But then I come across some that just make me scratch my head. As such was an article I read where it was saying that “Giant Companies” are starting to use the strategy of a “dedicated” agency, to cut costs and become more efficient. Now I agree that consolidation is the answer to cost cutting measures (in most cases) but efficiency? I can see on paper where it seems more efficient, but to what end? Here is my problem with this model: you fire your dedicated agency after a year or two, then bring them back on a few years after that, and so and so forth. CMO’s listen up! You should have more than one type of marketing firm in your corner, almost every situation requires this! More importantly are you taking advantage of your agency beyond the on it’s face marketing expertise? Are you having your agency full engaged in the sales strategy and how best to derive consumer driven creative from this type of planning? The bottom line is that “giant companies” aren’t doing enough work to seek out and find the right type of agencies, or right number.
Good Idea vs. Good Execution
We came to one major conclusion, some of the best ideas will be shot down if the proper follow through on “going forward” action plan is not followed. For good reason this is the case. Recently I was watching a TV program – The Pitch – there was a brilliant play on words that an agency had developed for a client, in this case Waste Management was looking for a plan that was very social media heavy. Now social media is crucial to the success of companies in today's marketing environment, however, it isn't the end all be all.
The end all be all in advertising a marketing plan is the same it has always been….GOOD CREATIVE. A great idea, with some great copy and great follow through will yield great results. There en lies the problem with this particular case: They had a great idea, but poor follow through action plans going forward. The client clearly expressed a desire to highlight the initiatives the company was getting behind, and how marketing would be the vehicle. The winning agency came up with VERY mediocre creative, but had a “great” action plan – NOT ONE MMM would have suggested, but nonetheless they won the bid. So how does a multi-billion dollar a year company not go with the great creative. Why stop at a plan that can clearly be nurtured with a great idea driving it? These are questions we answer WELL before we actually present to the client. I can assure my company will never give you a bad idea, and especially a poor action plan!
Media buying – you don’t know what you don’t know
I meet with clients, on what seems like a daily basis, that have been spending their advertising dollars in the wrong channels, or spending loads of money in places they are not really sure if they know much about. BUT, they have been getting a “somewhat” decent response, and choose to leave it alone for fear of “rocking the boat”. Sorry for all the double fingers quotation marks by the way. We recently had a client tell us they had spent a majority of their advertising dollars on broadcast TV. For the past 20 years that is. They were not aware a TV station pre-empts a commercial from running. What is a pre-emption you ask? It is when someone spends more money for the seat on the plane and you get bumped for your flight – funny thing is a TV schedule is actually called a flight…or not so funny if you don't get your flight. If you spots never run you never move product – which is going to be a focal point next week of mine – “Buying TV spots on price points” – it's dangerous!
I also seem to find myself running in to clients that spend WAY too much in Yellow Page type of directory advertising, again, for fear of losing business. Now I am never of the school of though that says to pull completely out of a directory listing like YP, unless you fall in to categories of companies that can survive without it – I use the term survive loosely! However, you should never spend a lion share of your dollars on the active only seekers. We seem to forget the driving principal of advertising – REACH and FREQUENCY. You have a limited reach, and virtually ZERO frequency when you are spending most of your advertising dollars to be in a directory. People don't go out for eggs, bread, milk and diapers and say “shoot honey I forgot to look up the electrician in the phone book and call him, I will be right back!”. Sorry that just doesn't happen.
The bottom line, and advertising agency is here to help you understand these principals that drive advertising your marketing plan to consumers. That is why you hire us. So do not be worried about things you don't know, after all you really don't know what you don't know.