Commentary

Do Agencies and Marketers Walk-the-Talk?

Do Agencies and Marketers Walk-the-Talk?

According to a new strategic leadership study conducted by Louws Management Corporation, while 80% of 711 advertising and marketing professionals surveyed said they are strongly aware of their company's brand positioning, only one fourth of them "...can clearly articulate (their) company's brand position to... clients, customers or prospective clients." This includes 30 percent of senior management, notes the report. The study makes several critical observations regarding the use of advertising tools that would lead to strategic solutions for clients.

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One conclusion of the study report is that with companies placing more emphasis on establishing superior business strategy, strategic planning skills are still not a priority, and strategic, media and creative briefs are not generating measurable or innovative outcomes.

Other dichotomies observed in the responses include such findings as:

  • 41.5% of respondents agree that strategic thinking is a lost art, but 89% feel that their agency provides proactive strategic brand and marketing leadership.
  • 85% of respondents report that they have a strategic brief/process for their marketing assignments, but 50% stated that they sometimes or never use the brief/process.
  • Almost 90% of respondents indicated they have a creative brief for assignments. but 37% felt that they were used with "sometimes, rarely and never."
  • 40% of respondents do not have a media brief for media buying and planning assignment, but of those who do have one, 66% said that they "sometimes, rarely or never use it."
  • 80% of respondents said that their agency does not offer formal training on how to write a media brief, and when asked if, and 45% said their company has no formal strategic planning and development training for employees. For those who do, 50% train once a year and 25% train occasionally or sporadically.
  • 41% of all respondents felt that strategic thinking is a lost art, but 89% strongly agree that they provide strategic brand and marketing leadership.
  • 85% of all respondents say that they have a strategic process, but half say they sometimes or never use it. And, 75% agree that there strategic process does not result in measurable results.

The author feels that these findings are particularly significant because of the high level of top agencies and senior management responding, noting these response demographics:

  • 33 agency respondents in the top 50
  • 13 agency respondents in the top 150
  • 29 agencies were over $1B
  • 5 agencies were between $400 - $999
  • 22 agencies were between $100 - $399
  • 80% of all respondents identified themselves as Senior Management.

To obtain the full study, please visit Louws Management Corporation here.

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