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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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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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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Managing Marketing: The transformation of Higher Education marketing

Chief Marketing Officer, John Chatterton talks with Darren about the challenges facing marketers, particularly in the Higher Education category, which is undergoing significant transformation due to the changing expectations of students and industry. He shares some of the opportunities for marketers in the category to help manage this transformation leveraging strong brands with agile customer experience management. Continue reading

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The problem with digital transformation

Digital Transformation is on everyone’s lips these days, from cool new start-ups, to the mastodons of the corporate world. The business models of yesterday are changing, and disruption is happening in all industries, across all markets. The disruption is driven by new competitors, new ideas, new technology, new mind-sets and new cultural shifts that are making it more and more challenging for companies to stay connected with their customers and to just keep the business running as usual. ”Usual” doesn’t exist anymore. Almost every tech company, every consultancy firm and every digital agency talks the talk on Digital Transformation. But very few companies actually manage to walk the walk. So, what is the problem? Why is Digital Transformation taking so long? Continue reading

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What Kind of CMO Leadership Do Advertisers Need Today?

CMOs are getting a lot of attention from the trade press these days, where writers drag in the usual suspects — Big Data, analytical skills, experiential marketing, Instagram, programmatic buying, Facebook, mobile platforms, Millennials, AI, Virtual Reality, etc. All to demonstrate how CMOs need to become superhuman masters of everything new and challenging, pushing themselves and their marketing organisations to achieve higher levels of marketing and technological sophistication. Continue reading

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The impact of Autonomous Vehicles on marketers and the environment

I recently prepared a technology assessment on Autonomous Vehicles (AV) as part of my Master’s degree in environmental management. It occurred to me as I read yet another option piece on the future of AV that my report also formed the basis of my own opinion piece on this subject, especially where it relates to marketing and the environment – both key areas of interest for me personally and TrinityP3. Continue reading

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