Who will lead the way in reinventing marketing?
Only 16% of CMOs believe it will be their agencies! Only 16% of CMOs believe that their agencies are bringing the leadership necessary to look across all of marketing.
Frankly I was surprised that the number was even that high.
And yet, there is every reason for agencies to be at the forefront in reinventing marketing.
Because they work across many different companies and industries, agencies are ideally situated to have a broad overview of marketing. From this perspective they have the potential for reinventing marketing. And because they are outsiders, in theory they can provide an objective and independent viewpoint that is not entwined with the internal politics and vested interests of any particular company.
CMOs don’t see it that way because their agencies don’t see it that way.
Most agencies have their own vested interests in the status quo of marketing. The areas that they have an interest in reinventing is around new media and moving from short 30 second ads to longer forms such as online movies.
We came across this in our many years of being on the agency side.
When I was a SVP at BBDO, I recognized a marketing opportunity for our Gillette clients to support their efforts to get men to trade up from disposable razors to the Gillette Sensor XL. I developed the marketing concept and brought it to the client because it was good for their business. Back at the agency my effort was seen as a waste of time. “Where is the advertising in this idea?” asked the head of the account group.
And I found the same silo thinking at other types of agencies over the years.
In developing our method for reinventing marketing — Narrative Branding — Michael Thibodeau and I recognized the difficulty in getting an existing agency to adopt a whole new model. You know the saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The disruption for an existing agency would be too great. That is why we started Verse Group.