Large professional services firms will typically appoint many different creative agencies and consultants - PR, branding, training, digital. In some instances, a firm will have two or three agencies of the same flavour supporting a firm.
That is no bad thing - it gives professional services firms access to talented people, new ideas and best practice and that otherwise would be out of reach. And where, for example, two or three creative agencies are engaged it will keep them on their toes.
But it also presents some challenges - for both in-housing marketing teams and agencies alike.
Agencies will often make the promise of 'working in partnership' with a client, perhaps positioning themselves as 'an extension of the team'.
That is to be applauded, but to make it work as a true partnership involves a considerable leap of faith and investment from the CMO. It is something that, quite rightly, is not always forthcoming. Agencies have earn that position.
CMOs, however, hold the key to successfully managing multiple agencies. Regular communication and facilitating cross agency collaboration are key if a firm is to get the best from their agencies.
Marketer-agency relationships are more important than ever. While the shift to digital channels and technologies has created the opportunity to personalize communications with the “always-on consumer,” it has also made it harder to stand out. This has led to a complex and ever-expanding ecosystem of creative, media, analytics, social, and other agencies that can access specialized expertise. Managing a broader set of agency relationships, however, comes with its own significant challenges. Not only is the digital landscape more fluid, but matching the right content to the right channel demands different ways of working with and across agencies and new ways of measuring performance. Questions around media transparency, viewability, ad blocking, and even fraud have also sown confusion.