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 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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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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Marketing Technology and its impact on Media Ethics and Transparency

There is much discussion on Marketing Technology and the impact it has on Media Transparency. In this post, myself and David Angell from TrinityP3 deliberately take differing points of view to explore the issues and encourage industry discussion on this important topic. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The media industry, women in media, and the state of the media

Denise Shrivell is the Founder of MediaScope and discusses with Darren the state of the media industry today, the challenges of media technology and her MediaScapes along with the role of women in media and the role Peggy’s List plays in ensuring women have equal opportunity to share their thoughts and insights in the important discussions on the issues facing the media and marketing industry. Continue reading

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Time for marketers to follow P&G’s lead and apply the Golden Rule

Congratulations to Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard on an excellent example of how marketers need to apply the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the Man with the Gold makes the rules. Or put another way, the market sets the price but the buyer sets the terms. But there is certainly an argument that for the past ten years marketing and procurement have been setting the price, using competitive tensions and tenders to drive down the agency fee but largely ignoring the importance of setting the terms. By terms I do not mean payment terms, but even the introduction of extended payment terms has been cost driven. Continue reading

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The importance of financial analysis in determining marketing priorities

In dealing with the management of marketing, a significant component of the work we do is assessing and benchmarking the value of the marketing investment of our clients. This budget is spent with a range of external suppliers. These external suppliers include advertising, digital and media agencies, but also the thousands of other suppliers who are competing for the share of the marketing budget. These suppliers can include everything from printers and merchandising providers to market researchers and software providers. Continue reading

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Is the Year of the Rooster an opportunity to address a few major issues for advertisers?

The Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster starts tomorrow on January 28, 2017 and lasts until 15th February 2018. Astrologically we are coming out of a pretty confusing period of time and entering a rational and constructive period. The Rooster gives the year that just begins some of the characteristics of the bird it has as a symbol: ambition, pride, the desire to be admired, punctuality and courage. Most importantly the relationships between people will be under the sign of great honesty. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: Media value, transparency and relationships today

Steve Allen, Chief Executive of Fusion Media has seen significant changes in the media landscape in his career and here shares with Darren his views on media value, the problem with lack of media transparency today and the continued importance of having trusted and respected relationships with media owners, media and agencies and the advertisers. Continue reading

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If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional marketing management consultant to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur

I love this quote that I have shamelessly paraphrased in the headline here. Red Adair was a larger-than-life character who built his reputation successfully putting out oil well fires. This is a highly dangerous and incredibly lucrative occupation. Imagine an oil well producing thousands of barrels of oil, suddenly erupts into flames? It is literally millions of dollars going up in smoke. Now I am not for a minute suggesting what we do as marketing management consultants is anywhere near as dramatic or a dangerous as Red Adair and his oil fire fighting business, but I think there are some key examples of where in marketing management an expensive professional provides more value than a low cost amateur. Continue reading

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