July 22, 2020

The following is republished with the permission of the Association of National Advertisers. Find this and similar articles on ANA Newsstand.

By Cliff Campeau

Driving performance, improving efficiency and boosting working dollars are three primary focus areas of marketers the world over. COVID-19 and the related budgetary pressures aside, this has been a focus of marketers, and will continue to be well into the future.

The quickest and often simplest path to attaining these objectives relates directly to process improvements that are well within a CMO’s sphere of influence.

Below is an overview of the four key process steps that marketers can and should consider evaluating for potential improvement opportunities:

  1.     Review the creative development and media planning briefing process with the goal of enhancing the efficacy of this essential practice and applying it appropriately to the ongoing client-agency workflow. A poorly conceived or ambiguous brief drives project costs, causes delays and can result in lackluster outputs.
  2.     Streamline the review and approval process to cut down on delays and agency re-work. Minimize unnecessary rounds of review at the ideation and planning stages to mitigate the risk of excess agency staff time or excess costs creeping into the project.
  3.     Extend current campaigns and or repurpose proven work rather than undertake the risk and expense of creating new content for select brands and or promotions. For many marketers, brand support and promotional events are often repeated annually or seasonally, allowing them the opportunity to modify and reapply existing plans, approaches and content rather than investing in the development of new approaches.
  4.     Encourage the agencies to close and reconcile jobs and campaigns in a concise and timely manner to account for and return unspent funds. Nothing good happens when approved, often pre-paid dollars are left unreconciled for extended periods of time. Marketers should require their agency partners to close jobs quickly, once completed, and true-up actual costs immediately following job closure.

The above areas, if not applied and managed properly, are the source of significant inefficiency which limits a marketers return on investment. As American businessman and author, John Rampton once said: “Make no mistake about it. Bad habits are called 'bad' for a reason. They kill productivity and creativity. They slow us down. They hold us back from achieving our goals. And they're detrimental to our health.”

About Author: Cliff Campeau is a Principal at AARM | Advertising Audit & Risk Management.

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