I have always been very vocal in positioning Cremarc as a Marketing Company and not a Marketing Agency; the underlying reason behind this is in the B2B technology space, I don’t believe the traditional agency cuts it.
The last corporate role I held before founding Cremarc was EMEA Marketing Director for a large technology company. I would spend considerable time meeting potential agencies brought through the door by my marketing team to fulfill a specific need. They would broadly fall into one of two camps. Either they would be creatively brilliant but have no understanding whatsoever of the technology and solutions we offered: they could produce some beautiful designs but in terms of articulating our proposition, they simply did not get it. The second category was technology savvy: they understood what we did, but creatively they were dull and would lead us down the same old path.
Therefore my mission has always been to right this wrong, and create a Marketing Company that understands the propositions of our clients but can also develop innovative creative to effectively take this to market.
If you change nothing, nothing changes
Anyone who has worked with me will be familiar with this phrase – I use it a lot. The technology industry is riddled with marketing managers and agencies simply repeating what they have done before and then being surprised that they are getting diminishing results.
Wake up, the world does not stand still, and neither should your agency. If they are not challenging you, then they are not moving you forward. The way people engage with content, the buying cycle and the intersection of sales and marketing is so radically different from where it was two years ago, and so too should your marketing plan and the people you work with.
Strategy & Execution should not be disconnected
I was interested to read the news that Nikki Mendonca, OMD’s EMEA President had left her role to join Accenture. In an interview with The Drum she talks about the Marketing industry being at a strategic inflection point with the traditional agency model being broken. She feels that marketing needs to be top-down and a seamless connection between strategy and activity.
This is music to my ears, as I strongly believe that a significant amount of marketing activity is conducted with no real view or definition of what it is trying to achieve, so how can it possibly deliver the right results?
Pain is weakness leaving the body
This is another phrase that I have been known to use quite often. Did Amazon get it right first time? Do they have a wake of failed marketing initiatives? Most certainly. To become as good as the competition requires bravery, to be better than the competition will involve pain and most certainly breaking a few things along the way.
When we provide an agency with a meticulous brief, we clip their wings. When we focus more on the execution than the underlying objective, we become efficient while compromising being effective. We need to be bold and challenge; yes, this means we will make mistakes, but that’s what leaders do, because every mistake corrects your course and points you in the right direction.
While I believe the traditional marketing agency approach is broken, the need for organisations to employ external help is more important than ever before; it’s just a case of getting the right help. External help stops you from looking inside out, it forces you to think and articulate your propositions in terms of what the market needs, rather than what you want to sell. It is simply not possible to have all of the skills and competencies required in-house, so external help can address the skill gap. But most importantly, if you select the right marketing company and put in place the right relationship, it can augment your thinking, challenge the status quo and drive a transformational shift in the effectiveness your approach to marketing.
Gary is the Managing Director of Cremarc, a specialist B2B marketing company that helps organisations to deliver effective marketing through storytelling, marketing automation and cleverly designed ‘challenger marketing’.