5 New Year’s Resolutions that TMP Magnet are Going to Live By in 2017

Be More Honest

There’s a conception (which is probably true in many cases) that agencies and marketing experts push ideas and campaigns onto clients for disingenuous or misguided reasons. Perhaps a media buy with the ad network which happens to give the agency kickbacks or preferential rates is a good idea, but that shouldn’t be the motivating factor for planning it. Similarly, when a client says ‘We want to do a campaign on Snapchat’, it can be easy and tempting to just go along with it, rather than try and explain to the excitable but naive marketing manager that ‘I’ve just heard about this platform the kids are on’, shouldn’t be a factor in any legitimate planning methodology. We should all be more honest. Be more transparent. ‘Stand up’ to clients. They’ll thank us for it eventually.

More Authenticity, Less Marketing Jargon, Zero Bullshit

I’m not just talking about the ever expanding industry buzzword lexicon (although that can also Foxtrot Oscar), I’m talking about the nonsense that’s spouted by so many of our industry leaders and passed off as insight. There are too many people in the industry with too many vested interests to upset the applecart, but they should have a good think about what people are actually saying next time they’re at an industry event listening to a keynote or panel event. One of the best ways of identifying bullshit I use is to transcribe the spoken word. When people talk, they’re far more conversational and use colloquialisms and hand gestures and body language which distracts from what they’re actually saying and often people don’ t notice that they’re talking gibberish. But I do...

Here are some great examples.

I wanted to know why Accenture recently bought Karmarama, so I read a Business Insider piece on it:

“An interesting find for us that we have detected from consumer point of view and the CMO point of view is the desire to create one connected experience. If you look at the way CMOs' careers are evolving, the ones that have reached the pinnacle are those that have created a system to connect tech and digital experience with the brand and we think that is the battleground”

I’m still none the wiser.

And my favourite bullshit merchant is AOLs ‘Digital Prophet’, David Shing. Too much of which has been written about for me to find one killer example, so I’m just going to point you in this direction of Scott Gronmark’s blog on the subject: http://scottgronmark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/i-remember-why-i-gave-up-chairing.html

Avoid Sales Schmucks

I don’t want to be misinterpreted here. We’re not talking about sales reps or media owners. We have great relationships with those, and they do a great job in partnering with us to provide solutions for our clients. I’m talking about the shysters, the hucksters, the spivs, the swindlers, the pettifoggers: those salespeople who use unscrupulous, disingenuous and duplicitous methods to pique your interest in their product of service. Sadly, they still exist in our industry, and sometimes it can initially be difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad.  Generally anyone who wants us to download a free ebook or attend a seminar for a one time only bargain basement price of £299 (+VAT) is probably trying to shift something that is going to be more beneficial to their bottom line than ours. 

Avoid Extremes

Often, I see headlines like ‘TV/Press/Creativity/Planning is Dead!’ when, of course, they’re anything but. The subtext is that consumers and advertisers relationships with one of the aforementioned has changed, or the spend levels have plateaued, or a new entrant is challenging the status quo. But the reality, as we’ve seen, is that whilst there has been diversification in many CMO’s planning; advertising as a sector is still growing globally, meaning that there’s an even bigger pie for individual channels to have a piece of. On the other end of this scale are the proclamations of new phenomena which are apparently going to rewrite the rules of technology/media consumption/consumer behaviour. The hyperbole used in the way these white whales are written about, are often reflected in the pre-IPO valuations. Whilst there are doubtless huge success stories which have fundamentally changed the way in which millions (billions) of people live their lives, consume information etc – eg. Facebook, there have also been several examples of once highly esteemed, failures. Vine is dead. Twitter is struggling to grow userbase and monetise itself properly. Even Uber which is arguably one of the technological global success stories lost $1.26bn in 6 months last year, and is making investors nervous. So this year, we’re going to avoid hyperbole and exercise caution when considering the likely success/failure of companies and platforms.

Avoid the Tale of the Cobbler’s Shoes

It has been said that Advertising and Marketing agencies are very bad at advertising and marketing themselves. Much like the Cobbler who was too busy fixing paying customers’ shoes to fix his own, agencies have the challenge of pulling resource away from paying clients in order to focus on their own marketing efforts.  Creative agencies have it slightly easier in that their work product is proudly beamed into our homes, newspapers and computers every day. Strategy and Media agencies (like ourselves) have it slightly harder, in that people seem less interested in who planned and bought the spot, than the ad itself. So this year, we’re going to ensure that we have a new sparkly pair of shoes on. Watch this space :)


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