A simple definition of the word relationship is "the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other." Every single one of us have been in and are currently in a relationship. Could be a relationship with your significant other of course or with your dry cleaner or the guy who cuts your grass.
In the business world, however, the relationship between a given brand and its agency is incredibly important and is changing dramatically, according to the findings of a new global study of over 250 executives across a range of industries and functions conducted by Forbes Insights and Oracle Marketing Cloud.
How dramatic is the relationship changing? Well consider 60% of brand and agency executives say their roles and responsibilities have changed significantly over the past two years while another 48% of marketing executives who say evolving brand and agency roles are making successful collaboration more difficult.
Enter the CMO
As if the CMO doesn't have enough on his or her plate, they need to be fully cognizant of this ever-shifting dynamic between their brand and their agency(s) and the effects it can and is having on the entire organization.
While forward-thinking agencies are ready to serve a higher purpose than just being “idea factories” for individual campaigns as Jeff Cheong, president of Tribal Worldwide Asia says "Maybe the solution to this problem is not an ad, maybe it’s new packaging or a shift in distribution, or a shift in how you sell the product." — progressive marketing leaders within brands are embracing new and closer working relationships.
“Whether it’s the digital agency that’s helping us drive our acquisitions or the creative team, each is immersed with our internal marketing team,” says Patrick Adams, head of consumer marketing, PayPal, North America. “I often don’t delineate between my full-time employees and my agency people. They’re all seen as one and the same as the relationships become tighter and more significant.”
All this change comes against the backdrop of the most fundamental need of all: increasing sales and attracting new customers, goals that 80% of respondents across all geographic regions rank at the top of the list of strategic goals for marketing programs in the year ahead.
The fact that increasing sales and getting new customers is #1 in the need department should surprise no one, of course for as much as things change, the bottom line will always be the bottom line. Working in new, more collaborative ways is one way to reach this goal. Closer brand and agency collaboration will become even more important in the coming year, according to 60% of the respondents.
For their part CMOs must work very closely with their agency counterparts to overcome the roadblocks that will prevent successful collaboration, such as ensuring all key program metrics are shared with key players both internally and externally and improving the training and skill development for fully utilizing marketing technologies.
Download The Age Of Brand, Agency & Customer Collaboration to learn how to overcome these roadblocks plus learn the 4 keys to success in translating marketing visions into more engaged customers.