The size of the global marketing industry coupled with what AGENCY SCOPE has determined marketers spend enables Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and SCOPEN partner, to indicate what’s being spent in South Africa – and which sectors are getting the lion’s share.
As we pull together all the figures, marketers are apportioning their budgets in this manner:
- 37% ATL – media and production
- 37% Digital – media and production
- 26% BTL – POS, experiential. PR and other
Not surprising that digital and above-the-line (ATL) are getting equal share, given the ongoing rise and spread of digital and its various new platforms. However, of interest to the IAS and other intermediaries is the indication from marketers that around 18% of them will be looking for new agencies this year, even while largely satisfied with their agencies at the moment.
Essentially, it’s more about being on the lookout for novel, innovative solutions than merely switching agencies. And this could certainly result in more project work being briefed to more agency partners.
Based on this, I’d suggest intermediaries and all other stakeholders get pitch-fit for what we believe will be as many as 240 pitches of all types in play over the next 12 months. This includes advertising, creative, media, digital, PR and other sectors – an across-the-board review on how marketers feel they need to maintain a competitive edge in the current market.
What does this look like in Rands?
Based on media spend figures in 2021, and some other maths calculations which I have checked with industry colleagues, we could be looking at a figure of R11.2 billion over 240 pitches across media, advertising, digital, PR etc .
Even while a figure of R11.2-billion looms large when viewed as a standalone, viewing it as the part of the overall price tag that provides in-depth knowledge of the markets is key. And not all pitches are run by intermediaries – in fact only 15% of all pitches currently are run by companies like the IAS.
A number of UK marketers, agencies and intermediaries (including our partners the AAR Group) recently have signed up to the Pitch Positive Pledge, which Adweek.com explained this way: “For agencies, pitching, at its worst, can be an expensive, time-consuming exercise leading to late nights, low morale and diminished creative output. For brands, they’re often procurement-driven with the potential to diminish relationships with agency partners and lead to churn.
“To tackle these problems in the UK sector, ad trade bodies the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) have banded together to get brands, agencies and intermediaries to commit to the Pitch Positive Pledge.”
Positive pitches, priceless expertise
Speaking with my IAS hat on, I have to say it’s a move in the right direction for all parties, even our own competitors. Well managed pitches include continuous communication and feedback, and clients are keen for agencies to get this commentary, and ensuring the whole process is captured and shared transparently brings tangible value to the pitch.
We are at a point in our industry’s journey where everybody wants to be better at what they do, and more questions are being asked and answered to pave the way for learnings. With every well-run intermediary-led pitch, CMOs are getting immediate value and proficiency that will last well into their future.
Johanna McDowell is CEO of IAS and partner in SCOPEN South Africa and UK. The IAS (Independent Agency Search and Selection Company) in association with the AAR Group (UK) was founded in South Africa in 2006. IAS specializes in client/agency relationship management and helping clients find agencies. The Independent Agency Search & Selection Company is committed to the international and local pitch guidelines as defined by both the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising UK) and the ACA (The Association of Communications Agencies SA).
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