It’s time for agencies to stop believing that advertisers are impressed by multinational agency networks when it comes to their global campaigns.
When pressed about what makes these networks so good at what they do, large agencies often make vague references to “local nuances” of the markets they serve. While that may hold true for aspects of the creative process, when it comes to efficiently planning and buying media, consolidation is the way to go.
Over the years, many of our clients have benefitted from changing the way they buy media globally – from a country- or region-specific approach to a consolidated one. The reasons are many:
Simply put, pooling global ad dollars allows an agency to use them more efficiently with publishers and networks. Consolidated buying power helps advertisers get the most for their money.
But it’s not just the spending that is made to be more efficient. The process of putting together international buys becomes more efficient as well. The effect can be even more pronounced as centralized buying operations make more and better use of programmatic tech to purchase not just digital ads, but offline ads as well.
If you currently buy in several international regions, also consider how much more efficient the process could be if the individual regions didn’t play politics, or work against one another to secure funds and attention. A consolidated process can align everyone behind the business as a whole, and make things much more efficient for the advertiser.
Consolidated buying helps with efficiency, but it also makes things much more effective as well. When a collection of international regions each operates independently, they tend to seek opportunities in media that would benefit them and only them. Consolidating allows for a bigger-picture view of what media can bring to multiple countries and regions.
For example, many of our clients have benefitted from multi-region arrangements with publishers, where a base plan of media vehicles that reach multiple countries does a much better job for the business as a whole than anything the individual regions might have come up with. The reason for this is visibility into the bigger picture. Individual region and country managers tend to lose sight of the opportunities that lift all boats, because they’re focused on what’s happening in their own corner of the world. Usually, spotting these types of opportunities requires collaboration that isn’t always present in a decentralized model.
Put simply, standards for advertising are different in different areas of the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in auditing and proof of performance. Knowing that US-based media operations have a certain level of expectation concerning the proof that media actually ran, rep firms that bring international opportunities to the table have also brought US standards to the table in that regard. With a decentralized approach, advertisers have often had to deal with substandard verification and in some instances, question whether their ads actually ran or not.
The same US representatives can also introduce efficiencies into the process when advertising in multiple countries. Translation services, turnkey adjustments to creative sizes/lengths and other benefits can make it much easier and much less time-consuming for international advertisers to launch campaigns.
I’m of course biased, but allow me to tout New York’s absolute superiority in regard to consolidated international ad operations. New York is, simply, the media center of the universe, and most of the international advertising operations that advertisers want to consider have representation in New York. This allows NY ad agencies direct access to those opportunities and quick turnarounds on requests.
While it might be advantageous to have regional creative resources working on international campaigns, for media planning and buying, consolidation makes more sense.