Tony Koenderman's, Brainstorm 2010: You can run but you can't hide - 19 Oct 2010


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I recently opened Tony Koenderman’s Brainstorm 2010 conference with a presentation on the current challenges facing the communications industry. It attempts, uncomfortable as it is, to address some of the real truths both clients and agencies are facing. I have had a lot of requests for this presentation so here it is. I’ve expressly made it relatively self-explanatory, but if there are gaps, apologies for not attaching my speakers notes.

- Mike Abel

Published in: Business

Tony Koenderman's, Brainstorm 2010: You can run but you can't hide - 19 Oct 2010

  1. 1. YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE Brainstorm 2010
  3. 3. How many Client CEO’s are here today? How many Marketing Directors are here today? How many Procurement Departments are here today? How many agency CEO’s are here today?
  5. 5. All we’re talking about today is the small matter of someone chooses a competitors’ brand over yours. WHY
  6. 6. HOW TO SURVIVE 2011 & BEYOND Psychologists tell us that acknowledgement of an issue is logically the first step towards finding a solution. Darwin observed that it was not the strongest of the species that survived, but those who were most adaptable to change.
  7. 7. QUESTION # 1: Are you actually aware that there has been a seismic shift over the past decade between the client’s real needs and most ad agencies’ real offering? QUESTION # 2: Has everyone forgotten the consumer? (Because they’ve left the building). HOW TO SURVIVE 2011 & BEYOND
  8. 8. “WE’VE BEEN HAVING IT….”
  9. 9. SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS Most advertising and communication currently out there has little or nothing to do with the very real challenges that the client organisation faces. Most of South Africa’s biggest spenders are throwing mega money at trying to entertain consumers through advertising that has no meaningful consumer benefit, differentiated offer or reason to purchase. And it is not linked to their key challenges.
  10. 10. SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS It seems to make no difference if the work doesn’t succeed as client’s have actually forgotten that communications has the ability to transform a company’s prospects, if that even was the intention - and therefore expect no return on investment. LOGICAL CONCLUSION # 1:
  11. 11. SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS The real meaty conversations obviously aren’t happening at the top table between client and agency - business intent in this current transaction is therefore largely facile and platitudinous. LOGICAL CONCLUSION # 2:
  13. 13. Our Creator TRUST? (Procurement & a world of bull) The job of the agency (Informed, imaginative & accountable) Dumbing- down fresh thinking New model & new remuneration models – putting skin into the game Integration versus 100% of Client wallet Talent
  14. 14. THE CHANGED LANDSCAPE The consumer landscape has changed dramatically and yet the marketing and advertising landscape steadfastly refuses to follow suit. Simply put, we lag considerably.
  16. 16. Time-starved snackers – info bites, tweets, reading in headlines… Vacuous escapism – celebrity, reality TV. The most read author in Business Class is Jacqui Collins! “Word of mouse”: Consumer-generated content is becoming king: 25% of search results on the planets’ top 20 brands are links to user-generated content. Disloyal (see 1, 2 & 3 above) or simply, convenience rules. Brands need to work that much quicker and that much harder. Unconfined by convention: marriage (what’s that?) rates in steep decline, divorce rates in steep incline. Anything goes. Highly creative! Over 200 million blogs with 50% of their “authors”, posting or tweeting daily.
  17. 17. Affluenza 1. (n.) A painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (n.) The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the “American Dream”.
  18. 18. “W RLD OF MOUTH”
  19. 19. More people follow Ashton Kutcher & Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter than the population of Ireland, Norway & Panama. 1 out of 8 couples that married in the USA last year met via Social Media. is the 2nd largest Search Engine globally. ’s population makes it the 4th largest “country” on the Planet.
  20. 20. INSPIRING THE CREAT R Engage them with in a useful place, with useful content and interesting & simple information. talk participate listen talk some more
  21. 21. INSPIRING THE CREAT R Provide the palette, colours and paint (fun). It is not about “follow me, I’m right behind you”.
  22. 22. INSPIRING THE CREAT R CONSUMER TRUTH # 1: People seek that which has value. CONSUMER TRUTH # 2: People trust you more if they like you. CONSUMER TRUTH # 3: People like consistency. CONSUMER TRUTH # 4: People want self-belief / conviction from us. UNIVERSAL TRUTHS: The need to be loved, understood & respected.
  23. 23. TRUST
  24. 24. Procurement killed the advertising star. Commoditized relationships – paying lip-service to partnerships. Mandatory divorces written into marriage contracts. “A good deal is when both parties leave the table unhappy”. The swimwear contest still wins the day (perpetuating the idiocy of pitches). Hate agency’s that win awards (other than on their own business…). Johan Rupert and Governance….what happened to the old handshake? Are the right conversations being held with the right people?
  25. 25. TRUST An agency is doing its job when the communication solution is effectively developed in line with the key business challenge the organisation is facing and the client is trying to solve. A client is doing its job when he/she briefs the agency to do the above and provides them with the senior access, information, permission and resources to solve the true problem.
  27. 27. Agencies today are largely thinking in executional ideas rather than brand ideas. And in truth, most clients and agencies can’t tell the difference between the two. Agencies are still largely paid for execution or time spent and not the solution (or the results thereof). And most wouldn’t have it any other way… Social media, digital, PR, activation ideas and channels should be at the very centre of today’s solutions but are still being relegated to the old media slot at the end of the presentation – and this is largely being handled by other “suppliers”.
  29. 29. Brand funnels, onions, the intrinsic that matches the extrinsic, the bulls- eyes, bull-shit. The proprietary tool has lobotomised the idea. Consumer research: Lots of information, lots of analysis, too little real insight. Too little time spent in the real world. Perpetuating the status quo. Why is it the new agency get to do the fresh work the old agency wasn’t allowed to? Agencies are winning work on scam and pro bono as clients have become so risk-averse that vanilla is now the hottest selling flavour. Mitigating loss: Psychologically, the weight of a unit of loss is 10 times heavier versus a unit of gain.
  32. 32. OUR FEE STRUCTURE Risk and reward Linked to clients business performance Pre-agreed measurables Constructed in an entirely fresh and innovative way a. A base admin fee and a sliding % of total sales turnover. b. Upfront strategy and concept fee then x cents for every item sold.
  34. 34. We need to return to the ideas business. Channel neutral in every sense. Understand the pulleys and levers to client success. Results orientated. Own the opportunity not the overhead.
  35. 35. Involved right upfront and at the right level. Not only paid for input but for output. We need to embrace the new world like our consumers already have! Hire the best people and collaborate with the right people.
  36. 36. THANK YOUBrainstorm 2010