MediaCom held a media owner only event in their basement. Owners I spoke to seemed to enjoy the interaction. The concept is great but overall the implementation required attention. However, as one who never wastes an opportunity or time, I gleaned a few things worth sharing.
Camera at the ready our Multi Media Journalist Michael Bratt, chatted to Claudelle Naidoo who handles the agency’s marketing. She mentioned that on a recent trip to India, she was impressed with the depth of relationships between media owners and agencies. This event aims to start the ball rolling in SA as media owner sales people interacted with agency strategists and planners who were divided into teams representing client brands and armed with briefing documents and insights.
Apparently global best practice is to involve owners up front, revealing client briefs, data analysis and important insights enabling them to understand the role that media can and should play. Naidoo mentioned to me that media staff are very busy and time spent with owners doesn’t necessarily allow for lengthy meetings necessary to achieve deeper understanding and collaboration.
In SA the relationship remains largely transactional. Stretched agency staff generally work crazy hours to satisfy client demands. Owners on the other hand are pushing sales teams for increased revenue creating tension and burn out. In the current economic climate the heat is on at an all-time high.
As part of the WPP network, MediaCom handles work on behalf of substantial global and local brands. In recent times the group’s true abilities and potential for synergies across the wider group (which includes creative agencies) have been masked by senior management changes. I sensed passion and camaraderie amongst the teams I engaged with. Amazing what good leadership can do.
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