Avi Dan, CEO of Avidan Strategies recently wrote a CMO Strategy article for AdAge titled, “As Shops Transform, Marketers Must Adapt Too: CMOs Must Draft a Blueprint for the New Client-Agency Relationship and Redesign Their Role.”
In the article, Mr. Dan expresses the shift in compensation from the model established at the dawn of the industry in the late 19th century to value-based agreements which base pay for performance, thereby aligning the interests of clients and agencies more closely. He mentions a number of key aspects that may be included in the new model, such as de-layering the service structure of agencies by reducing middle management; or relying more on freelance creatives and planners, this is something he calls Hollywoodization.
Mr. Dan also recommends that CMOs redesign the client’s side of the relationship as well by having marketers adapt a new set of skills and responsibilities. He primarily focuses on the skill set of the CMO and one aspect we at Jones&Bonevac especially agree with is what he calls, Process Audit and Design. The following is an excerpt from his article:
Process audit and design. With leaner agencies, single-mindedness is vital. CMOs should develop and champion a time-saving and labor-saving streamlined marketing and advertising process. You should ask yourself continuously, are assignments properly established and budgeted? Outcomes quantified, agreed to and documented? Is the approval process logical and prompt? Timetables unambiguous? During the transition, CMOs should establish a marketing and advertising process design plan to avoid operational bottlenecks.
Why we think that Mr. Dan is so spot-on will come as no surprise to those of you who regularly follow our blog. Just like Mr. Dan, we recognize the need to save time and labor by developing a process to streamline the marketing and advertising process.
We agree with the questions that he suggests to constantly be asking. While it may seem obvious that assignments should be properly budgeted, all too often the agency will go over budget as a result of unclear timetables or a lack of documented and quantified outcomes.
Mr. Dan also brought up the particularly important approval process; we suggest that one way to make it more logical and prompt is to reduce the number of decisions makers to one or two at the most. When the process clearly defines who is responsible for what and that there is little or no overlap among managers and decision makers, then the chances of success dramatically increase.
The ongoing transformation of the relationship between clients and agencies is something we at Jones&Bonevac take very seriously. We deliver multi-tiered solutions to our clients to help them quickly adapt to the challenges of the changing times. We offer training to companies seeking to give their marketers a head start in adopting these new roles and responsibilities. We provide a service as an objective third-party to review and audit our client’s communications with their agencies in order to design a more efficient and cost-saving process.