McIntyre: Clients now feeling the churn

Paul McIntyre
By Paul McIntyre | 23 August 2013
AdNews editor-in-chief Paul McIntyre.

There's some rumblings on the street at present of a study the Media Federation of Australia has conducted comparing the perception agency bosses have of themselves and marketing generally versus what marketers think about media agencies and what the public thinks about marketing. Now, that sounds complicated but it is quite simple in the end. Really.

I have not yet sighted the findings but on good authority they’re not pretty. Although agency bosses generally think they’re operating in a semi-glorious state, marketers' perceptions of them are said to be rather unflattering. The knock-on, though, is that public perceptions of what marketers do is equally tragic.

Let’s hold fire on all this being gospel until the tightly held results find their way into the light but the conversation I had this week which alluded to the study dovetailed nicely with another chat I had a day earlier.

I had been doing the rounds of marketers for some research and was taken aback at how much churn was going on at the top level in corporate marketing roles. Executives that I knew were in their positions three to six months earlier had moved on. I went through eight in a day, all with the same result.

I mentioned this to a creative agency boss in passing this week and he too chimed in. Every six months he pulls a dinner together for key clients to exchange views and so on and upon hosting his most recent, realised 70% of those at the table were new in their roles. In six months!

So my quick take-out before we get into another round of agency bashing – of which many probably deserve some – is let’s not lose sight of the churn challenge that lies on the client side. It appears we have a serious industry-wide issue.

Paul McIntyre

This article first appeared in the 23 August 2013 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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