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6 Steps to a Transparent Brand + Agency Partnership by BECKON

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As marketing speeds up and gets more complex, it becomes harder to understand what’s working, what’s not and how to respond. More of our media spend can be optimized in-flight than ever before, but we rarely get insightful reporting from our agencies in time to take action. We're slowed down by messy, inconsistent data and lack of visibility into performance.

Agencies are still critical partners, but the relationship between brands and media partners must evolve along with the marketing landscape. Alignment around a clean, trusted, continuously updated data hub helps create the fast feedback loops that enable mid-stream optimization, test-and-learn marketing and better business results.

Published in: Marketing
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6 Steps to a Transparent Brand + Agency Partnership by BECKON

  1. 1. 6 STEPS TO A TRANSPARENT BRAND + AGENCY PARTNERSHIP THE ROADMAP TO A WIN-WIN RELATIONSHIP BUILT ON CLEAN DATA, TRUSTED INSIGHT AND MAXIMUM GROWTH.
  2. 2. A transparent, collaborative brand + agency partnership represents a real change—you’re asking both the brand and your agencies to adjust their traditional roles. And as with all change, there’s likely to be some pushback. Get ahead of any resistance by clearly articulating the vision, benefits and plan for getting there. Share your vision for the new world Transparency is beneficial for agencies, too, because it takes a huge amount of work off their plate. There's a win for them in it. Agencies are afraid that if something doesn't work, it's going to be viewed negatively. They don’t openly share when things aren’t working, but that’s a critical part of learning and optimizing. It's actually very freeing when you see stuff that doesn't work because then you can opt out of it faster. I think it's just getting the brand and agencies to be comfortable having the conversation about what doesn't work, and that it's okay. — VP, Global Media at a global CPG company 1
  3. 3. Work together to define success People are more likely to support the new world when they help build it. So, instead of rolling out the new directive from the top, consider bringing the brand team together to align on the KPIs and metrics you’ll use to measure success. You can also share the plan with your agencies, incorporating any value-adds they have to offer and discussing any issues they may flag. A big ah-ha for us was the lack of transparency between channel owners and agency partners. There was not enough diligence around KPIs and benchmarking, and in some instances, they weren’t even looking at the data. For us, it’s really an issue of transparency across all channels. The first instinct from the agency was, ‘Don't you trust us?’ But we made it clear that it’s not a question of trust, it's about alignment and working together to drive better business results. And at the end of the day, it's hard to argue against that. Now we’re all on the same page with one common goal of where we're trying to go. It's very clearly stated—the delivery, the expectation, and how we're going to operate from now on. — VP, Global Media at a global CPG company 2
  4. 4. The critical, must-have element in a transparent brand + agency partnership is access to a clean, trusted data hub that pulls directly from the source and continuously updates as new data becomes available. This may require a conversation or two to agree on format, frequency and delivery method, but a data hub that serves as a shared source of truth is non-negotiable. Go direct to the source We have different agencies for all our channels. To track each one of those individually would be nearly impossible. We needed a platform to consolidate that. That’s Beckon. Now, we own our data. If we were ever to try to slice anything in a certain way, we own that. We're in the best place we've ever been. — Digital Analytics Manager at a leading CPG company 3
  5. 5. 4 Now that you have clean, trusted performance data flowing in, focus on rapid test-and-learn to boost ROI. As you launch new messaging and creative and innovate better ways of reaching customers, you’ll see immediately what’s working and what’s not, and you can reallocate spend from low performers to high performers on the fly. Imagine no longer having to decide down to the last dollar how you want to spend across channels before you even start the campaign! Test and learn to find out what works, then do more of it Example: One multinational company with a very short, four-month marketing window relies heavily on agency support. The short window for campaigns means it’s vital to get performance results quickly, in order to see what’s working best and reallocate spend to those areas in a timely manner. However, the agency reports often took a month to create. By the time the company could review, there was little time left in the campaign to course-correct. The brand automated data cleanup, established consistent frameworks for viewing performance against goals, sped up reporting cycles and integrated their data into real-time dashboards. Once their agencies had access to the dashboards, the agencies could reallocate continuously along the way, significantly improving the return on marketing investment.
  6. 6. 5 Meetings are meant to be time that you collaborate, strategize and make the most of the smart minds around the table. Set an expectation that reports be published and reviewed at least 24 hours before the meeting, and that everyone comes prepared to discuss learnings and ideas to improve performance. Make the most of your meetings Example: One global CPG company meets with its media agencies weekly to review dashboards and discuss how to adjust strategies. The brand has its own dashboards and comes to the meetings prepared with specific questions. For example … The agencies then do deeper analysis within the dashboards to recommend how to adjust course. At first, the conversations were uncomfortable. The agencies weren’t used to being so candid about underperformance and talking about why things weren’t working. However, the brand reinforced the message that talking about what wasn’t working revealed key learnings to drive improvement. The agencies began to see the benefit of those conversations, and began to opt-out of underperformers more quickly and get campaigns back on track. How much of our advertising costs go toward non-working costs? How does this change across traditional channels like TV and digital channels like search, programmatic and display? Why is media spend up 10% year over year while conversions are down 20% year over year?
  7. 7. 6 When you sit down to chart out your plans for your next campaign, you may be surprised how much knowledge and insight you have at your fingertips. Remember the days of a blank planning template? When you had to dust off last year’s plans just to have a starting point to work from? Those days are over! All the data and insight you captured along the way in Beckon, all the expertise your team gained by playing an active role in testing, learning and optimizing, will put you light years ahead. Combined with the ongoing freedom to test and learn, the sky’s the limit on what you and your agencies can achieve. Leverage learnings when you do your planning Beckon helped create a standardization project that makes it easier for us to work with our agencies and make sure we’re aligned. No more PowerPoint decks. We’ll use Beckon as the live optimization tool and capture what decisions were made on a call. And that's where we'll pick up the following week, what happened with those decisions. — VP Global Media at a global beverage company
  8. 8. LOOKING TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY AND ROI IN YOUR AGENCY PARTNERSHIPS? GET IN TOUCH AT HELLO@BECKON.COM. WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

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