Masterclass Notes: Key global trends in advertising & comms industry
by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) At our IAS and SCOPEN masterclass last month, César Vacchiano, global CEO and cofounder of Scopen (the originators of AgencyScope which operates in 12 countries, including South Africa), shared with us some global trends in the advertising and communication industry.
[Full disclosure: Scopen Africa was launched in South Africa in 2016 in partnership with the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS). IAS now owns 26% of Scopen Africa (Grupo Consultores Africa). The IAS, in association with the AAR Group (UK), was founded in SA in 2006.]
Some highlights were as follows:
- Marketing clients want to have an understanding of agencies’ working methods, so these are important to include in agency credentials presentations. What is key here, though, is to make the methods easy to follow, and to highlight any unique tools that the agency might employ in order to be more efficient in delivery — that’s what clients are looking for in the methods of working.
- Marketers are working with a lead agency, more often than not, as that agency has a co-ordination role to play. This means that the lead agency is not necessarily the creative agency, and more and more media agencies are being asked to fulfil the role of lead agency as they have the data and the information to hand.
- The need for consultants such as McKinsey, Deloitte, EY etc seems to be growing among clients at CEO level, not necessarily at CMO level. However, these consultants are also making inroads into the marketing and communication industry through buying agencies, attracting creative talent etc.
- Media owners such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are making big moves into the industry and are supplying creative resources, as well as channels and media options. Their encroachment is happening at a much-faster pace than that of the consultant companies.
- Specialists vs integration: the need for specialists continues, particularly in the digital area where there are so many different services and products that digital agencies are required to provide.
- Marketers mention more disciplines when defining “integration” and 66% of marketers in South Africa would like their media requirements to be met by the creative integrated agency and to not have to deal with a separate media agency.
- More and more marketers are solving more and more of their marketing needs in-house. This tends to change year-on-year.
- The three most important attributes that a marketer looks for in an agency are:
- Quality of the agency team
- Strategic planning skills
Conflict is less important as an issue, with only 22% of clients in SA seeing that as a problem when selecting an agency. We believe that this is also as a result of clients working on a project-to-project basis, rather than on retainer, in which case it’s not so easy for them to stipulate a “no-conflict” situation.
Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is MD of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. Johanna is one of the few experts driving this mediation and advisory service in SA and globally. She also runs the IAS Marketers Masterclass, a programme consisting of masterclasses held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits.