Marketers need to leverage the agency partner’s full offering to drive the best negotiation strategy based on business objectives as we head into 2017.
If we get this right, business partnership longevity will go from strength to strength, working on business outcomes versus short-term pricing strategies.
Identifying business objectives
If a brand’s business goals aren’t clear, for example there is no sight of future budgets, launches, strategy—whether it’s a cost driven exercise or is it reach or methods, marketers want to trade off. These are the areas marketers need to ask the agency to deliver.
On the agency’s side, no sight of the business objectives can lead to a blind trading strategy, forcing agencies to get into something with very little knowledge—this basically leads to the agency delivering a price with a large risk attached.
From my understanding, this does not cement a healthy long-term business partnership.
For instance, if the objective is to buy at the lowest price possible, then business objectives need to be redefined in line with the cost driving exercise. Marketers need to be realistic on the business objectives and the value-add they are looking for.
What's in a trading deal?
When business goals are set, marketers can come to the negotiation table with the media owners.
In some instances, media owners and marketers orchestrate deals and pass it onto the agency for the negotiations.
What’s missing is what form of the negotiation marketers want to benefit from.
It’s very hard to buy a plan, which has already been agreed upon. The key is to understand what the value the client wants.
Is it a net reduction in cost, is it bonus inventory, is it a content opportunity, is it creating technology and data which can overlay the buy. What is the core objective? It’s imperative that these objectives are echoed throughout the entire business.
The trade must add value—we need to get the objectives in sight to drive the trade. A bespoke trading strategy can be delivered to suit each client’s wants and needs.
It is the responsibility of both agency and marketer to help drive this.
What lies ahead?
The way forward; give agency partners clear guidelines on what the business objectives are. Within this framework, decision can be made on the best route forward and what technology the agency can support to ensure trading is leverage to the maximum.
Market by market bespoke strategies, building a campaign bottom-up so we can align on the principles of what we are trying to achieve.
This is very much a two-way street.
Every brand is different, and the campaign needs are different in every market. One size does not fit all.
A trade, from my perspective gives the best terms and conditions, forms a true partnership between marketer, agency and vendor whilst driving flexibility to allow the agency to develop a brand specific strategy for business outcomes.
A good negotiation must allow brands and clients to work together to drive ambitious, integrated media plans.
No time like the present to engage in 2017 negotiation with the correct due diligence and appetite for success, trading partnerships can create trust, transform and develop healthy relationships for many years to come.
Andy Carter is Head of Trading APAC at Publicis Media.