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Decideware’s “Agency Management Big 10” - April 2017

Below are the April articles of interest from key trade publications. This month's selection includes articles on benchmarking, briefing, as well as digital marketing fundamentals.  We hope that you find this month's selections informative and valuable.

1. Too much 'complexity' and 'crap' hinders agency-brand relationships, says P&G CMO

"P&G fed the complexity beast by hiring thousands of agencies globally," he said. "With a specialist for everything, it was difficult to determine who was in charge of anything."

Having agencies that don’t make money is not a sustainable business practice," he said, to applause from the crowd. "We’re refining our compensation model to make sure we’re paying for the work that you do and the talent that you bring to our brands, especially the creative talent."

2. Benchmarking is the waterboarding of the ad industry

Benchmarking is the waterboarding of the industry, enhanced interrogation that weakens its subjects but develops no useful information. Although benchmarking has become commonplace, it has had no positive long-term benefits. Indeed, the opposite is true -- advertiser brands are still not growing, CMOs last in their jobs only half as long as CEOs and agencies have been compromised and weakened.

3. How does your agency rate your brief?

“To my mind, there are few better tests of leadership than the briefing process.

It’s one of those things that clients instinctively know is critical but – if we’re being honest – most are guilty of not doing quite as well as they could or should.”

4. Why the chief growth officer is a threat to CMOs

The idea of a chief growth officer or chief customer officer is an affront to all chief marketing officers. They might as well call it chief-because-we’re-not-growing officer. Or chief-because-we’ve-lost-sight-of-the-customer officer. These roles are designed to compensate for something that’s not happening. It’s an acknowledgement that marketing isn’t working and, in the irony of ironies, marketing has an internal image problem. But what is marketing if it’s not about the customer and growth? Customers and growth should be indivisible from marketing.

5. Advertisers, Agencies, and Publishers need to fight a common enemy -- bad guys -- not each other

Rob Norman's recent Ad Age op-ed argued that the real cost of ad fraud to marketers was signficant but not anywhere near as bad as the headlines suggest. Publishers suffer "zero direct loss," he wrote.

A concerted effort among advertisers, agencies, and publishers is the only way to advance our position in this complex battle against the bad guys.

6. GSK's Speichert: Marketers Are Missing Digital Fundamentals

Marc Speichert has looked at digital marketing from both sides now -- or maybe three.

Being an alum isn't making him soft on Google: GSK is among companies that recently paused advertising there over brand-safety issues. It illustrates how the marketer role he returns to is different than what left. Spending is up, and with that comes increased expectations.

7. IAB Chief 'Can't Deal With This Shit,' Demands Members Join TAG

The digital ad business has made another move to regain the high ground, when the Interactive Advertising Bureau ordered all of its members to register with the anti-fraud Trustworthy Accountability Group.

On Thursday, however, the industry revealed an initiative to rid the internet of annoying ad formats. Now the TAG program has received a big push.

Rothenberg likened the IAB's TAG registration requirement to basic government health standards. "Every hot dog cart, no matter how small, has to follow the city's health code," he said.

8. Retuning the Marketing 'Orchestra'

Marketing's performance, too, is less than stellar. Brand growth has been stagnant for the past decade, particularly for legacy brands. The portfolio of agencies has been increased, each agency "best in class" in its area of expertise -- TV, radio, print, direct marketing, PR, events/sponsorship, website design, e-mail marketing and social media -- but there's something missing in the way that the agencies play together, like the discordant Bach orchestra.

It doesn't matter if you have the best players in the world. Their playing needs to be coordinated.


9. P&G will cut $2 billion in marketing but spend some back to become 'irresistible'

Procter & Gamble Co. wants to cut a whopping $2 billion in marketing spending over five years, and for the first time is providing details on a broader $10 billion cost-cutting plan launched a year ago.

That marketing spending cut comes amid a fiscal third-quarter earnings report where the company missed on sales-growth expectations and lost market-share in developing markets despite hiking ad spending. While the cost cuts were the biggest takeaway, P&G also outlined how it plans to become "irresistibly superior" in the eyes of consumers.

10. The race is on!

How IBM, Accenture, PwC and Deloitte Are Shaking Up the Marketing Industry

For the first time ever, four consultancies have cracked Ad Age's ranking of the 10 largest agency companies in the world. With combined revenue of $13.2 billion, the marketing services units of Accenture, PwC, IBM and Deloitte sit just below WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic and Dentsu.