MakeBuzz Blog

Apr10

Can Agencies Get into the Boardroom?

By Sally Crawford

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I’ve said before that IBM and other consultancies control the future of digital media because they can get access to both client and media data. Some disagree - they think that agencies could evolve beyond operational execution to become a bigger part of a marketer’s core value set. But unless agencies can offer a predictable path to reating net new customers, impact overall profitability, and get a seat at the boardroom table, the consultancies will win the day.

One agency executive told me that although the fees his agency received to manage several billion dollars in auto advertising for a major manufacturer numbered in the millions, it amounted to only 2% of ad spend. Grocers make better margins. Agencies are becoming commodity businesses where they merely execute strategies that come from the marketer and are therefore paid commensurate with their strategic contribution.

In order to make an impact on a company, and be truly valued, you must talk about how you can grow their business. You must offer a compelling marketing framework for drilling into new markets and uncovering areas with the greatest potential for profit.

A mentor once told me that unless I was responsible for 20% or more of a company’s revenue I would never get a seat at the boardroom table. Eventually, I got there with a few clients. And guess what? The conversations we had in the boardroom were all about marketing frameworks — and never about smarter media execution.

If agencies don’t want to be disintermediated by consultants like IBM and McKinsey, they'd better start figuring out how to get new customers and have the types of conversations that take place at the boardroom table.

Posted April 10th, 2014 in Uncategorized,


Mar15

Could IBM Control The Future Of Digital Media?

By Christopher Skinner

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In a recent AdExchanger article, I asked those on the digital advertising LumaScape if getting first-part (client sales) data could make the difference between delivering mediocre performance for brands and becoming a “must buy.”

Because to really be an essential partner, the conversation needs to be about more than growing awareness - it needs to be about growing revenue. How can media move the sales needle, drive profits and optimize corporate efficiency? Where do the new customers need to come from? Those are the questions that, if answered, really move the needle.

So, who can have those conversations? If not the agencies or the media vendors, then it’s management consulting firms. The McKinseys and IBMs of the world. They understand how marketing tactics can impact the P&L and they don’t have a stake in the media game.

Want to make a bet on the future of digital media? If you think having access to client and media data makes all the difference, then I would go long on management consulting firms – or a new breed of media consultant that can get access to the data that really matters.

Posted March 15th, 2014 in Uncategorized,


Feb18

Profitability is Like Chicken Soup

By Sally Crawford

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Unlike tomato soup, which looks and tastes the same from one side of the bowl to the other, your company’s profitability is not a uniform thing across all your markets. It likely looks very different from one city to the next, from one zip code to another.

Yet so many businesses look at profitability—and subsequently their marketing efforts—like tomato soup.
The marketer needs to think more granularly in order to understand where the biggest opportunities are. Instead of one approach, deployed uniformly across markets, efforts should vary depending on market potential and makeup.

Here are the key takeaways for implementing a “chicken soup” strategy.

Posted February 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized,


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