NEW YORK — Any variety of reasons can trigger an agency review. However, for alcohol marketer Mast-Jägermeister, agency reviews have largely been a tool of consolidation and efficiency, especially as the corporate increases its give attention to events held on-premise in bars and other locations where alcohol is served.
At one point, the corporate’s on-site presence was handled by 19 different agencies. Such a big network made it difficult to have a unified strategy. If the corporate decides that one approach shouldn’t be working, a shift must be done quickly and uniformly, something the corporate has been higher able to achieve since streamlining its roster of agencies, said Charles Littlefield, the corporate’s CMO during an Advertising Week panel.
“If the concept that all of us love is not working 30 or 60 days in, how can we pivot collectively…how can we make it go? And in order that’s an example of certainly one of the most important shifts that we’ve had,” said Littlefield.
For Mast-Jägermeister, one other significant consideration when it comes to agency reviews is the worldwide presence of the Jägermeister brand. Mother handles the marketer’s global footprint, but what may go in other countries may not work within the U.S. Having an agency that understands such international complexity but also can design U.S.-based content is a top priority.
Littlefield, newly appointed as CMO of Mast-Jägermeister, was joined on the panel by Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO of American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). Others on the panel included Lisa Colantuono, president of agency search consultancy AAR Partners, and Karina Kogan, chief marketing and industrial officer of Pvolve. Littlefield, said the corporate could spend six to seven months on an agency review, with the search essentially becoming a full-time job for the person in charge. Littlefield further discussed the method, together with recent consolidation attempts, with moderator Marilyn Mead Brutoco.
An agency review can cost a median of $400,000 for the defending account, while non-incumbents can spend $200,000 just to take part in a review, said Kaplowitz.
Constant communication is essential for a marketer-agency relationship. Any variety of instances can trigger an agency review, akin to a recent CMO or inadequate sales. However, complacency is the most important perpetrator, according to AAR Partner’s Colantuono.
“When an agency becomes complacent, or the marketer feels that the agency has turn into complacent, that’s when the nervousness starts,” said Colantuono.
Presenting recent research conducted jointly between the 4A’s and the Association of National Advertisers across the high cost of reviews, Kaplowitz noted that an incumbent agency was retained roughly two-thirds of the time. While the numbers can have been skewed barely due to several aspects, the time-consuming process can have been avoided if higher communication existed between the 2 parties, according to Kaplowitz.
“[That’s] really disappointing that a client is spending money to do a review when they may have had a conversation about what their needs were somewhat than spending this time, spending the month it takes distracting from the core business,” said Kaplowitz. The 4A’s and ANA study revealed that the common agency review process runs longer than three months and takes no less than two months with an incumbent participating.
For optimal results, agencies must be seen as an extension of a team. With agency reviews being so expensive and time-consuming, they must be used only when needed. And with incumbent agencies being retained more often than not, they will not be as vital as corporations imagine.
“The problem is when you do not treat that group like an extension of your team and like a partner, you aren’t getting the most effective,” said Kaplowitz. “You’re not going to get the most effective people, you are not going to get that real conviction to go above and beyond but let me let you know, the partnerships that are really strong…they know that the client wins they win.”
Read the total article here