In today's fragmented world, marketing departments are required to achieve a bigger ROI with less resources. They're time-poor, so they need to trust their partners implicitly. Modern-day marketers now manage upwards of a dozen partners, which could include the likes of a marketing agency, media strategist, media buying agency, pay per click search, programmatic trading, SEO, digital marketing agency, social media, PR and the list goes on. With the number and volume of advertising agencies on the roster, how do you ensure that all partners and their marketing strategies are aligned?
1. Partnering with multiple marketing agencies.
Over the past two decades, we've seen the trend of larger brands segmenting their marketing functions to engage 'specialist agencies' that manage specific areas of their marketing acquisition program. While this has proven to be a successful marketing strategy for many large brands who have adequate resources, this segmentation of services can prove to be a monumental headache for smaller marketing departments.
While there are many positives that can come out of working with multiple marketing agencies, it can be a labour-intensive task just managing the relationships, let alone nurturing the partnerships for maximum output and performance. We constantly receive feedback from leading marketers that the biggest challenge that they face is a lack of time. This is closely followed by having a single source of the truth or receiving a straight answer from their agency partners. The reason for this is that different creative agencies leverage different metrics for success. We often hear feedback from advertisers that creative agencies blame poor results on the media buyers, media planners point the finger at creative performance for failed campaigns and digital marketing agencies attempt to take credit for any positive results that were driven from above the line activity. Without a single source of truth, clients don't know which creative agency to believe. If campaign performance needs to improve, how do you truly hold each creative agency partner to account or identify where the focus needs to go? Marketing agencies typically go on the defensive when tough conversations arise. Ensuring a creative agency roster works cohesively, and is completely aligned with both metrics and marketing strategies to deliver favourable outcomes, is the objective.
2. One Budget, Multiple Agendas
Although the benefits of having specialist agencies in each area of the business can be tremendous, brands are finding that agencies tend to be constant fighting over the same budget, causing friction and disharmony. Delivering favourable results is about complete alignment in achieving a desired outcome. Having a digital marketing strategy that perfectly dovetails into a media buy and ensuring the creative message is tailored to the specific media channels is a must for increasing media ROI. If agencies are not in sync and the marketing strategies are not perfectly aligned, chances are that the results will be less than desirable.
3. Alignment of Results
We often see the misalignment between digital marketing agencies, Creative Directors and Media Strategists. These three MUST work together in perfect harmony. All you need to do is simply watch a few minutes of TV advertising, then conduct a quick search and the misalignment is evidently obvious. For example, we often see pay per click terms and paid search budget allocations from a digital marketing agency that don't align to TV creatives. This can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars of mass media investment that's not converting into lower funnel activity. We see media plans signed off before the creative has even been created. Developing a holistic marketing strategy must include ALL roles within the marketing funnel, not creating one marketing strategy and reverse engineering the other functions to fit.
The decision to engage a full service advertising agency can also depend on your internal resources. If you have a time-poor marketing team with limited resources, then a full service advertising agency can deliver amazing outcomes. They are responsible for all advertising and media outcomes, which means there is only one source of truth. If, however, you have a large marketing team which includes specialists from a variety of fields, then it may be best to engage several specialist agencies, as the internal marketing team can manage each partner and ensure that all marketing strategies are aligned for maximum ROI.
If you do not have the right tools or the time to manage a variety of agencies, then finding the right full service advertising agency can drastically increase your efficiency and marketing ROI. The best thing about a full service agency is that if you're not getting results, then you don't have to go very far to get answers. Accountability is everything. If you would like to learn more about how a full service agency could grow your brand, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the link below.
Credit Image: PAUWR