A large multinational and top brand advertiser with marketing teams distributed around the world was facing financial pressure to streamline operations and drive the efficient use of its agency resources to meet its ambitious marketing goals. The company employs hundreds of marketers and has significant marketing budgets to promote its vast number of individual brands around the globe. The marketing teams go through an annual process to scope their requirements, share it with their designated agency partners so both parties can align on what type of deliverables must be produced and what agency resources (human and financial) are required to carry on these activities. This process was historically managed manually, using various templates to get local and regional markets and procurement teams aligned with guidance by the global marketing team.
Major obstacles and considerations (global, multi brand)
The process of capturing scope requirements, agency fees and staffing plans was particularly labor intensive, slow and prone to errors as budget changes were made and many stakeholders were involved. The description of the work was highly inconsistent or non-standardized and therefore, the planning and scoping process was not rigorous enough to provide adequate visibility to the work to agencies or even internally. Locking financial commitments and getting alignment on scope took far too much time and didn’t allow for brand and agency teams to operate with clarity and adequate buy in. Additionally, senior management was unable to see an aggregated view of all scopes, deliverables, agency staffing or financials to ensure that there was no overlap or inefficiencies at the regional or global level. The company had a manual process for cost estimation and resource utilization, discouraging marketers with tight deadline to carefully review estimates or burn data before approving them.
This brand advertiser asked Agency Mania Solutions to streamline, automate and improve their planning and scoping process to provide its marketing organization with timely, actionable scope, financial and staffing data. In close partnership with their marketing procurement team, Agency Mania Solutions revamped the end-to-end process, using its ScopeDeliver™ cloud-based solution, to bring much greater focus on deliverables and staffing details that would ultimately contribute to more effective plans of record, improved negotiations and guidance to agencies as well as better work. The solution allowed marketers to open and lock scopes throughout the year, always keeping a current view and updating agencies of scope or budget changes. The solution also allowed the agencies to update the marketing teams on a monthly or quarterly basis on where they stood with deliverables (project status), how much resources have been utilized (FTE/retainer) and facilitated financial reconciliations (in local currency and constant US dollars) without the burden of having to chase down this information or manually compile it.
ScopeDeliver™ enables this brand advertiser to streamline and automate the end to end annual planning process and agency reconciliations and improve decision-making via centralized reporting
Consequences/impact (participation, scores, better insight, etc.)
The improved process and back-end analytics allowed the brand advertiser to identify significant efficiency gains by reducing redundant activities and providing marketers with better insight on cost estimates. Because of the custom nature of the implementation, leveraging the company’s existing taxonomy and workflow approval processes familiar to marketing teams, the company was able to get 100% compliance among its marketing organization and realized tremendous cost savings. The feedback from marketers was remarkably strong after the solution was deployed, many raving about the “friendliness” and “ease of use” of the solution.
Lesson learned (importance of action planning, holding all accountable, etc.)
Having a more consistent and automated process to capture, document, share and analyze deliverables, staffing plans and agency financials by Business Unit, by geographic location, by marketing discipline or even by agency, empowered the marketing and procurement teams as well as their senior management to make more informed decisions about where they apply resources and achieve transparency of spending with agencies. The company realized greater efficiency gains thanks to the more productive, automated scoping and reconciliation processes but also because redundant efforts can be spotted early on and eliminated. The custom solution made compliance and adoption far easier, especially with busy marketing teams but also for agencies looking to more efficiently work with their clients.
“Agency Mania Solutions revamped the end-to-end process, using its ScopeDeliver™ cloud-based solution, to bring much greater focus on deliverables and staffing details.”