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How can brands and ad agencies work together more effectively?

Joel Watson

The marketing profession is being changed and disrupted by technology. Marketing technology evangelist, Rod Banner, explains how.

The world of marketing is changing. Men of the Don Draper mould, cigarette in mouth and whisky in hand, overlooking Madison Avenue with a cool glare, are firmly buried in the past.

Gone too is the poisonous and combative approach that leads advertising agencies to scrap it out for the best contracts. Or at least, that’s the plan.

Welcome to the new age of brand architecture. Instead of a huddle of agencies fighting tooth and nail for lucrative clients, Rod Banner, ‘Agent of change’ at marketing group 3LA, envisages a new system that will improve the “fractious” and “distrustful” relationships that currently exists between advertisers and tech companies.

The premise is to gather a group of brand architecture experts to assemble for projects, providing ideas for companies in need of advertising, without the day-to-day slog that working for the average agency provides.

Banner explains that marketers are always wondering: “How to get great ideas, really interesting ideas, and they want them to keep on coming.”

This continuity is disrupted by the current culture of awarding contracts, i.e. pitching. Banner tells Hot Topics, in a video conducted at the London event, why the current model is flawed:

“A typical scenario is: ‘Oh yes we’re going to put out a $100,000,000 piece of business on the line, get 10 agencies to pitch for $100,000,000.’

“So maybe one agency wins, there’s probably five agencies that contributed really good ideas which is a bit awkward. Then many brands admit that it’s not $100,000,000, maybe it’s $50m. Maybe it’s $20m.

“The whole thing produces a relationship that’s fractious, if not downright distrustful.”

Banner joined 3LA with the idea that: “We could build a collective of really smart people who could be plugged together to do specific things, to address specific challenges.”

He explains: “My thinking is that we’ve got to something much more interesting around broking ideas.

“There’s a new platform that we’re building right now which is exactly that. Where bright people can get engaged with the business of marketing and how to deliver it.

“Not just from their creative ideas, but from the technology perspective and the innovation perspective.

The system Banner has in mind maximises the talents of those working in brand architecture, without the fractious environment that pitching to tech companies can sometimes create.

If you want to know more, view the video above.