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2007 Ipa Planners Survey Updated Topline Report


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A topline debrief on quantative research conducted by the IPA Strategy Group into the UK's strategy community

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2007 Ipa Planners Survey Updated Topline Report

  1. 1. Issues in the communications industry: A Strategist’s perspective Hall & Partners Europe  Brand and Communications Research Prepared by Hall and Partners for IPA February, 2008
  2. 2. Methodology sample size methodology sample characteristics interview dates Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research N=166 respondents in the UK 20 minute online survey conducted via personalised survey invite sent to individual email accounts Strategists working in the communications industry for an IPA member agency 6 th November – 17 th December 2007
  3. 3. So, who are the Strategists we talked to? <ul><li>The majority of Strategists are male (60%) </li></ul><ul><li>Over half were under 35 years old (54%) </li></ul><ul><li>Jon Steel and Adam Morgan have inspired the most through their writing, with Russell Davies and Adliterate entertaining them and keeping them informed on a day to day basis </li></ul><ul><li>Jon Steel, John Grant, Jeremy Bullmore and Stephen King are the most respected figures in the industry and provide the greatest inspiration </li></ul>Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research It’s a young woman’s game: Newer recruits (under 30’s) tended to be more heavily weighted to females Learning from the masters: While our males were more likely to fall in the 36-45 age group
  4. 4. Who are their heroes? Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research There were a whole variety of ‘hero’ brands – from the cutting edge, to new young things, to old school classics The Guardian was far and away their favourite paper was their favourite website – covering all their news, entertainment, leisure needs
  5. 5. <ul><li>Most have worked in their current company for less than two years (58%) and are educated to degree level (65%) </li></ul><ul><li>While relatively new at their agencies, time spent within the industry is considerable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>75% have 6+ yrs experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>43% have over 11 years experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agency work for these Strategists focuses mainly on advertising, although almost half (46%) claim their agency offers an integrated service </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated agencies are focussing on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Branded Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsorship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS / Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales Promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PR </li></ul></ul>Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research What sort of agency do they work for? Decreasing in focus in our sample
  6. 6. <ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Those working at ad agencies are more likely to think they lead the relationship (68% vs. 57% of integrated agencies) and are much more likely to say they still work in isolation (22%) </li></ul><ul><li>Vs. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated </li></ul><ul><li>While those at integrated agencies, feel a little bit more inclined to share, with over a fifth (22%) saying they have equal responsibility for clients with other agencies </li></ul>Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research Who’s the boss?
  7. 7. Advertising vs. Integrated Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research Advertising Integrated <ul><li>While on the whole, attitudes towards strategy were broadly similar, there were some interesting differences between the two camps </li></ul><ul><li>Skewing to older age groups (46+) </li></ul><ul><li>No real gender bias </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to recommend strategy as profession </li></ul><ul><li>Believe strategy is one of the first things to suffer when costs get cut </li></ul><ul><li>Take much stronger pride in their work </li></ul><ul><li>Feel more prepared to deal with anything their clients or agencies can throw at them </li></ul><ul><li>Although still feel as though there should be more of them in their agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Skewing to younger age groups (<25+) </li></ul><ul><li>Heavily male biased (part. digital, design, sponsorship) </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to recommend their agency to others </li></ul><ul><li>Bit more go getting – more likely to set up on their own and run their own agencies </li></ul>
  8. 8. And who are their clients? <ul><li>Client sectors worked across are varied: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>54% currently dealing with financial services firms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>37% food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>34% drink </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>33% retail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>31% IT/Internet/Telecomms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>28% Government/Political </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>26% Charity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>23% Entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>23% Motors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The vast majority of these clients are based in the UK (81%) </li></ul><ul><li>Around a third have clients in Europe and 16% in North America </li></ul>Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research
  9. 9. <ul><li>The good bits…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Strategists clearly enjoy the work they do! Nearly all (95%) say they love working on strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They take a strong pride in their job (91%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working with creative people and as part of a team are the best bits of the job for many (30%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>While the variety of the job is attractive to others (25%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other enjoyable aspects include making a positive impact on a client’s business (17%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And idea generation (14%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps unsurprisingly, they feel they do their best work when working on an existing client’s business (61%) while pitching for new business proves to be more of a challenge (34%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They feel valued by their clients (87%) and have confidence to deal with the challenges thrown at them by their clients and agency alike (87%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Furthermore, they are strong advocates of their profession (81%) and agency (84%) </li></ul></ul>Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research What do the Strategists think of their current role?
  10. 10. Some of the best bits… “ The most enjoyable bits are collaborating with creative agencies and people from other teams here to solve a problem” “ Having such an open canvas for developing ideas that meet a clients strategy. One day digital, next is data, next is direct, next is SP...” “ I get to create and celebrate great ideas, whilst working along side great minds, in an ever-evolving industry” What do they love? &quot;Simply seeing the value of my strategic insight and planning being put into action by clients and the tangible results they receive from this; and the associated kudos for me and the agency as a whole. It's even better when the client is prepared to acknowledge the credit to the agency for our input” “ And the ultimate output - the pride in knowing that you contributed to good work&quot; “ Presenting a strategy to a client and getting feedback that it's awesome. Then watching your strategy be implemented and returning great results. Then getting a pat on the back from a client / boss. ”
  11. 11. Some of the best bits… “ Also, promoting the value of insight and strategic 'big picture' thinking amongst my agency colleagues and seeing them learn and use the same tools and processes that I do, again for client benefit, and agency profit and reputation.“ “ Collaborative working within the agency and with other associated agencies on a client problem” “ Strategy allows me the intellectual freedom to be a bit of 'butterfly' when it comes to developing solutions - recommended route can come from many different marketing disciplines” What do they love? “ Developing new ways of doing things/ thinking about different solutions be they research or creative media” &quot;The people, the people, the people” “ Certain amount of freedom to pursue interesting things. Ability to take a step back and question. As a strategist you get to have conversations with more senior people” “ I t also allows contact with many different client industries - many of which can feed learning off each other ”
  12. 12. Men vs. Women Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research <ul><li>Really love the role </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t necessarily see themselves in it for the long haul – more likely to move clientside than men </li></ul><ul><li>Just not nearly as ambitious – under a third considering setting up on their own, compared to almost half of men </li></ul><ul><li>Less confident and secure – feelings of being undervalued and underpaid </li></ul><ul><li>Much less likely to think they will reach the top </li></ul><ul><li>Much more confident and secure </li></ul><ul><li>They feel valued and challenged, with over half (57%) claiming they will reach the top one day </li></ul><ul><li>They take greater pride in their work and more likely to think they are fairly rewarded for what they do </li></ul><ul><li>They also see the future more positively, with greater changes happening for the better </li></ul>
  13. 13. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research What do the Strategists think of the industry? <ul><li>While they are happy, the do think things can still improve in the future… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>65% see the profession changing for the better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While just over half (55%) say clients value strategy over other agency disciplines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>63% believe their agency really invests in strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>40% believe Strategists are more likely to get to the top jobs in the industry and half see themselves actually getting to the top </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research And what is the secret to successful client-agency working? <ul><ul><li>The Strategists attribute a good relationship largely to strong collaboration and teamwork (46%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust/ honesty (27%) and plenty of time and patience (24%) are also important! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other key ingredients are: clear sense of direction, understanding client & their needs – as well as mutual respect and openness in the relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… and the barriers? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time is seen as the main obstacle to many (33%), while a lack of clear information / briefing on the client’s needs causes problems for others (28%) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The key ingredients… “ Seeing patterns that others cannot see and formulating a strategy around these patterns“ “ Yet at the same time being allowed to consider widely the range of solutions” “ Having an open mind and a holistic view of the world - taking information from a wide range of sources.” What’s the key to a successful working relationship? “ Having open-minded clients in the first place” &quot;Being able to communicate my findings persuasively - particularly if the subject matter is complicated and needs simplifying” “ Teamwork and bravery” “ Being given the time to turn around briefs without day to day tasks getting in the way, a team structure in place that can deliver that and a client that understands priorities” “ Being given a tight brief from the client on overall business metrics and objectives ”
  16. 16. And when things don’t work so well… “ Lack of time, information, inspiration” “ Too many cooks! Competition between agencies slows things down, as does the inefficiency of managing so many relationships. Each agency takes their part of the brief and answers it too independently of the other parts of the strategy. We're as guilty of this as anyone else.” What’s the key to a successful working relationship? “ Clients who don't really believe in their own business or their ability to affect it. Lack of time to really think. Lack of a shared vision.” &quot;Not being given the full picture, second guessing whilst clients keep things close to their chests, having to 'pin the tail on the donkey', stupid timescales, short cuts (e.g. skipping the research stage) ” “ Clients who know best, clients who sit on the fence, clients that won't participate in the thinking process, clients that hand you the baton too far down the line (e.g. after the research has happened), clients who are ignorant or who have unrealistic expectations of the agency process, clients who won't pay a retainer” “ Time and working on too many other things - I then can't concentrate and basic things are missed” “ When you have to spend more time convincing clients you need to do work, then forever justifying what you've done, rather than just simply doing things and making them more effective. ”
  17. 17. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research What kind of strategic experience do our Strategists have? <ul><li>Unsurprisingly, experience is strongest in the mainstream disciplines of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing (85%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Branding (81%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative (75%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research (73%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media (61%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia campaign evaluation (55%) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>While not quite so strong are areas like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital (45%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DM (38% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management consulting (27) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Planning (25%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal communications (22%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential (20% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experience is weak particularly in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design (17% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales promotions strategy (15%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public relations (11%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investor relations (5%) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research <ul><ul><li>So far they know about: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing (85%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand (81%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative (75%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research (73%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial business (66%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media (61%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia campaign evaluation (55%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital (45%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DM (38%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management consulting (27%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Planning (25%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal communications (22%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential (20%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design (17%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales promotions strategy (15%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PR (11%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investor relations (5%) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They would like to know more about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital (57%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial business (57%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia campaign evaluation (35%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing (34%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand (34%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media (28%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative (23%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PR (19%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential (19%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management consulting (17%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Planning (17%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design (16%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research (13%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal communications (10%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DM (7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales promotions strategy (7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investor relations (7%) </li></ul></ul>While many know the mainstream disciplines well, they are still keen to learn more. While there are a number of noticeable shifts in ranking experience to interest
  19. 19. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research ‘ it’s where the industry/world is going - do or die!’ ‘… to fend off competition from digital agencies’ ‘ huge chunks of client budget are going online and technology is creating new opportunities’ ‘ because the agency I currently work at does not have a specific digital offering’ <ul><ul><li>Why is there a desire to learn about digital strategy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And why is there a desire to learn about commercial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& business strategy? </li></ul></ul>‘ because this is a core skill for my role’ ‘ well, I'm not going to be an agency planner forever, am I?’ ‘ it’s critical to being perceived as true partners by clients’ ‘ it’s more important than ever to have a strong understanding of your clients business context and needs’ What would the Strategists like more experience of?
  20. 20. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research How familiar is the industry with the IPA Strategy Group? <ul><ul><ul><li>Topline awareness of the IPA strategy Group lies at under half of our sample (48%) – this is driven mostly by males, over 45, with more experience in the industry. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More in-depth familiarity with the Group is limited – just 20% feel they have some knowledge of the Group and the work they do. These levels fall to just 12% amongst females, and no-one under 25 has any real knowledge. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the sources of awareness for the Group? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Familiarity with the Group mainly derives from attending events/conferences (49% - driven by males) or word of mouth from colleagues or friends (29% - higher for females). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The internet is also a source of awareness for some (23%) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research Making the strategy group more high profile <ul><li>The first step would be to establish the group more – lack of familiarity will inevitably hinder interest and involvement </li></ul><ul><li>This is particularly true for females, who may be a core group to target given they feel less secure in the industry and would probably welcome a forum to share learnings and have discussions with their peers </li></ul><ul><li>While those at integrated agencies are just as likely to know about the strategy group, they are much less likely to have actual experience – not having attended as many events as our advertising strategists. Again, they could be a key group to target with relevant activity </li></ul>
  22. 22. Hall & Partners Europe Brand and Communications Research Finally, how can the IPA Strategy Group help the industry in the future? <ul><li>Discussions and forums are still the top way to interest this group, particularly on topics such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency collaboration and cross-working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding consumer behaviour and trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The measurement of marketing effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth of digital media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anything around working more in collaboration with agencies and clients would be helpful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many struggled with managing client relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So, how to get the most out of your client, how to ask the right questions, how to manage the process from start to finish </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Based on comments coming out about things the strategists like/don’t like, then there also appears opportunities to provide help with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Being a junior strategist – awareness was low amongst the newly joined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Juggling the demands of the job – how to cope with too little time and too much to do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Core skills training – everyone likes a refresher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is also some demand for the Group to provide independent careers advice (11%) as a service that would be of immediate benefit to Strategists </li></ul>
  23. 23. Hall & Partners Europe  Brand and Communications Research 82 Charing Cross Road London WC2H 0BH UK 44.20.7173.4600