Recipe for Change


It’s impossible to turn on the TV without seeing a food-based programme.  Netflix’s Chefs Table, C4’s Bakeoff, BBC’s MasterChef and the Best of British Takeaways which I watched in bed last night.  It’s the hunt for the British obsession with takeaway which according to NPD now amounts of a market value of £4.2billion which is up 73% in the last 10 years. Despite each one of these programmes being very different the underlying theme in all of them is the provenance, quality and simplicity of the ingredients.  Take last night’s episode which was about our obsession with fish and chips.  Simple dish, of fish coated in batter, resting on a bed of chips snuggled in a paper blanket before being smothered with salt and vinegar.  According to the National Federation of Fish Ferries, the UK currently has 10500 fish and chip shops, and when compared to McDonald’s, who only have about 1200, it puts it into perspective. To cut a long story short (spoiler alert) the traditional fish and chips beat the couple who battered their chips and the former trained chef who fried his pollock in curry flavoured batter.

In our industry, we are constantly tinkering with the ingredients of marketing, whether that’s fresh talent, new ecosystems, channel swapping, global to local and back again or looking for the panacea for digital marketing.  If nothing else our industry cannot be criticised for standing still.  However, in the pursuit of the perfect blend of marketing ingredients both agencies and brands can sometimes lose sight of the final dish – creativity.

Flock are currently working on a number of agency pitches and incumbent agency interventions and as such we have been fortunate to review a number of very well-crafted RFPs. One of them is the master class of beautiful RFPs.  The questions are all answered clearly, the teams look wonderful and have all of the right experience, the network can deliver the requirements in each market and even the commercials are close to the mark.  However, in 80+ pages there is no mention that this magical blend of ingredients will lead to better creativity.

When brands use Flock to help transform their marketing, we try to focus on what the consumer and brand needs.  Identifying the end outcome aids us in crafting what’s actually needed when focusing on the transformation ingredients.  Sometimes it’s about improving capabilities, or tightening up a process, but importantly we must focus on getting better creativity.  Understanding what ‘good’ looks like for you is the challenge but deserves attention because if an agency is going to respond they need to know what they are striving for.

Here are some questions to yourself before trying to change the ingredients of your mix.

  • What does ‘better creativity’ look like?
  • Do we give our agency the opportunity to deliver great creativity?
  • Does data/research squash great work?
  • Do we have the right agency mix to give us great creativity?
  • Do we have the right talent and capabilities to even stand a chance of getting great creativity?

If you do nothing else at least question your ingredients before embarking on a path to transformation.

Now I’m off for some fish and chips.

Find out more about how Flock can transform your marketing here.

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