It seems that more and more clients are trying to bring work in-house. According to RSW/US, a company that researches the agency/client relationship, 80 percent of companies predict they will bring at least some marketing services in-house this year. At MCC, we’ve seen a little of that, too. For some of our clients it works out well, but for others not as much. When it does work, we typically see those clients shift their “saved” budgets to beef up an MCC program they’re already executing or to add a new service to their marketing mix. When going in-house doesn’t go quite as planned, clients often become overwhelmed by the planning, development and execution of their initiatives.
When I hung a shingle in front of MCC in 1986, I did so with the objective of creating a uniquely innovative agency. My idea was to create more sophisticated, more effective integrated marketing communications for companies in emerging markets – and I can objectively say that it’s been a success by any measure. More than 31 years later, we continue to execute against this same goal, forging innovative, new paths in advertising, public relations and social media. But recently, our perspective widened. While we’ve continued to provide fresh, new ideas for our clients, we’ve also taken a deeper look at ourselves and asked what we could do to work in even more advanced ways. Normally, we implement these tools behind the scenes in virtually invisible ways that make their presence known only in the results we achieve for clients.
But today, I’m thrilled to announce some much more visible innovations that reflect where MCC is now and what we’re able to do for clients. For starters, we’ve moved into an entirely new office space, in a different building just down the street at 12377 Merit Drive in Dallas. And let me just say that this was no superficial undertaking.
What does it take to be an account manager today? What skills and knowledge are necessary, and how have they shifted over time? Client service has definitely evolved from what it was 10 years ago. There are more ways of building a brand and reaching audiences. While we used to be fairly limited to traditional outlets like television, print, radio and outdoor campaigns, the digital explosion has created exponentially more opportunities to communicate with customers. This landscape has upped the marketing game, and we are seeing a lot of new possibilities. The fundamental role that account managers play hasn’t changed. Building trust with clients, having a sense of leadership and looking at a client’s business from strategic perspectives are still necessary, but the means of doing those and what clients expect from them have changed. The challenge for account managers is how to make themselves more valuable experts in today’s digital world.
While business results are the single most important measure of our success, we do admit that we get excited about awards around here. It is always nice to be recognized, and we have lots and lots of beautiful trophies that we proudly display just outside our conference room.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “the customer is always right,” but when it comes to client/agency relationships, this motto shouldn’t always apply.
At M/C/C, we pride ourselves on being great consultants because, after all, that’s what our clients hire us for. In our 30 years of business, we’ve always been committed, first and foremost, to our clients’ success. With every recommendation we make and every action we take, we keep our clients’ business and marketing objectives in focus.
There are times, however, when we may disagree with our clients in an effort to get the best results. It’s what we consider the method to our madness.
Making a perfect match of agency and client is a little bit of Match.com, The Bachelor and the old-fashioned happenstance meeting. That is to say it’s one part science and one part romance with a just little touch of pixie dust.
There is no doubt that happy, long-lasting agency/client relationships are a lot like a marriage. And, in my experience, clients and agencies kiss lots of frogs before finding the right match.
How would your company like to attract and retain better employees than your competition can? Employees who are engaged with your customers and are invested in the success of your business? Employees who are advocates for your brand and who collaborate with one another?
It’s hard to imagine any company that wouldn’t like to enjoy these benefits.
As I look back on the year 2016, five favorite M/C/C moments come to mind.
This month, M/C/C reached a new milestone – our 30th year in marketing communications. In that time, we’ve seen a number of advances. Amongst them, some of the broadest have included the design implications of personal computers, the birth of analytics in marketing and an entire evolution of how people receive information. Those changes are societal though. Everyone has seen the impacts firsthand. The business of advertising and public relations has progressed just as much one or two levels deeper as well, and that’s the part of our sausage-making that outsiders rarely get to see.
Since its release on July 6th, the world’s population has been split into two categories: those who play Pokémon GO and those who do not. I personally fall into the first category, though my Pokédex is nothing to brag about. Regardless of which category you fall into, there’s a very good chance you’ve talked about it. This is because the app was an instant record-setter. According to a Fox News article, “it hit Number 1 on US iPhone sales after precisely 13 hours.” It comes as no surprise that this massive trend has become a hot topic in the past month.
Our agency just so happens to sit on one of the game’s gyms, and it isn’t uncommon to find people hovering by the office building’s doors seeking an epic Pokémon battle. Seeing the app’s success at our front door, one can’t help but ask, “What lessons from Pokémon GO can apply to our industry?”