Creating new value in the marketing space isn’t easy. But listening to the most senior client-side marketers, it’s clearer to me what’s needed: a new agency model
Marketing teams in 2020 have a very tough job. Not only do they have to spend more efficiently, but they’re also under pressure to invest that spend in marketing that will be effective.
New tech, new channels, global messaging with local sensitivities; priorities shifting after every stakeholder meeting – marketers and their procurement partners operate in a state of managed chaos, calling for the help of agencies to support them as the sands shift under their feet.
The new marketing reality is one of managed chaos and shifting sands.
As Global CEO of Indicia Worldwide, I listen to a lot of senior level marketers and marketing procurement leaders. Their challenges do vary, but there are common threads. We’ve designed Indicia Worldwide around these threads.
Here are three of the big challenges global marketing people have talked to me about. They may be paraphrased slightly, but they’re all absolutely genuine.
1.“I’m swimming in agencies – but I need a new agency model that combines both effectiveness with efficiency, that consolidates our marketing spend and gives us maximum return on investment.”
It sounds crazy, but many global businesses do the same work over and over again. If an ice cream brand spends money on a creative agency in the UK, in many instances that campaign is sent to the marketing teams around the world, who spend on their own creative agencies to get more or less the same result.
The risk in terms of consistency is immense, but the waste of resources and time is bigger still.
One major FMCG brand paid millions of pounds to a management consultant to find out how bad this problem was for them. The report wasn’t pretty – the brand was working with more than 3,000 agencies globally.
The biggest name in FMCG has been on a mission to streamline its marketing spend and reinvent how marketing services are procured. As one of our biggest clients, we’ve been able to take part in that rationalisation – and we’ve also used the experience to form how we’re shaped.Unilever’s work in this space is well documented.
Our promise is to create new value across the full remit of client-side marketing teams. For procurement, this means we can be a global partner when it comes to spending money on marketing in a smarter way.
How do we do it? Operationally, our creative production services are designed to roll campaigns out globally – with proper resourcing for localisation of language and design. This means you don’t need a Spanish agency to produce and activate a campaign in Spain, for example. You just need Indicia Worldwide as your global creative production partner.
Often working on site, our production studios are scalable according to need at any given time, and backed up by a world-leading global supplier roster that can get things manufactured, fast.
2. “The most disappointing thing about my job is that we spend so much money on campaign ideas and creative, and then I see it translated into in-store marketing and it’s so drab and uninspiring.”
When I asked a very senior marketing procurement pro what kept her awake at night, this wasn’t the answer I expected. Her response paints a sad picture for shopper marketing teams, but I come across this sentiment again and again.
It reminds me of when Canadian entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé took over Marketing at Swiss, the airline that rose out of the ashes when Swissair was grounded in 2002.
As a fan and big supporter, Brûlé helped reinvent the brand to get it back off the ground. Swiss was portrayed as a cool and amazing lifestyle brand, to inspire people to fly Swiss.
But the branding didn’t translate down to the experience in the real world. The planes were still standard. The flight attendants while friendly, still provided the same standard customer service: “We’re here primarily for your safety.”
That’s the challenge in our omnichannel world – your message has to be authentic and resonant in every relevant channel, across the globe – in digital, in print, in social media, in store (and on board) or somewhere along the line, your customer will be disappointed.
The marketing industry talks a good talk about omnichannel, but often agencies are most concerned with the highest-profile channels – TV, social, digital and worry about conflicting P&Ls. Not really that ‘omni’.
Retail POS production is a part of this ‘omni’ puzzle and a big part of what we do, and with our client brand champions working alongside our client teams, we can make sure that consumer-facing marketing at the point of sale isn’t an afterthought, and ensure that campaigns really are omnichannel.
3. “All my boss wants from a print partner is to beat my incumbent on price. Squeeze that lemon! We’re not focused on anything other than short term cost savings”
When we heard that this was the requirement of the client’s procurement team, without any interest in efficiency drivers such as harmonization, re-engineering, modularity, total cost of ownership (TCO), sustainability, etc., we pulled out of the tender process. Given that global marketing is rife with inefficiencies, we knew this contract was not for us.
My career heritage is in print. It’s given me an amazing working life – I’ve worked all over the world, and with some of the biggest brands on Earth. Print is under pressure, but certainly not dead.
Print is also a big part of the heritage of Indicia Worldwide. We’ve been formed out of two of the world’s biggest print management companies – Charterhouse and Ergo. And then complemented print with data analytics.
So we can procure print in our sleep – but print isn’t just about procuring materials anymore. It’s about aligning with your wider business goals.
Is your brand dialling up its sustainability efforts? Are you reaching your consumers along their ever-changing shopper journeys?
You need to plug those goals into your print supply chain.
Is your brand looking to stand out in retail stores? You can’t afford to treat POS as a commodity – it’s an important part of the omnichannel marketing mix and with new technology and real-time in-POS data collection, it’s primed for innovation and optimisation.
We’re proud to say that our proposition is designed around the challenges of bringing global brands to life, across channels, worldwide. A more efficient model, both in regards to cost and speed to market. A more effective model, translating a brand’s global promise into an individual omnichannel, one-to-one message.
And a promise to allow marketers to do what they love most: be creative.