Creative agencies urged to stop competing for the biggest budgets

Multi agency competition must stop or customer experience will suffer, warns branding specialist behind the likes of BrewDog

The strategic brand, marketing and digital consultancy behind campaigns for the likes of PizzaExpress, Jamie’s Italian and DW Sports is calling for specialist agencies supposedly working together on integrated campaigns to stop competing with each other for the biggest budget.
UK-based CAB Studios, whose client list also includes Edinburgh’s BrewDog, Gordon Ramsay and the Institute of Directors, warns that this type of competition will lead to a fragmented strategy and, ultimately, a less compelling customer experience.
BrewDog Manchester
The firm has recently commissioned a new White Paper entitled ‘Power to the Customer’, which studies how brands must evolve in the customer age and what the industry needs to do to keep pace.
In the report, CAB outlines the danger of a siloed approach to creativity and customer experience management among brands and goes on to outline the pitfalls of multiple agencies working with a client.
It also argues the case for budgets to be agile and responsive – which CAB says is made difficult by agencies fighting for a bigger slice of budget and arguing for the dominance of one channel over another.
The agency goes on to warn of the risks of what it calls ‘conflicting motivations’ among different agencies, which makes personalisation very difficult, and lack of agreement on the overall strategic approach, even if there appears to be widespread buy in at the beginning.
Jamie’s Italian, the Netherlands
Ben Wood, CAB Studios
Executive Creative Director Ben Wood said: “It’s natural for clients to seek out the best in class and to want to work with agencies who are specialists in their field. This makes perfect sense in theory, but the challenge comes when they appoint several specialists who are simply unable to work collaboratively.
“Competing for budget and recognition has no benefit to the client, and it certainly does not improve customer experiences, so why does it still happen?
“We believe agencies need to abandon their egos somewhat, and get better at working honestly and transparently with each other. A sharp focus on the strategic objectives and what we all want to achieve as a collective is vital, rather than looking at what each individual agency wants to do to make themselves look better.
“We strongly resist this at CAB and invest time in establishing real value partnerships with other agencies. It makes our job much easier and it delivers far better results for our clients.”
Other topics explored in Power to the Customer include: Mastering Omnichannel, Lifecycle Marketing, Big Data and its role in Customer Experience, and the concluding chapter, ‘Manifesto for Change’, in which CAB calls on organisations to stop imposing rules on minimum qualifications when seeking out creative talent, and that they learn to recognise creativity and marketing ability in all of its’ guises.
The full White Paper can be downloaded for free from the CAB Studios website.
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