Commentary

Brand And Agency Collaboration Tough, But Necessary

According to a new study by Forbes Insights and sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud, 60% of brand and agency executives say their roles and responsibilities have changed significantly over the past two years. Both groups are reengineering their internal organizations and forging new ways of working with their respective agency or brand counterparts.

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As the changing nature of marketing impacts product development, sales, and company culture, closer collaboration between brands and agencies is becoming more important than ever. Forward-thinking agencies are ready to serve a higher purpose than just being “idea factories” for individual campaigns.

Jeff Cheong, president of Tribal Worldwide Asia, says  “… the opportunity to re-craft the traditional model… (is) to say… maybe the solution to this problem is not an ad… maybe it’s new packaging… or a shift in distribution… or a shift in how you sell the product…

Patrick Adams, head of consumer marketing, PayPal, North America, says “… (we’ve) moved from an era when products could be sold based on what made them different… now, creativity has become a differentiator… agency and brand teams have become so fully integrated (here), that they’re often seen as a single, fully integrated resource for the business… whether it’s the digital agency… or the creative team… each is immersed with… (the) internal marketing team…”

But change isn’t easy, says the report, as nearly half of the survey respondents said that evolving brand and agency roles are making successful collaboration more difficult.

The Top Roadblocks To Better Brand/Agency Collaboration (% of All Respondents)

  • Not enough reporting of results to help us gauge effectiveness of programs… (28%)
  • Lack of training and skill development for fully utilizing marketing technologies… (26%)
  • Addressing different requirements in each of our global markets … (25%)
  • Organizational silos that inhibit communications and information sharing … (22%)
  • Ineffective or outdated technology… (21%)
  • Cultural differences… (21%)
  • Overly protective attitudes about intellectual property… (21%)
  • Lack of commitment among all team members… (18%)
  • No direct access to marketing systems, such as CRM & marketing automation applications… (16%)

Source: Forbes Insights, May 2016

More than a third of the stakeholders said their organizations aren’t highly effective when it comes to collaborating with brand/agency counter- parts to translate a marketing vision into a targeted, cross-channel program.

Top roadblocks include not enough reporting of results to gauge effectiveness of programs, lack of training and skill development for fully utilizing marketing technology, and problems addressing different requirements in each global market.

Emerging from this drive for innovation in marketing and the upheaval in how stakeholders make it happen is the need for a formal commitment to foster greater communications and information sharing with brand and agency counterparts. This desire is an imperative for 71% of marketing professionals worldwide, representing a resounding majority, and offering a glimpse of what the industry can expect in the months ahead.

Respondents See The Greatest Impact From More Effective Collaboration Between Brand And Agency Peers… 

Collaboration

% of Respondents

Capitalizing on customer data/analytics

20%

Creating/updated marketing strategies

18

Implementing successful cross-channel marketing programs

18

Formulating effective marketing strategies across all our global markets

15

Improved roi through more effective targeting

11

Performing customer journey mapping

10

New and more extensive use of marketing technologies

8

Source: Forbes Insights, May 2016

Unfortunately, the goals of greater consumer under-standing and engagement don’t always match the reality of what agencies and brands achieve, says the report. Gathering large volumes of data doesn’t necessarily mean marketing teams are fully capitalizing on what the information has to offer. 40% of the respondents say their organizations don’t effectively use customer data to create new marketing programs, and 38% don’t effectively create and deliver timely content tailored to specific customer personas.

Benefits arise when agencies and brands forge closer ties. But not all collaborations go smoothly. Kevin Koh, CEO of DDB Group Korea, concludes that “… in order for there to be better brand/agency collaboration… need to be sharing our data with each other… a client will have their own data… (and) opinions on what they believe will be best for their brand… we will also have data… we need to share the data and create campaigns and strategies… (for) long- lasting impact with consumers…”

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • 60% of brand and agency executives say their roles and responsibilities have changed significantly over the past two years
  • 48% of marketing executives say evolving brand and agency roles are making successful collaboration more difficult
  • 36% of the stakeholders say their organizations aren’t highly effective when it comes to collaborating with brand/agency counterparts to translate a marketing vision into a targeted, cross-channel program
  • 38% of respondents don’t effectively create and deliver timely content tailored to specific customer personas
  • 62% of brand and agency representatives are satisfied or very satisfied with their digital marketing systems
  • 57% of respondents will make new technology investments in the coming year

For access to the complete report from Forbes, please visit here.

 

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