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Marketing Brief: “A Very Nervous Group of CMOs”: How the Chain Reaction of Current Uncertainty Affects the Advertising Industry

Agencies executives and communications consultants say overall marketers appear cautious, shrinking budgets and focusing on project work rather than agency communications. At the same time, agency executives and advocacy consultants say agencies have been showing up for smaller-than-usual business and project work that they typically wouldn’t do during sunny periods. Some stores also hire their experienced or well-known creatives to attend or market where they usually have more junior creatives or executives in charge.

“This year’s referrals are down 39 percent from last year,” said Greg Paull, co-founder and principal of search consultancy R3. “You have a very nervous group of CMOs who may be pushing things back into the second half of the year for their shifts. There are more project-based pitches than big global pitches.”

Search consultancy Lisa Colantuono, president of AAR Partners, echoed this sentiment, adding that she sees clients “continuing with caution” as they deal not only with a potential downturn, but with ongoing supply chain and Talent issues Several issues have already caused some clients to shrink their budgets.

When asked about the impact of the current economic environment on the agency’s clients, Celeste Bell, Executive Vice President and Director of Human Resources, Deutsch NY, said: “Clients focus on their budgets as much as we focus on our own. the same budget.” . Bell noted that Deutsch is still hiring for positions, and there are no layoffs, as customers are still moving ahead with planned work. Even so, the agency is “trying to understand what customers know when they know it,” Bell noted.

Agencies tighten their belts, worrying some job seekers. “People are getting nervous,” said Christie Cordes, an advertising recruiter. “Ad agency CFOs allow hiring but are pessimistic about salary caps – in other words, there is little tolerance now to approve more budgets to ‘make sure candidates get hired’. To me, this looks Looks like bearish behavior. Candidates want $15,000 over our budget – reduce them, cancel offers. Not a good sign, especially considering how tight the talent market is still.”

This Not that all institutions will feel the pressure in the same way. Some say that as clients increasingly seek efficiencies in working with agencies in specific niches. 3 Questions with Megan Jones, VP of Marketing, Digital Marketing Agency & Consulting, January

As the fourth quarter approaches, the number one priority for January Consider what?

Our focus now remains on growth. We are growing very fast. We have more than doubled in size since the pandemic began. For us, it has continued to evolve while maintaining a very solid product, but also staying true to who we want to be and what kind of culture we want to build. In a way, that’s cool for this pandemic. Like everyone else, you learn as you go, and then something changes.

What does the company culture look like when your team is in growth mode?

One of the things we’ve done that’s been really effective is — we’ve introduced our first real class — we’ve started a Internship program. If you do an internship with us, you can join as a senior coordinator – an entry-level position. And, live by our values ​​in everything we do. A good example is, especially if you are in a remote area, you must have a centralized place for learning and development. It has to be easily accessible and searchable. Then, do very good soft skills training. It’s not just about learning what’s taxable. If you can teach someone soft skills, then you can get them involved in the culture from the start.

In this regard, what is the biggest challenge or learning?

The biggest challenge is combining rapid growth with a new environment. While it’s been a challenge, we’re very focused on keeping this growth diverse and inclusive and bringing in different perspectives and contexts. Communication is the hardest thing to do in a remote and ever-changing environment. We also learned that in the process of change, people just created the details. They want so much information. Even if you feel like you’re being transparent, sometimes we get feedback that we’re not transparent enough. What we’ve learned is that we have to spell it out for people. — Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

TikTok isn’t the only thing keeping shoppers glued to their phone screens. At least one-third of U.S. consumers prefer mobile shopping apps to all other channels, according to new research from software services firm Newstore. Find a breakdown of the study below:

  • 71 % of consumers are “very interested” or interested
  • 60% of consumers surveyed reportedly prefer mobile shopping apps over mobile improved User Experience of Websites
  • 45% consumers won’t download a brand’s app if they are concerned about security or privacy, according to survey — Kimeko McCoy
  • This Week’s Quote

    “Advertisers focus on the ROI they are currently getting from Walled Garden platforms (Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.). Clients are re-evaluating their spend and looking for more cost-effective digital advertising resources that are more transparent and open when measured to provide an effective ROI.”

    — CEO of ad tech group Direct Digital Holdings Officer Mark Walker said of clients’ reassessment of ad spend and efficiency during the downturn.

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