Effectively managing the agencies

When your brand / company works with agencies you can usually follow two paths. Be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

These two types are described well in iMediaConnection article as:

Low-maintenance clients are:

  • trusting
  • enjoyable to be around
  • transparent in discussing their goals and intentions
  • appreciative of what you do
  • in it for the long run (not fickle or willing to play you off other competitors)\
  • not arbitrary
  • willing to pay for expertise

High-maintenance clients, on the other hand, are:

  • demanding and in need of ego-stroking
  • lacking in communication skills
  • constantly holding the amount of money they’re spending over your head
  • always discontent; they’re never pleased about anything
  • insistent that they know more than you do
  • dismissive or unwilling to hear advice
  • holding you responsible for things that aren’t your fault
  • unwilling to give you credit for your work

Smart agencies know the difference between low-maintenance clients & high-maintenance clients and price accordingly. And smart clients know how to be a low-maintenance client & help their company budget by smart management of their agencies.

Smart agencies also constantly try to turn high-maintanence clients into low-maintenance ones. However, there are always some unexperienced clients who hurt their companies while they are actually trying to do something good for their companies. These inexperienced “high-maintenance wanna be” clients usually end up with low quality agencies which are mostly focusing on client relationships.

So it is your choice, be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

How To Evaluate Advertising

Today, I was revising our “Advertising Evaluation Form” (don’t tell people, that we have a process for this, they think we are gurus).

I just wanted to share a portion of Bob Hoffman’s article on Forbes.com How To Evaluate Advertising – Forbes.com. Bob’s view helped me on my form.

“when you’re evaluating advertising, avoid meaningless slogans and look for your product’s difference. Then judge how well the ad dramatizes that difference, how honest the message is, how simply the message is presented and whether or not there is some interesting news for your customer that translates into a benefit. If the advertising does some or all of that, it’s good. If not, it’s bad.”

If anybody is interested, I will be happy to share the whole document – Advertising Evaluation Form – as well.

Digital Agencies Aren’t Ready to Lead

“because most of them don’t know the business of marketing” is the answer of Ana Andjelic on the Advertising Age article.

So what is the solution today?

Find a digital agency which understands from the business of marketing.

I know it is extremely hard to find one, but I know it is not impossible 😉

The successful Marketing directors of the future will be the ones who will spot the right digital agency – not the “flashy ones” – which understands from the business of marketing . One clue that I can share with “Radical Marketers” is that, they should look into the DNA of the digital agencies and understand the backgrounds of key employees.

Of course, only spotting the right agency will not bring much success to the marketing directors, but creating the right environment for an efficient and long lasting relation will do.

Also note what Advertising Age says on traditional agencies:

For every marketing challenge, their solution is “better creativity.”

This is really harsh, but to tell you the truth, this is mostly the case in the industry.

Another good finding was:

“As much as people like to talk about the agency of the future, it will never happen until the client gets there first.”

I see many clients with great expectations, but mostly the organization, the human capital and the vision of the marketing department are mostly the bottleneck why digital agencies aren’t ready to lead.

See the full Advertising Age article which inspired me for this post at Why Digital Agencies Aren’t Ready to Lead – Advertising Age – DigitalNext.

Social Marketing Agency

(or Social Media Agency)

Mr Youth “a social marketing agency focusing on word-of-mouth, social interactive and experiential marketing” announced today that it has closed a private equity deal with two Boston-based investors.

Social Marketing is a great are with huge profit opportunities. It is very difficult for “integrated agencies” to focus on social marketing, and the teams with experience in this area will be the stars of advertising in the future.

Social Media Agencies are the same to Twitter and Facebook (and all other Social Media), what Search Agencies were to Google (Which is the marketing solution).