Heidi Brauer, former group marketing head of kulula and BA, Chartered Marketer and current chair of Halo advertising agency, has strong opinions about client/agency relationships, having worked both sides of the creative divide. She has aspirations about changing the industry and the fundamental way agencies do business with clients.
These are her top marketing trends she told TREND. that she has hopes for in 2013:
1. I am a firm believer in integrated marketing and I think that integrated everything is the only way to give a brand its due. Having up to six agencies for a brand (digital, traditional, digital PR, below the line, etc) …agencies have too many agencies not integrated with each other; and marketers have too many departments not integrated into one.
There are too many silos and parts that don’t talk to one another. If I had a magic wand, I would make people see that everything has to be integrated in a way that services the brand as a business, so the idea serves the brand and the business and the media channel serves the brand and the business, not the other way round.
There’s too much of “oh we need to do PR”; “Oh, we need to do digital”; “Oh we need to do outdoor”…
‘Silositis’ is a disease in business. You have marketing departments and agencies not talking to each other. It is just disabling for a brand, ideas and business. Integrated doesn’t mean shotgun… you shoot a creative idea at every medium. It means think in a whole, integrated way, in the best way for the brand and then pitch the medium in the best way that suits the brand with the most appropriate message and audience.
It is so obvious.
It is not about taking an idea and playing it out in every medium. It is not slapping a TV idea into radio or a print idea onto a billboard.
2. Hybrid agencies: When I think about digital, I think about integrated. The digital agencies want to become more full service and the full service agencies want to bring in digital. And somewhere in between lies the solution. We are now seeing hybrid agencies for the fully integrated agency, so we don’t have all this bitching and sniping about digital not getting enough money for the brand idea. Stop whining. You get as much money as will serve the idea that best serves the brand.
3. I don’t understand why marketing directors or CMOs want a department called brand and a department called communication. Brand is the centre of everything and off brand comes all the things you need to do off it – internal communications, social investment, innovation, client service, product and packaging. Brand is at the centre and everything else comes off it. It is how you choose to communicate, what medium you use. I don’t understand this old-fashioned structure of having a brand department and a communications department. It’s a mystery.
4. Connections: My philosophy on everything is that people do business with people, not companies. I have believed that forever, so nurturing and cultivating genuine relationships is everything. Some of the processes and mores and ways of doing things in advertising does not support that. At its heart, often, connecting people is not about you as the connector, it’s about doing something for someone else. It is not networking – that’s about connecting business cards; connecting is about looking in someone’s eyes and getting what they are about.
5. Do what you love and love what you do: You know what it is when you’re doing it and when it’s not happening. I’m not sure if I’ve arrived where I’m going to, but I’m having fun.