Be Proactive, Not Reactive!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Costing, Marketing, Procurement, Return on Investment (ROI), wasted spend

As a consultancy marketing procurement we are normally called in by companies to help solve a problem. It’s usually the case that they need to cut back costs in some form or another, so we’ll look through their data and speak to their suppliers to ensure they are getting the best value for money on all aspects of their marketing spend. Nine times out of ten, we will find that there are enormous savings to be had, working practices to amend and marketing activities to align. To the client, this all sounds great. We charge a fee that is comparatively insignificant to the savings they make, get on with the work and help their company to get the value for money they need. Job done. Increasingly, companies are bringing in external experts to turn around the fortunes of their struggling brands and businesses. I recently read an article based on Beatrice Lafon, who has built a reputation as one of the world’s top fixers having worked with retailers such as M&S, Dorothy Perkins and River Island to helping address the problems they face. More recently, Lafon has been setting down roots as the president of Claire’s Accessories Europe, where she is working on an essential recovery plan for the...

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Round-table discussions at The Gherkin

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Advertising, Marketing, Media, Procurement, Return on Investment (ROI), wasted spend

The Marketing Factory is getting ready to host another of their regular networking events on Thursday 18th April at The Gherkin in London. This particular event will be a breakfast round table discussion and will feature experts with media buying and marketing procurement backgrounds. How often do you hear that your media buying agency is getting inside your customer’s hearts and minds in a way that only they can? They use psychographics, geographics, demographics and more to ensure the delivery of your key messages to the right audience in the most cost effective ways possible. Sound familiar? Our argument is that how do you know you’re getting the best value for money or that what they’re advising is actually best for you and not the most profitable for them. Can you review the data and have you asked the questions, the right questions? We’ve spoken to many companies over the years regarding their media spend and more often than not, they’re being told that with their media profile, they are getting the best deal available to them and more often than not, that just isn’t true. We are holding a round-table discussion on the topic of whether you can and should buy direct as well the issues surrounding this. We will...

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Simple Marketing Messages are key to flexibility and effectiveness

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Advertising, Marketing, Return on Investment (ROI), wasted spend

Cutting marketing spend seems to be the current focus for most but that shouldn’t have an impact on your efficiency. One way to cut costs but remain effective is to ensure you’re getting the most out of your advertising. I want to get back to the root of marketing and go over the importance of keeping your marketing messages simple and overall, understandable. By ‘marketing messages’, I mean how you convey who you are and what you do, to different target groups. This does sound simple although the number of complicated and indistinguishable messages that appear across our media channels seems to suggest that simple doesn’t come that simply to all. There are a number of reasons why this is occurring but it’s really only down to two parties. Either the advertising agencies are creating indecipherable messages through overly creative strategies or the campaign management aren’t clear on their desired messages and target market. Having clear and simple marketing messages requires that, firstly, you know what your customers actually want from you and secondly, you are courageous enough to exclude aspects from your messages so you can remain focused.  If you are not absolutely clear about what really motivates your customers then the temptation is to not exclude anything from your messages whereby advertising multiple...

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Marketing Factory letter published in Marketing Week on the 31st January 2013

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Marketing, Media, Return on Investment (ROI), Social Media, wasted spend

                  Marketers have been warned to take their social media activity more seriously and enforce higher standards of planning, strategy and evaluation into campaigns on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to boost their effectiveness. ————————————– It certainly is the ‘must do’ of the times but I’ve come across many companies through our social media surveys as well as clients who are simply on-board with social media just for the sake of it. To be on Facebook and Twitter isn’t for everyone and so its use must be approached with a clear and precise strategy separate from other channels. If you are going to utilise social media then do it for the right reasons. The current dynamic of social media platforms make it difficult to analyse the full potential in terms of intrinsic benefits so don’t use them to generate revenue. What they are incredibly good at is connecting like-minded consumers together to what they’re interested in. Providing valuable content and interaction is the key to drive your social media strategy and should be initiated accordingly. Having clear objectives and accurate planning will allow you to maximise these strategic benefits creating a stable base for your company to grow. If you’re...

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Are Media Agencies taking Advantage of you? – A Marketing Procurement Breakfast at The Gherkin

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Costing, Marketing, Media, News, wasted spend

We’ve just held another of our Networking Events which focus on current trends and topics of the marketing and marketing procurement world. This particular event was a breakfast round table discussion focusing on Media Agencies and the transparency in billing with particular reference to unbilled media and rebates. We held this breakfast in a private dining room on the 32nd floor at The Gherkin which proved to have, as expected, great views of a surprisingly sunny morning in central London. This was also the first visit for many of the attendees so a fair few photos were taken which brought out the tourist in all of us. This event featured special guests Adrian Jenkins, a forensic accounting expert and Eduardo Salazar, a marketing effectiveness and analytics expect to shed some light on these areas of potential savings and inefficiency. We assembled senior marketing, marketing procurement and financial representatives from major organisations from FMCG, Fashion, Food & Drink and Finance industries to join the experts to share information, experiences, concerns and even some horror stories regarding this hot topic. The attendees were able to voice their opinion with other like-minded professionals, providing highly insightful and interesting discussions and debates. We found that these problems and issues are not unique to any one company size...

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