Despite the fact that I once owned an advertising agency, I am not sure the world wouldn’t be a better place without advertising agencies. I certainly question the value that advertising agencies deliver.
In my experience, advertising agencies rarely maximize return on investment. All too often, they view advertising, creative concepts, and media as the solution to everything.
Marketing with out advertising agencies would almost certainly involve the following:
- A higher standard of marketing manager
The standard of marketing managers in Australia, especially outside of Melbourne and Sydney, is low. This is often due to the failure of businesses to recognise the value they can add and then pay what is required to secure quality. Savings on advertising might be devoted to better marketing managers.
- A closer relationship between marketing and the customer
The key to cost effective marketing is putting the customer at the centre of the business. Advertising agencies view research as limiting their profitability while high quality marketing managers know the value of research, the savings it can deliver, and the potential for superior profitability.
- A closer relationship between marketing and HR
Despite the self-serving protestations of advertising agencies, building a great brand is far more about human resources and culture than it will ever be about advertising or communication. A good marketing manager understands the link between culture and brand.
- A closer relationship between marketing and experts
Content is an important component of the marketing mix now, and its importance will grow in the years ahead. Further, experts on the product or service, not advertising agencies and PR firms, are the best sources of content. High quality content comes from people with knowledge,
- A closer relationship between marketing and research and development
The starting point of any great brand is a great product. A good marketing manager knows this. Developing optimal products, carefully crafted to address the needs of the target audience, will become increasingly recognised as a key to maximising sales
- A closer relationship between marketing and the data
Almost without exception, advertising agencies put the creative ahead of the data and will never let the data get in the way of a good creative execution. A good marketing manager knows the importance of data in setting and fine-tuning strategies to drive return on investment
- Developing superior inhouse social media capabilities
Social media is best handled in-house by informed parties. It is better handled in the authentic, timely and strategic manner that only in-house resources can deliver. Good marketing managers will develop high quality social media strategies and employ the expertise to implement them.
- Marketing focusing more on the lifetime value of customers
Advertising agencies focus primarily on attracting the first purchase. More important, however, is the lifetime value of the customer and, therefore, conversion rates, average sale, referral rates, and repeat business – none of which is significantly impacted by advertising.
- Marketing becoming more innovative
Without advertising to rely on and blame for failings, a god marketing manager will tend to be more innovative and seek out better specialist consultants who can add more value than an advertising agency which has a business model based on selling creative ideas and media.