Agency marketers… Do you have the capabilities to meet brand teams’ vision?

Calling all agency marketers… Do you have the right capabilities to meet brand teams’ one team vision?

I have spent a lot more time within agencies recently, both running pitches on behalf of brand teams, as well as supporting agencies; assisting with their step change their response to briefs and pitches and training agency staff.  During this time, it has become apparent that there is a paradigm shift occurring in agency/client relationships.

The days of brand marketers turning to their agencies to simply ‘react’ or deliver tactical activation and campaigns has gone.

Client-side marketers are looking for account directors to become, as I have named them ‘agency marketers’ and for agencies to become truly a part of the team – sharing the commercial accountability they once took on their shoulders alone.


How often is a company’s brand long term strategy not shared, marketing budget kept as a closely guarded secret from the agency?  In my experience quite often, in addition to this, brand teams are not always providing briefs with clear objectives and KPIs and yet, the expectation from the client is for an agency to deliver, regardless of their knowledge of ‘the bigger picture’.

Thankfully, I am noticing a new-found way of working.

I’m seeing more ‘agency marketers’ and brand marketers collaborating – attending strategy planning meetings together, sharing objectives, goals and budgets (and even offices).  Individuals are even acting as one team, enjoying socialising together, an acquaintance of mine even invited her marketing agency team to her wedding.

But what are the professional benefits of this collaborative approach?

Less ‘us and them’. A feeling of ‘you win together, you lose together!’ Transparency prevails and agency marketers are strategically being able to meet their clients’ objectives with the same emotional and professional commercial accountability that previously you would only expect from someone on the payroll… 

One team.  One vision.

How do agency marketers credibly become truly part of the brand teams?

Agencies are having to become far more proactive in developing their capabilities to meet their clients’ objectives, taking a holistic view on marketing and most importantly, sharing accountability.

Brand marketers are expecting so much more from their agency but do their agencies have the right competences in place to meet their clients’ expectations?


Does the above sound like your way of working or aren’t you quite there yet? Is further support and development is required?

Here are my Top Tips for you to move towards the ‘Agency Marketers’ capabilities to meet brand marketers’ one team vision:

  1. Strategic Thinking – Have a long-term view as well as truly understanding the strategic role each ‘campaign’ or activation will help move towards delivering the long-term goal. Understand what journey the brand is going on or needs to go on?
  2. Be part of the brand planning process – be involved from the start, immerse yourself in the brand, be part of the vision and long term strategic goals and advise on what would be required to unlock the identified opportunities and not just the delivery
  3. Keep abreast of the market competitors, trends, consumer behaviours / change, etc. see and share it first
  4. Commercial understanding to deliver commercial results– recommend activities that will not only deliver brand proposition but also deliver the expected commercial return that the brand team are tasked to deliver at the required time. Advise on activities that will best deliver the objectives for the budget
  5. Provide analytics – be able to interpret what the EPOS/sales data is telling you, to enable you to recommend, as well as measure effectiveness
  6. Set Measurement – KPI’s and more importantly work together, sharing data, to define the return on investment to review spend versus the commercial return for each consumer recruited. Maximise the investment


As a CIM trainer, I have trained brand marketers for over a decade.  More recently I have become an IPM trainer educating promotional marketers.

With a career that has enabled me to sit on both sides of the fence, my team and I have the expertise to train agency teams as well as mentoring and coaching them to embed and build strategic and commercial skills.

Labyrinth work with agency partners as marketing agency mentors. We work with agencies to help them respond to the brief and win the pitch, and can also support them with interim planning resource, as an extension of their agency team.

Whether you need planning resource, commercial data interpretation, pitch support, setting commercial targets and KPI’s, Labyrinth can become an extension of your team – training and supporting you to embed these skills required to meet clients’ growing needs…

One team.  One vision.

As Simon Sinek said,

“A team is not a group of people who work together.

A team is a group of people who trust each other”.

So, let’s get connected:

Call                           Abigail Dixon on 07855 840 844


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