tein + Partners Brand Activation’s President and Chief Creative Officer, Tom Stein, has offered a pointed response to the recent CMO Council study that revealed that just 9% of senior-level marketers polled believe traditional agencies have done a good job of evolving and extending their service capabilities in the digital age.
In his March 2 post to the Brand Activator blog on CMO.com, titled “The 91%: Occupy Madison Avenue,” Stein states that the study’s unflattering portrait of traditional agencies’ inability to meet clients’ evolving needs is equally reflective of marketers’ inability to clearly articulate those needs and effectively measure results against them.
“I have observed firsthand the laborious, kick-and-scream journey too many agencies have made to digital adequacy,” comments the head of the award-winning BtoB agency. “Yet I also have observed the amazing and progressive work plenty of agencies have done and continue to do. So the 9% data point surprises me – and raises an eyebrow.”
In Stein’s view, the findings obfuscate the real picture. He points out that, just as many traditional agencies are excellent digital marketers, many traditional brands are as well. At the same, Stein maintains, many marketers have not evolved to the point of digital proficiency.
“Many marketers seek digital measurability and ROI, but their data is a mess,” Stein says. Many proclaim the level of alignment required to be a strong digital marketing organization, but their ability to connect marketing to sales to technology runs from limited to nonexistent. Many cite a clear digital strategy and focus on results, but their expectations of their own teams and agencies is murky at best.”
Stein’s post further asserts that the agency deficiencies surfaced via the study are reflective of marketers’ own deficiencies. And he raises a series of questions: “Is your data any good? Is it actionable? Are your systems up to the task? Is your organization? Is everyone on the same page in terms of expectations? Are they the right expectations? Are they realistic?”
Through honest answers from marketer and agency alike – and through closer collaboration – solid partnership and success are in the offing. Stein will publish a follow-up to The 91%: Occupy Madison Avenue in the next Brand Activator blog on CMO.com, slated for March 9.
About Stein + Partners Brand Activation
Named 2011 Agency of the Year by BtoB Magazine, and 2010 Agency of the Year by the Business Marketing Association, Stein + Partners Brand Activation (http://www.steinbrand.com) is a branding, integrated and interactive agency that activates brands in such categories as financial services, technology, telecommunications, consumer electronics, business advisory services, pharmaceuticals, human resources, marketing services, and more.
SPBA’s client roster includes Alvogen, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), BPA Worldwide, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), Intralinks, Pearson, PR Newswire, Pearson, Standard & Poor’s, Syniverse, Towers Watson, uTest, and Wolters Kluwer.
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