Feasting Together: Enjoy Agency Partners at the Table

November 16, 2017 | Lorraine Stewart

This is an update of a popular post regarding advertising agency search and multiple agency teaming practices. Plus I recommend a useful new book by a fellow “lover of collaboration”. Enjoy this second helping!

The Gathering

Whether preparing the table for a big family event or tackling an ambitious marketing goal, mobilizing the right team of people is the best way to accomplish those bigger than ordinary tasks.

Today, marketing and advertising success requires the efforts of many. It’s easy to understand that most companies want to produce quality content to engage their customers.  It’s harder to appreciate all that goes into actually doing this – including the making, distributing and measuring of marketing campaign efforts. Given explosive options in digital marketing communications, clients often ask the question how many digital, media and creative agency resources will I need to get it all done well? Full-service advertising agency or best of class specialist? As advertising channels multiply, companies find it hard to hire the right agencies and knit together their dream team. Leaders can’t afford the brand chaos that happens when there are “too many cooks” at work in the kitchen.

CMOs are run by their calendars and spend huge amounts of time in meetings! They orchestrate (and referee) among their own people and multiple advertising agency teams. It requires experience and data (or an effective agency search consultant like ROJEK) to invite the right mix of agencies to the seats at the table; it also takes deft leadership and cultural intelligence to fully harness the power of the collective and make meetings together more meaningful.

Our philosophy regarding organizational cultural fit between companies and their advertising partners prevails. Cultural fit is now a widely accepted criteria for hiring the best advertising agency for a company; yet cultural intelligence is newer territory when it comes to multiple advertising agency integration practices. When organizational cultures and core values do align, teams transcend conflict and find ways to innovate. Attention to the cultural norms that impact the ways we work well together represents important higher ground to master.

 

cultural-alignment-is-new-territory-when-it-comes-to-multiple-vendor-teaming-practices

What’s the Recipe? 

The multi-agency roster model works best for clients when these ingredients combine: commonly understood norms and core values, a well-defined scope and team structure, and the practical reality of best practice meeting protocols.

Former ROJEK client and now published author, Mamie Kanfer Stewart, gives us fresh advice for hosting the meetings that matter in her newly released book, Momemtum, Creating  Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable MeetingsMamie learned about and experienced highly collaborative organizational culture from her family business, GOJO Industries, inventors of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, before launching her own consulting company, Meeteor.

Most marketing leaders appreciate wasted time in unproductive meetings with their agencies is super expensive. In addition to identifying negative meeting behaviors, Momentum offers contemporary advice for today’s virtual work world; the book delivers the framework for leaders to rethink the purpose of their meetings, outlines productive team practices and even suggests alternatives to holding meetings.

Bring the Dessert 

Within the advertising industry moving from a competitive to a collaborative teaming model  will happen as either a means of agency survival or as an inevitable outcome of client demand; CMOs want their advertising agency partners to work better together. The forward-thinking agencies that lead the effort for coalition building and integrated teaming practices will increase their value proposition with their own clients; this is recognizably, a cultural mind-shift; to be the hero agency that proactively thinks and acts in unified service to others. Retention and loyalty will result.

Agencies serving clients can approach the new year by engineering new, mini-networks to offer clients turnkey resources with systems that are easy to navigate and activate.  It delights clients when their own advertising agencies can define the operational, financial and communication work flow that underpins agency efficiency. This multiple agency partner integration model resonates because it supports better accountability across the participants.

Feel too ambitious? Start with tackling client-agency team meeting fatigue this season to find more fruitful ways to gather together.

ROJEK Consulting is feeling grateful and honored to work with so many companies, and advertising agencies of all kinds, as we wrap up our 26th year in business.

Happy holidays!