48 Marketing Trends found for Agencies / Creative

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Takeover Frenzy Predicted for Indie Ad Agencies in 2013

Bottom Line: City pundits predict that a surge in mergers and acquisitions activity will hit advertising and marketing agencies during 2013. 

The 'Big Six' global marketing and communications groups - WPP, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom, Interpublic, Dentsu and Havas - between them bought at least 107 agencies worldwide in 2012 – a significant increase on 54 acquisitions in 2010 and 98 in 2011. According to a coalition of City of London financiers, 2013 will see ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward]

... even more agency ingestions. 

The coalition, led by so-called 'corporate advisory boutique' Clarity Capital Partners [CCP], predicts a boom in mergers and acquisitions this year as the big holding groups step up their acquisition efforts, especially in digital and social media.

The biggest takeover in Britain last year was the £3.2bn purchase of Aegis by Japan's Dentsu, in addition to which there were a series of other deals, including the sale of Adam & Eve to Omnicom, BBH to Publicis and AKQA to WPP.

"We expect this level of activity to continue," says Marcus Anselm, partner at CCP, who described this trend of big groups using acquisitions as a means to grab talent as "acquahire".

Anselm cites the sale of Adam & Eve, on which he advised, as an example. Omnicom has used the agency, known for its acclaimed John Lewis ads, to inject energy into its existing subsidiary DDB, by merging the two shops to form Adam & Eve/DDB.

According to stockbroker Brewin Dolphin, more than 90% of takeovers in the advertising sector last year were for companies with a value below £30m, while roughly 70% were specialists in digital advertising.

Read the original unabridged independent.co.uk article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Independent.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6017

Microsoft Elbows Into Ad Shop Territory, Fans Future Furore

Bottom Line: San Francisco tech-startup hotbed, the 'South of market' neighbourhood [SoMa], will soon be home to a new marketing agency: Microsoft. It could presage war!

The Redmond colossus has unveiled plans to open Solution Studio 415, an 18,000 sq ft space in December 2012. It will not only house brand marketers but also teams of Microsoft product designers, software developers and other technologists. Their target? Brands in the retail, auto and consumer packaged-goods categories. The news is unlikely to be greeted with enthusiasm on Madison Avenue and similar adland environs. Hawking "creative solutions to business problems", Microsoft has yet to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... reveal its clients [if any yet?], although the Redmond hype machine predicts that "Studio 415's focus will be on brands in the retail, auto and consumer packaged-goods categories, addressing such issues such as 'retail experience transformation' and 'omni-channel marketing'."

According to Rick Chavez, general manager of Microsoft's online-services division, who is overseeing Studio 415, Microsoft is looking "to inform what we're building with the priorities of our customers, and to give them early access to the kind of innovation that we expect to scale more broadly over time."

As a hypothetical example Chavez cites: "An automaker that wants to give customers a better experience in dealerships might work on a project with Microsoft to integrate a Kinect device in showroom vehicles, which could then use facial recognition to gauge whether they had liked the experience of sitting in the car. Or an Xbox could be put into the vehicle to let customers hear their own playlist from the driver's seat. The overriding idea is for marketer collaboration to inform the production of Microsoft's consumer-facing products."

The AdAge article comments that "For a tech company, Microsoft seems to be taking a unique approach with its clients".

To all intents and purposes, Microsoft looks to be bypassing agencies and going straight to brands. Chavez said that Microsoft has been in talks with search and display advertisers and enterprise customers about the program, which could be expanded to New York if it catches on.

Participation will be fee-based, but Microsoft declined to say what the fee would be. It's goal is to concurrently accommodate two clients in the San Francisco location that would work intensively with Microsoft teams for a year and deliver an execution every ninety days.

Meantime, rival tech titan Google has assiduously courted the agency world with its Creative Sandbox, which it describes as "a resource for agency creatives to learn about Google products such as Android and YouTube through events and publications.

Why did Microsoft choose San Francisco for Studio 415's base instead of Silicon Valley, where it has a campus in Mountain View? Mr. Chavez said the city felt like a hotbed of innovation with the presence of Twitter, Zynga and the myriad startups populating the city's South Park neighborhood.

"It's become a fun mecca for digital innovators," he said.

Fun? Microsoft? Maybe it'll rain in the Sahara tomorrow.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5927

Global Marketers Edge Toward Results-Based Agency Pay

Bottom Line: New methods of ad agency compensation, such as value-based remuneration, are gaining global traction albeit at a snail-like pace, with a meagre four percent of global marketers currently utilizing such models.

America's Association of National Advertisers [ANA] yesterday released the first-ever Global Agency Compensation Survey, offering new insights as to how global marketers structure and manage compensation practices with their advertising agency partners. The benchmark study, which polled marketers operating in nearly forty countries across all continents, reveals that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 onward]

...  marketers' agency remuneration models mirror, in many cases, existing US practices. For example:

  • Fees are the dominant method of agency compensation, globally practiced by 57% of respondents. An additional 37% of respondents utilize fees in combination with commissions.
  • Although many marketers use traditional media commissions in combination with fees, no respondents to this survey indicated that they use only traditional commissions to compensate their global agencies.
  • New methods of compensation, like value-based remuneration, have not taken hold globally. Only 4% reported utilizing them.
  • Half of respondents now employ performance-based incentives (46% percent in the US compared with 49% globally).

Important differences emerged in the survey, however:

  • Far more global marketers employ a combination of fees and commissions than in the US (37% versus 6%). According to David Beals, president/ceo of R3:JLB, who worked with the ANA and analyzed the results of the survey, two factors contributed to this finding:

    • In markets like Japan and Brazil, commissions are still the dominant compensation practice.
    • In smaller markets, where client marketing investments are less predictable, marketing spending does not easily allow for ongoing retainer-based compensation.
  • Global marketers are considerably more likely to base incentive criteria on metrics such as media delivery, brand perception, digital delivery and copy testing, and far less likely [than in the US] to employ sales metrics as a success criterion.

Comments ANA president/ceo Bob Liodice: “With this groundbreaking survey – the first-ever conducted on a global basis – the marketing community now has a vital benchmark to track worldwide approaches and innovations in how marketers compensate their agency partners.

“Global marketers will now be better able to understand how their peers are wrestling with the challenges of compensating agencies across diverse countries, cultures and conditions.”

Read the original unabridged article here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: ANA.Net
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5834

US Marketers to Steer Steady Future Course, Focus on RoI

Bottom Line: In a survey of major US marketers conducted by trade body, the Association of National Marketers, more than half the respondents (52%) said they will challenge their ad agencies to reduce in-house costs.

Despite the recent improvement in America's economic outlook, major marketers continue to spend conservatively as budgets remain steadfast, reveals the sixth and latest ANA Recession Survey. Observes ANA president/ceo Bob Liodice: “It’s not just marketers who are feeling the pinch. All of our partners feel the impact of this year’s projected trends, as modest spending trends undoubtedly affect business processes throughout the supply chain.” Looking forward, Liodice declared that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 onward]

... “Marketers need lasting solutions that focus on efficiency. We need to view this as an opportunity to push our industry to reach the next level of innovation and evolution.” 

These are the key areas of insights for this year’s Recession Survey:

Agency Compensation

  • Only 17 percent of marketers plan to reduce agency compensation, representing the most hopeful outlook for agencies since 2008.
  • However, 52 percent of those marketers surveyed will challenge their agencies to reduce costs internally, placing pressure on agencies to share the cost-effectiveness load.

Marketing / Media Budgets & Projected Spending

  • In the coming year, marketers will continue to be conscientious in their spending, even as the economy recovers.
  • Given this cautious environment, nearly half of marketers surveyed (49 percent) said that their advertising budgets will remain the same.
  • However, a third said their budgets will decrease (34 percent).
  • The remaining group of respondents (17 percent) believe their advertising budgets will increase.
  • For those companies that plan to reduce budgets, reductions are expected to be higher than last year, with 33 percent planning to reduce marketing budgets by 11 percent or more, compared to 25 percent in 2011.

Overhead Spending Insights

  • Marketers are opting for short-term budget cuts related to overhead expenditures.
  • For example, 28 percent of marketers plan to decrease investment in professional development (eg, conferences, training) and 21 percent plan to utilize more freelancers to fill open positions – both increases from 2011.

The most popular ways marketers plan to reduce costs and expenditures:

  • Restricting departmental travel and related expenses (68 percent)
  • Reducing advertising campaign media budgets (48 percent)
  • Altering the mix of marketing channels to lower cost channels (40 percent)
  • Eliminating / delaying new projects (36 percent)

Summarises Mr Liodice: “Though the industry outlook is trending toward stability, marketers need to be careful not to simply rely on short-term answers to solve enduring budget issues."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: ANA.net
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5808

Artificial Intelligence - the Future Creative Pointer for Online Display Ads

Bottom Line: The effectiveness of online display ads is set to undergo a seachange with the advent of Artificial Intelligence-driven serving sytems that match the creative to propects' online behaviour patterns.

Adnetik and Cognitive Match, creators of the Dynamic Creative Targeting platform, announced on Tuesday a partnership to enhance the capabilities of the former's Audience Investment Management (AIM) system for display advertising. Building on AIM’s ability to help advertisers buy targeted display ads via an impression-by-impression basis, the new collaboration claims to offer a real-time dynamic creative solution that targets different versions of creative to each individual user. The triple goal is to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... increase consumer engagement, reach and overall campaign performance.

Says Edward Montes, ceo of Adnetik: “Partnering with Cognitive Match is the next step toward accomplishing the Adnetik mission of maximizing an advertiser’s investment in media.

Leveraging Cognitive Match’s Dynamic Creative Targeting platform in conjunction with the AIM targeting system provides marketers with a breakthrough for driving greater display ad performance.”

Using Cognitive Match’s Dynamic Creative Targeting platform, Adnetik will enable advertisers to increase acquisition and reach for both brand and performance campaigns. Combined with Adnetik’s sophisticated targeting tools, advertisers can easily increase the effectiveness of their online display advertising campaigns.

Cognitive Match founder/ceo Alex Kelleher can be excused a [justifiable] plug: “Marketers are now successfully targeting the right audience profile with their display ad campaigns, but they still don’t know what elements within the creative are eliciting response from individual users.

"The collaboration between Adnetik and Cognitive Match means that advertisers can now target the right audience with the right creative at the right time. Every stage of the campaign lifecycle is now optimized.”

What's more, Adnetik clients can easily turn on dynamic creative for their display ad campaigns.

Explains Kelleher: “The trick is to make meaningful decisions in real-time,” he says, offering an example of a travel category advertiser trying to target users based on variables like location, weather conditions and time and date -- all of which can greatly influence a user’s predisposition to a specific advertising message.

“If it’s hot weather and they’re on the East Coast and they’re at work during a weekday we know that’s going to generate a different behavior than if they are someone from the West Coast and it’s cold and on the weekend,” he explains.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5699

WPP Exports US Back-Office Agency Jobs to India ... Who's Next?

Bottom Line: Over one hundred finance-related jobs will be outsourced from WPP Group's US agencies to a specialist Indian offshore center before the year end. Some ask if this is the trickle that precedes the flood?

Despite posting its highest ever pre-tax profit in 2010 -- a 27% year-on-year increase to over £1 billion -- the world's largest marketing services conglomerate plans to slash its back-office costs stateside by exporting "more than one hundred" non-client facing jobs from its US agencies to India. WPP Group claims the decision to oursource US jobs was not mandated from the top, although WPP-watchers think it unlikely the move lacks the blessing of global ceo Sir Martin Sorrell.  Among the shops immediately affected are ...   

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Grey, Y&R and Wunderman.

The partyline, according to a WPP spokesman is that the agencies "have decided to seek greater efficiencies in their companies and presently plan to have 'non-client' facing services delivered from an offshore specialist center in India.

In most cases, the positions affected are in New York, but finance department staff in other North American offices may also be impacted. WPP's partyline: "The total number of jobs under consideration represent less than one percent of overall staff (including associates) and the job transfer will happen over the coming months."

Toeing that line at Ogilvy & Mather -- which will bear the brunt of the cuts -- was O&M Worldwide chief marketing officer Eleanor Mascheroni who claims: "This action will reduce overhead costs while maintaining the quality and level of support we provide to our clients and partners.

"We have entered into an agreement with a top-tier business-process outsourcing services provider specializing in this kind of service delivery at lower costs to handle the processes. Many of our clients have been working with this model for many years."

Ms Mascheroni, however, curiously failed to mention that the jobs will go to outsourcing giant Genpact which -- by one of those odd coincidences -- also happens to be a major client of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Genpact is an offshoot of GE Capital and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It operates in seventeen countries and supports over twenty-five languages.

Which begs the question as to when the New York cull will be extended to other WPP locations?

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5640

Dentsu Pioneers Crowd-Sourced AI-Based Website

Japanese advertising colossus Dentsu has launched a new website, Finding Gifts with Sasha, which assists users to choose gifts via a conversation with a young lad called Sasha. Do we hear a chorus of 'So whats'? But yawns are very definitely misplaced in that Sasha doesn't exist except as a series of digits. This endearing kid is the spawn of artificial intelligence, while  the site itself is the end-product of crowd-sourcing. So is this the beginning of the end for agency creatives? A doomsday for live actors and a whole new ballgame for web marketing? Sasha signals ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

... a new phase in an 8-month-old, crowd-sourced, artificial-intelligence project conducted with the MIT Media Lab and IT consulting company Nihon Unisys.

Finding Gifts with Sasha helps users choose gifts through conversations with the boy character. "At first, his gift suggestions may not be perfect," Dentsu admits, "but the system learns from the user's feedback in the same way that children do in the course of their development."

Links to ecommerce sites are provided for the suggested gifts.

Before making its gift recommendations the digital prodigy analyzes the profiles and comments posted on social media sites both by the user and the intended gift recipient.

Sasha also has the help of 200,000 pieces of "common sense" observations assimilated into a database during earlier phases of the project. The first, Play a Quiz Game with Nadya, used a girl character to gather logical suggestions from participating players.

The second, Poi Bot, used a personalized robot character to automatically generate Tweets, imitating each user's distinctive communication style and way of thinking.

According to Dentsu, Sasha works deductively rather than literally: Based on a 'common sense' statement such as "cats like warm places," someone seeking a gift for a cat-lover won't be directed to an actual cat, but to things that would make a cat feel warm.

The ultimate aim of the project, Dentsu says, is to "leverage the shared common background knowledge and senses -- used by humans when we converse with others -- to create a computer system that can understand implicit meanings and nuances of language in the same way as humans."

Dentsu is a sponsor of the MIT Media Lab's Things That Think consortium.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5574

Euro RSCG Introduces 'The New Consumers'

The New Consumer study was created by Euro RSCG Worldwide and fielded by Market Probe International in October–November 2009 in seven markets: Brazil, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In all but the latter, the national sample was 700; in the USA it was increased to 1,500. The survey was supplemented with extensive secondary research and local/regional insights from brand and strategy experts across the agency's global network. Complete findings of the study, including country and Prosumer-mainstream breakouts, are available to the network's employees and clients via its Knowledge Exchange. Among the study's key findings are ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

The New Consumers are smarter, more empowered, and more demanding than previous generations of shoppers. They make full use of online tools to connect with others and score the right buys. 

  • 69% of global respondents to Euro RSCG’s New Consumer study say they are smarter shoppers than they were a few years ago.
  • 63% are more demanding shoppers than they used to be.
  • 62% do lots of consumer research online—e.g., seeking out product info, reviews and ratings, price comparisons.

These consumers increasingly look to their peers for guidance and support when shopping.

  • 79% read consumer product feedback/reviews online before making a purchase.
  • 57% trust customer reviews more than “expert” reviews.

Anxiety levels remain high:

  • 54% feel more anxious in general compared with a few years ago.
  • 55% worry about their future or their family’s future more than they used to.
  • 47% have become more worried about not being able to keep up with the cost of living.
  • 41% worry about not having enough money to retire on.

The New Consumers are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and are seeking change in their personal lives and in the world around them.

  • 58% think society is moving in the wrong direction.
  • 69% worry society has become too shallow, focusing on things that don’t really matter.
  • 60% believe society has grown intellectually lazy, while 67% believe we have grown physically lazy.
  • 59% worry people have become too disconnected from the natural world.
  • 47% wish they could start fresh with an entirely different lifestyle.

The New Consumers feel disconnected and even alienated. They are looking for a stronger sense of community and belonging

  • 59% worry we are losing our ability to engage in civil debate, saying people are no longer willing to consider others’ points of view.
  • 51% would like to be part of a truly important cause.
  • 43% sometimes feel they don’t have enough close friendships.
  • 80% feel it is very important that families eat at least one meal together each day.

The New Consumers have taken advantage of the downturn to consider moving down a new path, finding a better way forward in terms of how they consume and how they live their lives.

  • 56% say the recession has served to remind people of what’s really important in life—and that’s a good thing.
  • 72% are making an effort to improve the way they live.
  • 71% are trying to improve who they are as individuals.
  • 50% are actively trying to figure out what makes them happy.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) their anxiety, people have resolved to change the status quo and take greater control of their present lives and futures. A primary way in which they will do this is through their consumption choices—their strongest means of power and influence. We are seeing the advent of “proactive mindfulness”:

  • 72% are shopping more carefully and mindfully than they used to.
  • 54% are paying more attention to the environmental and/or social impact of the products they buy.
  • 51% are more interested today in how and where products are made.
  • 45% are willing to pay a slightly higher price for products that are socially or environmentally responsible.

They are eager to reduce their negative impact on the environment and on other people:

  • 64% say making environmentally friendly choices makes them feel good.
  • 72% feel good about reducing the amount of waste they create.
  • 54% are making an effort to buy fewer disposable goods.
  • 65% believe they have a responsibility to censure unethical companies by avoiding their products.
  • 51% avoid shopping at stores that don’t treat their employees fairly.
  • 57% say it makes them feel good to support local producers, artisans, and manufacturers, and 45% say it is important to buy locally produced goods.

They are turning away from over-consumption and mindless excess in favor of a more considered approach to spending.

  • 70% say saving money makes them feel good about themselves, while just 30% say the same about buying luxury items.
  • 48% are determined not to go back to their old shopping patterns even after the economy rebounds.
  • 43% (60% in U.S.) are committed to reducing their use of credit cards over the long term.
  • 38% (49% in U.S.) are deriving a sense of satisfaction from reducing their purchases during the downturn.

The New Consumers are embracing “intelligent simplification”:

  • 70% respect/admire people who live simply (minimal purchases, debt free, etc.), while only 19% respect/admire people who live a high-luxury lifestyle.
  • 67% believe most of us would be better off if we lived more simply.
  • 68% no longer want a lot of bells and whistles on the products they buy; they would rather just have the functions they really need.
  • 46% wish their homes were less cluttered.

They seek to align with brand partners who share their personal values:

  • 50% say it is more important to them today to feel good about the companies with which they do business.
  • 57% prefer to buy from companies that share their personal values.
  • 49% prefer to do business with companies that have a reputation for a purpose beyond profits (e.g., Newman’s Own, The Body Shop).
  • 54% believe the most successful and profitable businesses in the future will be those that practice sustainability.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Euro RSCG Worldwide
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5279

P&G Applies Green Thumbscrews to Ad Shops, Media Agencies

"There's no prude like the reformed whore," as the old proverb has it. Likewise, there's none greener than yesterday's environmental Godzillas. [Interpolates MarketingTomorrow's legal-eagle hastily: "Procter & Gamble (a doughty defender of planet earth's diminishing assets for the past five hundred years) has never, not once, ever, at any time, fallen into the category of 'despoiler'."]
  Meantime, on Wednesday May 12 the planet's biggest advertiser unveiled its Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard for key suppliers, with the first reports due July 1. And among those 'key suppliers' are advertising  and media agencies ... 

[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

As a P&G spokeswoman pointed out, the 'Sustainability Scorecard' was in part crafted by Sir Martin Sorrell's Green Grenadiers. However, fearing this news might trigger a spate of nervous tics on Madison Avenue, the Champs d'Elysee and Charlotte Street, the spokeslady reassured that "agencies and others won't be held accountable for answering questions that don't pertain to their industries".

However, P&G remains schtüm as to the names and numbers of suppliers it requires to file the first round of questionnaires. The Cincinnatti colossus was likewise silent as to whether any media companies are yet participating.

But the eventual goal is for all P&G suppliers to file the scorecards, following evaluations of the first phase of reporting. The latter was developed by a committee comprising twenty major suppliers.

The scorecard "represents the next step in P&G's commitment to environmental sustainability," says P&G chairman/ceo Bob McDonald. "Keeping sustainability at the core of our business fuels innovation and strengthens our results."

P&G suppliers will have one year to prepare their data before their performance ratings can adversely affect their supplier status. Eventually, though, P&G will use the scorecard to determine sustainability ratings as part of P&G's annual performance reviews.



All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5180

UK Advertisers' Environmental Claims to Undergo Greater Scrutiny

Following a twelve-month period of industry-wide consultation, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has unveiled details of new rules governing what advertisers may - or may not - claim for their products. Especially prominent in the ASA's crosswires is the hazy issue of of environmental credentials - which will face far tougher future scrutiny.

[Estimated timeframe:September 2010 onward]

The ASA's Committee of Advertising Practice, along with BCAP, the body governing broadcast ads, has simplified the current code from four sets of rules into a single document which contains a new provision for “social responsibility” - an amorphous term intended to prevent advertisers' exploitation of loopholes in the Code.

The most crucial changes attempt to stifle “greenwash”, where advertisers or agencies exaggerate a brand's environmental benefits.

According to the CAP, the claimed benefits “must be supported by a high level of substantiation”.  Failure to do so means that advertisers could be penalised for omitting “significant information”.

Any “green” claims must cover the full “life cycle” of a product, CAP says, and also acknowledge areas where scientists’ opinions are divided.

The Advertising Standards Authority has the notional power to ban advertisements it judges to be 'misleading', usually after complaints from the public.

The new guidelines will come into effect in September2010, although they do not have the force of law and depend on the voluntary cooperation of the UK advertising and media industries.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5093

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