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Why Every Marketer Needs a Media Specialist

by Meghan McDonnell, Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Between P&G issuing ultimatums around digital media, transparency and accountability and the one-year anniversary of the ANA Media Transparency Report, every client is now asking:

Can I trust my media agency? Are they recommending the right channels? Am I getting what I paid for? How are we measuring success? Is anyone seeing my ad? 

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Pile Turns 30

by Judy Neer, Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Friends of Pile,

It’s amazing how fast 30 years go by.

I’ll admit that when my friends Skip Pile and Rick Hooker left the agency world to start their own company 30 years ago, I was impressed. In 1987, Pile and Company began with a focus on the business side of advertising, but quickly pivoted to the (at the time) young, niche industry we would ultimately become known for—agency search consulting.

When I joined nine years later, Pile was making great inroads in the New England market. Not only was our agency search business flourishing, but we had opened a freelance creative staffing division, Communications Collaborative, which is still thriving today as a full-time and freelance staffing resource for in-house agency and marketing clients. 

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The Real Question of Consultancy vs. Agency

by Meghan McDonnell, Wednesday, June 07, 2017

How’s your relationship?

This is the question I would ask any agency worried, or wondering if they should start worrying, about the rise of consultancies as advertising partners. Regardless of the deluge of press around consultancies, with headlines like, The Race Is On, who will “win” isn’t a question of consultancy vs. agency. It’s a question of who has the better relationship.

We all know consultancies boast the capital “S” Strategy and data acumen that marketing clients need. But transformational or divestiture strategy doesn’t necessarily translate into communication and creative strategy. And building a roadmap for marketing data platforms takes time. Consultancies are acclimating, but there is a learning curve.  Read More...

Creative, Marketing and In-House Staffing: An Update from Pile's Divisions

by Judy Neer, Thursday, May 11, 2017

Friends of Pile,

You often hear from me on Pile Consulting, but I thought I might share a few industry insights from two of our divisions—Communications Collaborative, our creative and marketing staffing arm, and IHAF, our professional association for in-house agencies.

As we move ahead in 2017, Communications Collaborative shares that we remain in a “candidate’s market.” So, what does this mean for employers? Read More...

5 Questions Clients Are Asking About Their Agencies

by Meghan McDonnell, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The client-agency relationship is a funny thing. On the one hand, you have a uniquely close partnership predicated on trust, common ground and shared goals. On the other, you have a tenuous, fickle arrangement fraught with questions. And for a while, “questions” were viewed as the enemy of the client-agency relationship. If a client was asking questions, it meant something was wrong.

Today if a client isn’t asking questions, or an agency doesn’t understand why questions are being asked, something is wrong. A marketer should always be asking questions—for the good of their advertising investment and to stay competitive. Likewise, an agency should recognize that transparency is not only a cost-of-entry practice in safeguarding a relationship, but also one of the best ways to win new work.

So, in the spirit of bolstering productive, healthy client-agency relationships, here are five questions we’re hearing right now from our clients. Questions they want asked and answered as they assess current agency relationships or perhaps even look for a new agency partner in 2017. 

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