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From LinkedIN – 05.04.2020

This post is by Michael Farmer, Chairman of TrinityP3 USA and author of Madison Avenue Manslaughter: an inside view of fee-cutting clients, profit-hungry owners and declining ad agencies, which won the Axiom Gold Business Book Award for the best marketing / advertising book of 2016.

How should advertisers deal with adverse industry conditions? How can they remain effective with customers? What must they do to improve profitability? How can they grow and gain market share?

Ad agencies have faced these questions for the past 30 years. Many agencies are worse off today than they were in the past. What are the correct pathways for improved performance?

https://leadershipthinking.academy / colourthinking response


  1. Listen to your client. Make sure they experience you doing that. This will form the first part of the gap analysis- what they think they want and, what they actually need
  2. Use your experience to ask questions and further define a brief – what ever you do, don’t build a campaign according to their 1st brief – it will be wrong Careful & clear positive & open comm’s will achieve an answer
  3. Be sure of the target market- every possibility the current product offering is outdated.
  4. Keep in mind people buy benefits (most advertising is focused on features)
  5. Reach & frequency is important; matching the reach across appropriate media (as wide as that is) and using frequency to do the job & minimise the cost
  6. Don’t be pigheaded about the creative / test it out before too much money spent
  7. Don’t just follow the competition
  8. Look to the 24 P’s of marketing to make sure the right part of the benefit is being promoted
  9. Look to make your offer surpetitious (deBono)
  10. Make sure the client is enjoying the process and is having fun – a bit of 80’s exuberance!

and that’s just a start – employ business translators to help the client decipher their need with you and to make sure you, the agency, have got it – not just listened on the way to you previous conclusion or, what you have done for others.

Never has the marketing dollar been so expensive, so explosive, so exceptionally important.

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