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Three Questions with Meghan

by Pile and Company, Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This month we're starting a new blog series entitled, Three Questions. Each month we will talk to one of our consultants across Agency Search, Performance Evaluation, Executive Search and Commercial Operations, and get their very quick take on trends and observations coming out of their current engagements with marketers and agencies.

First up, SVP and Agency Search guru, Meghan McDonnell

1) What was the most surprising thing you've seen in a pitch this month?

As basic as it sounds, it still surprises me when agencies come into a pitch and don't answer the assignment. We've had a number of final presentations in the last month, and in each instance, there was one finalist agency that didn't deliver against what the client outlined. I understand that agencies want to differentiate themselves and show how innovative they are, but it can't come at the expense of the assignment. This approach ends up doing the agency a real disservice.

2) What are one or two things you're hearing from marketing clients as they think about their partnerships for 2015?

We have a lot of clients asking us right now to assist in determining if they are getting enough value out of their agency relationships. Do they have the right agency(ies) to help them meet their business goals? Are they paying the agency a fair amount? Do they have the right team?  

The other thing clients are saying is that they need their agency to help them act upon all of the data that exists. For instance, how can they use the consumer data they have to make their message more relevant?

3) Finally, will you dress up for Halloween? And if so, as what?

I'll say it -- I'm not a fan of Halloween. I never have been, which is probably why I wore my mom's wedding dress and veil year after year and went as a "bride." I've already tapped out on my creativity by the time I figure out costumes for my girls.

What Marketers Are Focused On Right Now

by Meghan McDonnell, Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'm often asked what our marketing clients are focused on, particularly as we near the end of one year and embark on planning for the next. 

In reading McKinsey's article, Marketing Disruption: Five blind spots on the road to marketing potential, I was struck by how well it covered all of the concerns we're currently hearing from our clients.

It is a must read.

Top 100 Most Valuable Brands

by Pile and Company, Thursday, October 09, 2014

Every year Interbrand publishes a list of the most valuable brands in the world. While there is always some debate as to who will land at number one, the top few slots are typically comprised of the same big players. This year, the top six brands haven't changed from last year, with Apple coming in first and Google hot on its heels.

Check out the full list of the top 100 brands here and let us know if you agree. 


Office Depot OfficeMax and McCann/UM

by Pile and Company, Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Congratulations to our client Office Depot OfficeMax and McCann/UM on their new partnership! Read more here

How Sponsors Are Responding to NFL Controversies

by Pile and Company, Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The 2014 NFL Season kicked off with a number of controversies surrounding their top players. Fans and the general public are now weighing in on the incidents, the league's response (or lack thereof), and the sponsors.

First up was Cover Girl and the makeup giant's NFL campaign featuring women showing their "Game Face." After the Ray Rice video, the brand's "Game Face" image for the Baltimore Ravens was doctored (by someone in the internet ether) and a black eye added. The meme was shared, tweeted and linked and became a battle cry for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down. Despite this, the brand has no intentions of ending their existing sponsorship.

This seems to be the case for most sponsors of the league. Although they have expressed their varying degrees of disapproval with the NFL, they haven't stopped advertising.

P&G is an exception. They cancelled their massive month-long, on-the-field campaign to support breast cancer. However the company still plans to donate funds to research efforts.

As with any celebrity endorsement or sponsorship deal, there is always the risk of a controversy. And a brand's response varies by the offense and the degree to which they are affiliated with the offender. Or, perhaps most importantly, the degree to which the public calls for action.

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