Being the Insider

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    Film opens in Prague…something we have all heard while working in the big agencies. Gone are those days. Ever wondered why? Because we just won’t change. Most of the old school ones are comfortable in not disturbing the cash cow scenario. I even had an instance where my then CEO walked into the conference room and announced, ‘screw digital let’s go mass media’ in a meeting with Client and Media agency. With such dim-witted visionaries, things had to spiral downwards.

    Often we hear about Agency vs. Client and how decisions become subjective and sometimes even ego led. This is where the attitude of empathy comes in. Big consultancies are gaining ground amidst this traditional approach of Agencies and reducing the share of the pie, if not the pie, entirely.

    Most of the agencies, even to survive, must partner with the Client and understand the marketing objectives and suggest communication with effectiveness in mind. The ad has to sell. Keep away all other aspects. That brings us back to the old style where account management and strategy does matter. The fact that creative hot shops, like Taproot is now part of a bigger network means that the edge they had is now part of the bigger IMC armoury of a network, but is less effective in isolation.

    Partnering takes time, empathy and objectivity. No room for egos, prima donnas and cowboys. Take in the mantra of ‘it is in business growth, that we grow’ and not inflated retainer contracts or project costs. Ask questions like what percentage of the marketing spends is your bill? And what happens if client’s business grows stupendously? Will we get more variable compensation?

    Take a break from formulas, systems, processes and ‘mutually beneficial’ vendor relationships. Just think of being effective. Demonstrate effect. Build in tangible parameters of evaluation.

    Be realistic. Be relevant. Or perish.

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