Four Key Marketing Eco-System Trends

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Maarten Albarda

Flock Associates has had a busy fall season of attending and presenting at various Marketing Conferences around the world. In this brief update, we will share the key findings from two conferences: The Festival of Media LatAm, held in Miami on October 29 and 30, and the “Big marketing Conference” held in Amsterdam on November 13.

In Miami, Flock’s Maarten Albarda MC-ed the afternoon sessions on the Content Stage, where presenters from, amongst others, Taboola, Snapchat, Shutterstock, PepsiCo and TV Azteca shared lessons learned and insights on the development of marketing driven content.

In Amsterdam, the theme of the conference was Advertising and Trust, focusing on the current state of trust (it isn’t good, surprise, surprise) and how to (re)build trust in advertising for consumers and marketers alike. Participating in both conferences offered a great cross section of hot topics, opinions, new ideas and great work.

Here are Maarten’s key take-aways:

  1. Trust and transparency are still huge issues, but marketers have moved from being victims to taking charge. From across Latin America to Europe, marketers showcased how they have taken marketing approaches such as programmatic, production, creative and other aspects in house. Patrick Stal, Uber’s Head of Marketing Europe, Middle East and Africa shared that since they took their programmatic advertising in house, they’ve both cut their investment and increased its effectiveness. We have heard similar stories from P&G, L’Oreal and Unilever.

Flock has extensive experience with helping clients review and improve agency contracts across all service aspects. We have also developed a bespoke agency evaluation tool to help assess how the relationship and productivity of the agency and the marketing department performs. More here.

  1. Agencies of all varieties are facing a huge and daunting task to find growth and meaning. But there is (as always) a silver lining. As they reinvent themselves, there are opportunities to bring back trust, rebuild meaningful relationships and be part of the marketing eco-system (see also next point). Sir Martin Sorrell was on stage in Amsterdam, and he still seemed pleased with his now self-declared coconut size S4Capital (up from peanut size). He sees opportunity in creative content and innovation, assets at scale, and platforms and e-commerce. MediaMonks is obviously a play in that space, but he was clear that he wanted his hands on “media” and with that he meant both traditional as well as digital. It is no secret that he is actively shopping in this space.

Flock has supported over 500 pitches across media, creative, digital, marketing tech and other services across the world. More information here.

  1. The evolution of in-housing: I have often warned that “in-housing” is not for the faint of heart and is a lot harder than some make it sound. It is a huge commitment to deliver and beat the market in cost, quality, innovation and speed versus whoever is your current supplier, in perpetuity. It is probably better if you have size and scale, and if you are in a “real city” so that you have access to talent. But even there, the competition for talent is huge so be prepared to pay! Many advertisers, realizing they may not have an easy task in filling in the org chart boxes as well as the tech requirements, are now exploring co-housing opportunities. This is where they partner with their agency or other providers and bring their people and technologies in house, armed with a contract that ensures they report first and foremost to the client leadership. It is kind of a white-label solution on steroids.

Flock has supported many marketers with reviews and assessments in the area of in-housing, co-housing, white-labeling, etc. We always recommend that the first step should be to assess what solution fits best with a marketing organization. Spoiler alert: it is complex and there are no turn-key solutions. More here.

  1. Purpose Marketing, or Meaningful Marketing Matters. Marketers are realizing that if they just rely on their product and their awareness, they are will be challenged by others who have adopted strategies that also explain how they are inclusive, green, responsible and/or politically aware. Witness a parade of creative work that shows inclusive workplaces and diverse users. Witness a whole host of brands that want you to know they source ecologically sound, they preserve and conserve resources, and they treat their employees equally and fair. I have opined that, as part of Meaningful Marketing, marketers might also want to consider and demonstrate fair and transparent use of consumer data. This would go a long way towards repairing the current consumer data trust deficit.

To determine the role and approach for purpose marketing, we help marketers with assessments and strategy sessions. More information here.

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