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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Take the Pledge! End Madison Avenue’s Manslaughter!

Madison Avenue’s self-destructive practices need to come to an end!  In the wake of a decade or more of marketing cost reductions, CMOs have lost credibility and power; procurement departments have confused benchmarking with marketing, and demoralised agencies have seen their capabilities severely compromised through downsizing, juniorising, and Scope of Work inflation. Cost reduction programs have run their course. They were never a credible substitute for brand growth as a way of delivering shareholder value. Continue reading

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Why performance based payments need to be an incentive not a disincentive

How do you create high-performance teams? Well if you look at what often passes as performance based compensation, you would think it is about taking money away from the agency before then setting an unreasonable and unrealistic performance metric, and then asking the agency to work at getting their money back. Talk about all stick and no carrot. Is it any wonder that so many marketers report that their agency performance remuneration efforts failed? Let’s be honest for a minute and admit that most of these performance models were really about reducing the agency fee and had very little to do with truly wanting to encourage performance. The technique would be applied usually as a way to get the agency to reduce their overall fee by 10% to 15% by placing it ‘at risk’ for an opportunity of earning back perhaps a maximum of 20%.  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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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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Managing Marketing: The importance of an insightful and robust agency search & selection process

Kylie Ridler-Dutton is a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3 and a specialist in agency search and selection. Here she chats with Darren regarding the agency search and selection process and the considerations required when planning and managing a successful pitch process for a wide range of agency types including creative, media, digital, social, PR, technology suppliers and more. 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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Struggling with your strategy? Try the Costanza Maneuver

Much of the consulting work we do with marketers and their organisations involves aligning structure and process to the strategy, be it marketing structure or agency roster structure. Of course to effectively deliver this work requires a clear articulation of the business and marketing strategy, which can be a challenge to find. Not because there is not strategy. On the contrary, there are often too many strategies. But also there is often confusion over the strategy and the objective(s). Continue reading

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When is the right time to apply the Golden Rule in marketing?

This is the first in a series of one minute videos that address one of the many complex challenges facing marketing, media and advertising today. The Golden Minute series is an attempt to prove Albert Einstein right when he said “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple”. But he also said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. So we will leave it for you to judge. Please let us know here if there is a topic you would like us to cover in a Golden Minute. Continue reading

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The Terrible Outcomes of Lower Growth in Advertising

Growth is the engine of wealth and success. Stock prices soar. Companies expand, hire and promote, and salaries rise. Optimism abounds. Everyone has a place in a growing future. The party does not go on forever, as we know. Growth rates slow, and sometimes they halt — the reasons vary, but it’s inevitable. Still, the end of growth is shocking, and the advertising industry is now facing the shock. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The importance of measuring performance in digital marketing

Luke Brown is CEO and co-founder of Affinity and here he discusses with Darren their approach to digital advertising and the importance in clearly defining business and marketing success upfront and developing a strategy and optimising the execution against that objective. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The increasing role of science in marketing and advertising

Adam Ferrier is a Consumer Psychologist and the co-founder of MSIX the Marketing Science Ideas Exchange and best selling co-author of The Advertising Effect. Here he talks with Darren about the role of science in marketing and the importance of the symbiotic relationship between the Mad Men and the Math Men in driving innovation, creativity and most importantly performance. Continue reading

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How many brief types does an advertiser need to brief their agency?

I have noticed recently there have been a number of consultants and industry commentators again talking about the perennial problem of briefing. Quite rightly too, because in the endless search for advertising effectiveness, the process starts with the brief. Joe Talcott, ex-McDonald’s Marketing Chief and Creative Evangelist highlights nine big mistakes he notices marketers make when briefing. Meanwhile Casey Jones, CEO at BriefLogic shared advice on why marketing briefs should not be brief and the important difference between the marketing brief and the agency brief. Continue reading

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