thought they all wore brown suits and kipper ties! Well, sartorial choices aside, there are differences and it’s important to understand what they are and how it could impact the audit. In many agency contracts there will be clues that might not always be obvious to anyone other than a qualified accountant. Continue reading

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Advertisers with Performance Problems Turn to Management Consultants

“Watch out! They are coming!” reported The Drum when Accenture and Deloitte appeared on the pitch list for Nissan-Renault’s global account review. They are “spreading their tentacles, seduced by marketing services!” Accenture sees it another way: “CMOs are seeking our talents, not the other way around.” Is consulting going to the mountain, or is the mountain coming to consulting? Continue reading

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Why advertisers should never accept a ‘sound-alike’ music track for advertising

The international scandal from New Zealand concerning the court case between the publisher of Eminem’s song Lose Yourself and the National Party of New Zealand reminds us why advertisers should be very careful when it comes to copyright, music rights and intellectual property. During my career as a copywriter I witnessed on so many occasions situations that could easily have ended up in the same embarrassing court battle that the National Party of New Zealand is currently facing. Continue reading

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Am I allowed to audit my agency?

Having read “The 105th thing on your to do list” you will now know what kind of audit you’re looking to conduct. So what’s the next step? Before you go out looking for an auditor, you need to check that you are actually ‘allowed’ to audit your agency and, if you are, what can and can’t be audited. And so to find the contract. Your right to audit should be covered in the agency contract and should be fairly easy to find – look in your ‘Contracts’ folder and voilà, a beautifully filed copy of a fully signed contract between you and your agency will be sitting there waiting for you. Continue reading

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CMOs, Shareholder Value and the Decline of Marketing Risk-Taking

You’d have to be older than a Millennial to remember a time when corporate CEOs were heavily involved in marketing decisions, like increased spend on media, the development of new Big Idea ads, the launching of new consumer products (rather than the spitting out of line extensions) and the formulation of strategies designed to outsmart competitors. That was a time before “shareholder value” became the universal corporate objective — the value to be delivered to shareholders because of management’s ability to grow earnings, dividends and share price. Continue reading

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The 105th thing on your ‘to do’ list may be the most important…

So imagine the scenario: you’ve got a set marketing budget that seems to be squeezed year-on-year; new opportunities arise that need to be tested; old, well-trodden routes to market need to be sustained; constant evaluations need to be done to ensure you’re nimble and maximising the opportunities; and your parent company has just issued the (annual) email to say that it’s putting a stop on spending any uncommitted budget at the end of the month. Sound familiar? Continue reading

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Cost benchmarking and value benchmarking your agency, which one gives the best results?

In response to the question of “What is a cynic?” Oscar Wilde wrote “A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. When it comes to agency benchmarking it is hard not to be cynical. Recently Michael Farmer, author of best seller industry book “Madison Avenue Manslaughter” and Executive Chairman of TrinityP3 published an article highlighting the shortcoming of agency benchmarking, specifically agency cost benchmarking: Why cost benchmarking is the waterboarding of the advertising industry. How do we stop the manslaughter and increase agency productivity and performance? The first step is to stop cost benchmarking and move the focus to performance. Here is why. Continue reading

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Why cost benchmarking is the waterboarding of the advertising industry

Procurement and benchmarking rose to corporate prominence once “increased shareholder value” became the advertiser’s mantra. Marketing declined in importance, from an investment to achieve brand growth to a cost to be optimised. Benchmarking consultants jumped on the bandwagon. 4As shamefully accepted the ANA benchmarking trend with hardly a whimper, leaving its members to fend for themselves. Benchmarking is the waterboarding of the industry, enhanced interrogation that weakens its subjects but develops no useful information. Although benchmarking has become commonplace, it has had no positive long-term benefits. Indeed, the opposite is true — advertiser brands are still not growing, CMOs last in their jobs only half as long as CEOs and agencies have been compromised and weakened. Continue reading

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Meeting the Global CEO of TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants

Hi, Darren. Can you first of all tell us a bit about your background and how you came to lead TrinityP3? I graduated from university with a degree in Applied Sciences and worked in the field of Medical Research for five years before embarking on a 15-year career in advertising. In 2000 I founded TrinityP3 marketing management consultants. As Global CEO, I lead marketing consultants around the world through all phases of the marketing optimisation process to improve the performance of our clients marketing. Continue reading

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Agency Remuneration: A Loser’s Game

Chief Marketing Officers and their colleagues in procurement have been driving down agency remuneration for more than a decade. Simultaneously, they have been growing Scopes of Work, experimenting with digital and social marketing. Is marketing getting something for nothing, or is it playing a loser’s game? Advertiser-agency relationships have devolved over the past several decades. What was once the strongest of strategic relationships during the golden age of the Creative Revolution has become lopsided and imbalanced. Continue reading

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