Advertisers continue to face many challenges for their brands. The marketplace is fluid and almost never in equilibrium. Advertising budgets, competition, promotion, distribution, pricing and many other factors including crisis management are always in play at various times. Today advertising spend must be as fluid as the marketplace, particularly since the impact of social media can also have an additional and immediate impact on sales.
The Internet and all its elements are constantly changing marketplace behavior and consumers are reacting spontaneously. This is a big challenge for advertisers. While the digital media environment has created more options, it has also made the marketing process more complex. But what remains the same, is the fundamental principle that marketers must focus on solutions. That trumps everything. What advertisers need more than anything else are partners who have specialized knowledge in each aspect of the marketing process. And methods to measure the results of their efforts: analytics that accompany the expenditure and metrics that measure success rates.
Most marketers have developed the infrastructure, staff and internal financial systems to deal with their business. And many have also created both their short term and long term marketing plans. But what has not always been done as effectively as it should be, is the way the execution of these plans are performed.
There are many disciplines required to solve marketing problems. And today it usually takes more than one vendor to bring the necessary expertise to the solution. But it also means that these disciplines must be effectively integrated to deliver a greater return on investment. The Chief Marketing Officer, of course, is responsible to be sure that it all comes together to build the brand, and that the investment is effectively and efficiently on strategy, implemented properly and measured appropriately. In this case, the CMO can sometimes employ the help of an independent consultant to distinguish what is necessary to reduce or eliminate waste and apply the most cost effective solutions to the problem. It happens because the consultant has usually worked with many companies to identify best practices, review resources, assess cost structures and establish comparative benchmarks. Even some agencies are getting into consultancy, but their deliverables must also be reviewed.
Creative, media, public relations and many other communication talents are required to deliver the knowledge, experience and innovation to help build a client's business. The advertiser, its agencies and the media companies involved must all make a contribution to the outcome of the brand's investment. With the influence and magnitude of the digital world, the right consultant, with the credentials to evaluate strategies, tactics, implementation and performance measurements, can often provide the long term financial benefit of greater top line revenue and better profit margins.
By understanding portfolio management and integration from various traditional and digital disciplines, and determining the real cost for scope of work, an independent and objective consultant can reference many of the expenditures associated with marketing to assure that the investment will deliver or exceed the expected outcome. This can be a valuable asset that both the CMO and Procurement can realize.
Mike Drexler is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Drexler/Fajen & Partners, a mediaconsultancy and agency review firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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