Marketers: Before you pitch, take a long hard look at yourselves
The World Federation of Advertisers in conjunction with research firm, The Observatory International, published a survey that explored the future of agency rosters. It’s a fascinating read and although the survey is skewed to global clients based out of Europe there are clear similarities with the Australian market. The clear gap in expectations between agencies and clients is a central theme; agencies want ‘better’ clients who give them the right tools to do their jobs and clients want ‘better’ quality outputs from their agency partners.
- The dominant model are multiple agencies engaged by a client across a range of disciplines. Each agency managed by members of the marketing team.
- Clients recognise that the current rostered arrangement is not working effectively, with 74 per cent of clients reviewing the composition or capability of the current roster.
- Clients feels that agencies have a way to go in delivering an ROI solution across multiple channels. Clients want impartial business partners who really understand their customers.
- Agencies feel that clients don’t provide them with the right tools and information to do their job. The three biggest gaps include;
- Briefs not well written
- Clients not connected (internally) and collaborating to maximise budgets
- Clients not well trained with the right level of seniority.
It appears the structure of marketing teams is inhibiting the true delivery of a customer centric strategy; strategies based on data-driven actionable insights.
The merry go round of changing agency partners and rosters is often a quick fix for clients; start again with a fresh new agency or model. But it’s not a straight forward solution. Clients need to really look inwards before they look out. The more partners engaged in executing activity across a range of channels and each with their own metrics for measurement makes it extremely difficult to really understand the true impact of activity and not just vanity metrics that makes each channel look good. What is really moving the dial to deliver business outcomes?
At the core is a critical need for analytics and data to drive decision making, particularly against expanded agency rosters. The most important marketing function has to be customer data & analytics. Without a deep dive into the customer its impossible to determine any level of ROI across any channel. The question is who is going to champion the analytics function; media agencies, creative agencies, clients, data driven agencies? Time will tell.