Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is The Agency Roster Dead?

The concept of rosters, where agencies have responsibility for campaign execution organised by channel is a tried and tested way to divide work and budgets.

However in this connected world where people and campaigns slip seamlessly between channels this model is looking increasingly flawed. How can you think just in a TV, web site or email box anymore?

Ideally hand-offs between client departments, and between agencies would be as seamless as would the notion of collective ownership of the idea, but this rarely happens.

As digital stops being a discipline I think this will be felt keenest by the digital roster agencies, with direct, pr and branding agencies starting to offer digital as part of their service.

So what do we do? Assign agencies by campaign or by task; acquisition, relationship, advocacy, across all channels?

Build a model that has the brains to develop the idea, identify the most appropriate channels and how people move through them, then assign craft specialists to produce?

Stick our heads in the sand until someone brighter than us changes the model?

There is no right answer except to, as we tell our clients, permanently experiment and evolve...


Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Most Fun In Marketing?

Where is the most fun to be had in marketing over the next 18 months?

A poll I started on Facebook to see where people thought that the future model of marketing communications might come from.

Many commented that they would be combinations of one or more of the choices and I agree. Most marketing people agree with McKinsey and that the current model is broken and all disciplines are trying to solve it. It seems from this unscientific poll that many think that a blank sheet is a better way to go than trying to shift ingrained perceptions and processes.

One must destroy in order to create. I would be interested in your vote.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Real Anomaly

Anomaly the NY based marketing company get kudos from Business Week's Cutting Edge Designers of 2007 for the design Eu, the range of men's skincare they are launching later this year.

As I noted at the start of the year it is great to see a company actually living up to their claim of an "agenda-smashing advertising and marketing company" and excelling across multiple disciplines rather than talk, posturing and reverting to type and the channel that they are most comfortable with.

With the recent shoddy showing of UK agencies in Cannes perhaps there is something we can learn from outside Soho.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

What if creatives spent the media budget?

Rory Sutherland makes an interesting point in an article for Campaign about creatives having responsibility for the media budget and the fact that they would most likely spend it on content that would reach as many people and generate better interest than pissing it up Murdoch's wall.

The difference between earned and bought attention.

But just as channels should not have preconcieved notions about what they do: DM does relationship, TV does branding and just as attitude to technology is not defined by age, neither is being wedded to grps, reach, frequency and volume defined by whether you work in media or at a creative agency.

I have yet to define the golden question to identify these people but it might just be Rory's "do you identify your ideal man/women by her shoes size?"

As marketing directors and their agencies are increasingly being held more accountable they retreat ever more into the safety of number and "proven" best practice. (If a panel of 600 odd people reporting behavior and attitude change is proven success of anything.)

This is in stark contrast with the increasing need for investment or risk marketing which he describe one element of in his article.

The more we move away from payment models based on the production of stuff to ones that reward success and the more we move away from ideas just coming from the creative department the better opportunity we have of producing stuff that works.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Changing Agency Landscape

A great article from David Benady on the ascendancy of digital and the resultant changes in the agency landscape:

In future, advertising will be driven by agencies that are capable of digitally locating and monitoring audiences rather than those that can create beautiful campaigns aimed at anyone prepared to watch and listen.

If you look at the industry over the next ten years, you will see a group of very premium agencies emerge that will provide a new total service. These high-quality, full-service agencies will combine the technical skills of the digital specialists with the planning and creative abilities of the traditional agencies.

Interestingly he states it is all about locating these people then doesn't mention media agencies as key to the solution. Once you define the big idea - which in turn might come from their media habits - it is all about reaching the audience.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Conversational Marketing

Advertising is often accused of being a superficial, one way and impersonal; in many of its current forms it is about as far from a true conversation as you can get.

There are signs that this is changing. As media fragments and technology develops, people are changing how they communicate with each other - and likewise the way they communicate with companies.

What once was a conversation in a pub between 2 people is now a conversation online amongst 200. This is forcing a change in not only how businesses communicate but fundamentally how they behave; there is a need to be more inclusive, to be open and honest, to listen and engage; to treat contact as a conversation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Video Ads More Effective Online Than On TV

Ads in TV shows streamed online do much better than the same ads aired during traditional broadcast, according to a Millward Brown study.

The firm suggests that it’s likely due to the ‘lean-forward’ viewing experience combined with the fact that only a single company or product is generally advertised during a stream, whereas dozens of ads run side by side during a typical broadcast airing.

Viewers responded better to campaigns online across a range of questions, including attention, awareness, favorability and consideration.

Agency Of The Future

Panel discussion on the future of advertising. The moderator started asking "what future for digital agencies if everyone does digital". A point I illustrated here:

Steven Marrs – Nitro
Clark Kokich – Avenue A/Razorfish
Nick Law – R/GA
Torrence Boone – President Boston, Digitas

Nothing fundamentally new at all but interesting to see how they position themselves as the case studies they show:

We do everything/full service/agency for the digital age & everything is going to be digital/start with business problem/deliver service/enhance offering.

Best quote has to be: We need to go back to the age of Ogilvy and Bernbach, where they solved business problems not just (or ever) with a piece of communications but with a new product or service. Again echoes one of my own theories that Ogilvy would love what advertising has become.

Odd therefore that digital agencies percieve that they are best placed to deliver this, though they might be best placed to manage the overall relationship with the brand.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Blogger knocks $4bn off Apple's share value

Engadget wrote a story saying both Apple's iPhone and Leopard OS were going to be severely delayed. Their info came from what appeared to be a perfectly legitimate email circulated around Apple's internal mail server.

The result of the story was catastrophic. $4bn was knocked off Apple's share value inside half an hour. Apple was forced to issue an official denial and the stock quickly recovered, but an indication of the power of blogging.