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HOW BRAND AGENCY RELATIONSHIP IS CHANGING IN THE DIGITAL ERA

In the era of broadcast campaign-based marketing, a brand would typically rely on a single agency for its important marketing activities—generating ideas, negotiating media buys, and producing content like TV commercials and billboards. Marketing has changed in the past two decades, however. We’re past the age where you can rely on time-bound promotional efforts. The world is more interconnected than ever, the number of ways in which you can reach potential customers has exploded, and marketers have to be always on to manage brand at an unprecedented, global scale.

Brands no longer think solely in terms of a handful of large, seasonal campaigns; just ask TV executives, who can expect a 7% decrease in ad revenue for 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Instead, it’s the “always-on” channels that are seeing growth.

But brands don’t think agencies should (or can) handle the surge in new marketing responsibilities that technology has led to, according to a study commissioned by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, an industry group. This new climate has led to shorter agency tenures over time. It’s also led to more agency reviews. A group of 20 large brands—including Coca-Cola and Unilever—launched media reviews between January and May, amounting to $25 billion up for grabs, according to Business Insider.

In the era of broadcast campaign-based marketing, a brand would typically rely on a single agency for its important marketing activities—generating ideas, negotiating prices with ad sellers, and producing content like TV commercials and billboards. The digital age has upped the ante for what it means to communicate and position a brand effectively. Marketers have gone through more change in the last decade than they ever have. The nature of the brand-agency relationship has changed, too. With fewer shops being used, shorter agency tenures than ever, and a record year for media agency reviews, the relationship between firms and brands is defined by an unprecedented readiness to place firms under the microscope to evaluate cost and effectiveness!

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