Ajay Chhabra, a digital marketer, outlines the essentials that members of a marketing agency need to keep in mind when dealing with clients
May 16, 2012
What should one expect from a new marketing agency and its team? The answer is the new 8 Ps of agency marketing. I have arrived at this on the basis my experience and exposure of working with a multiple number of global brands.
•Proactiveness: The first and the foremost expectation of any brand from its marketing agency should be that the agency should be proactive rather than reactive. They should continuously monitor the brand and the competition and should come forward and share ideas with the client’s brand team.
• Preparation: The agency should be thorough in its plans because, on the client side, every brand struggles with go-to-market, creation of a niche market, and stringent timelines. It is better to delay a meeting for a few hours than reaching on time at the client site without preparation. When agencies delay meeting time, brands understand that there is some last-minute work going on at the agency, which is perhaps good for the brand.
• Patience: Agency people sometimes get frustrated in terms of the effort and time spent on making a plan and, during the pitch process, your boss and pitch leader says ‘Hey, you are not going to present your part today’. Have patience, as the time and energy you spent on creating something new which never got presented to the client is your hard work and would definitely be utilised somewhere else for a similar business challenge.
• Persuasiveness: One should be persuasive enough to put across his ideas and taking them to execution. There are clients who don’t have any set budget, but if you have an innovative idea, they can create the budget for the same. So, whenever you have an idea and you believe in the power of that idea, be persuasive enough to take it to the client and have faith that somewhere, someone (I call him the third umpire) is noticing all your noble intentions to make the brand a better one.
• Persistence: Am agency should be persistent in its effort to help achieve brand objectives. There would be instances where the campaign would not go the way you wanted it, yet you have to be persistent and brands love that.
• Planning: This is the most crucial skill of any marketing agency. There is a limited number of planners and a large number of brands and pitches. So, planning is an attitude and this should be inherently present in all professionals involved in this process. Even as a client servicing person you need to plan your time, WIP and deliveries well. So, in a nutshell everybody in the agency team needs to demonstrate true planning skills.
• People: A brand spends a large amount of money every month in retaining an agency which is made up of people. The brand will grow even if they get one person who breathes the brand all the time and become a true and honest brand ambassador. So, the crux of the story is that agency people with a good and positive attitude can make a brand and the opposite is also true.
• Profit Focus: As an agency if you demonstrate that whatever investments or spend you are doing on the behalf of the client has a solid return on investment, then please go ahead and do that, or else wait for some time and work out if this spend in any way brings in profit to the client. When we hear the debates on pay for performance and variable component linked to performance, it is because every brand needs justification for the money spent. So, the profit focus is going to help both the brand as well as the agency as both are growing together.
If you work for a marketing agency and have read through this article, start practising these new 8 Ps of agency marketing. Nobody can then stop you from being on the other side of the table one day.
(The writer is a new age marketer & digital marketing specialist who has worked with two leading global digital marketing agencies prior to joining the global digital marketing team of a world renowned diversified businesses brand. He has B2B & B2C digital marketing industry expertise in automobile, healthcare, FMCG & mobile handset brands. He can be reached at email@example.com)
Great work Ajay