How CMOs Should Combat The Disintegration Of The Agency-of-Record Model

Like the Don Draper three-martini lunch, the agency-of-record model is becoming a thing of the past. Big brands like General Motors and PepsiCo are building agency teams rather than trusting one agency to handle all their creative needs. Back when marketing consisted of print, broadcast and PR, a generalist agency could easily handle all of a brand’s needs. But now that the marketing world has expanded to areas like mobile, digital, experiential marketing and social media, many of the larger brands believe it’s hard for one agency to be excellent at all those things. For agencies that want to work for the bigger brands, “specialize or die” has become the name of the game, and as brands seek best-in-breed specialists to take on smaller chunks of their marketing, the agency of record is morphing into the team of record. If your brand has decided to play the field instead of settling down with one agency, you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and how to get your agency army to collaborate effectively. New Model, New Problems A multi-agency approach to marketing is still relatively new, which means brands and their agencies are encountering a host of new challenges. While most brands are still experimenting with the freedom to purchase agency services à la carte, they’re often losing sight of who’s minding the store. That’s the biggest problem with employing multiple agency partners: No AOR means no one is overseeing the overarching brand strategy. This can lead to: Disjointed projects that fail to create a cohesive brand image. Partners duplicating one another’s work, wasting resources. Agencies undermining other agency partners in an effort to capture more client work. CMOs functioning as project managers rather [...]

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