Disproportionate delivery and differential thinking by agency staff remain key to retaining and recruiting clients - that was Jane Clancy\'s message when she recently took the reins of power at Cheetham Bell JWT in Manchester.
She believes that the need for agencies to exceed expectations and outperform on behalf of clients is increasingly important in an ever-evolving and extremely demanding advertising world. This may sound like an impossible mission for companies already struggling to cope with their workloads, but Clancy says clients now take for granted an agency\'s ability to produce a holistic approach for their products, an approach which encompasses new technologies and media such as podcasting, web marketing and SMS.
And Clancy should know. The recently installed managing director of Cheetham Bell JWT spent seven years as a partner with north west rival BJL and has wider experience in a range of London agencies and as a client.
She has seen that clients now expect disproportionate delivery to secure an increasingly quick return on their marketing investment. \"Every client expects disproportionate delivery on their investment,\" she says.
\"At Cheetham Bell JWT we know that our offer always exceeds client expectations. We are sufficiently confident to literally guarantee this and put our money where our mouth is through performance-related remuneration. \"Demands for a return on investment are even higher - hence the growth of customer relationship management (CRM) and digital because they are entirely measurable. The client wants to see big ideas resonate and to build a true relationship and rapport with an increasingly savvy consumer audience.\"
Clancy believes the agency of the future will have to be confident in its ability to answer three basic questions for its clients: how much money should they spend on marketing; how and where can this money be most rewardingly spent; and what\'s the big idea that can transform how their business is perceived in the marketplace?
She also says that the talent to deliver on all of these questions has to be under one roof. That was the reason she was so enthused about joining Cheetham Bell JWT - all of the pillars for such growth are there.
\"Communication really has to take today\'s consumer on a much more experiential journey than just a 30-second slot,\" she says.
\"Consumers are bombarded by multi-messaging and they are savvy about which ones to edit. The importance of making a real and emotional connection is paramount, and when you have built that relationship you have to sustain it.\" It is this need to offer clients a more experiential, 360-degree package that convinced Clancy of the merits of Cheetham Bell JWT producing \"boundaryless\" ideas and communications. \"We need to make sure that we deliver on a big idea and ethos by understanding the new consumer and buying into the principle of surround sound, dialogue not monologue, and relationship building with the consumer via a plethora of lateral channels, from podcasts to webmarketing to CRM.
Our vision is to deliver differential, boundaryless ideas which create an emotional bond with the consumer. This always starts with a great brand essence and the all-important big idea.
”Like Einstein, I believe that imagination is more important than knowledge.” Clancy believes that to do this takes real talent - with ‘the best in class’ in all forms of communication from digital to planning to CRM.
She says that the agency’s avowed intention is to continue to recruit the very best and the brightest to enhance her 100-strong team. ”We do have the ability to truly differentiate - to make a brand or product leapfrog over the competition - and that comes from differential thinking,” she says. “That is what we are respected for and undoubtedly what we deliver. We have those pillars in place, particularly in our digital and direct offerings.”
Examples of Cheetham Bell JWT putting into practice what Clancy preaches include the current advertising campaign for kitchen retailer Magnet. Described by Clancy as \"tremendously successful\", the campaign ranks number one in terms of consumer recall, and Magnet\'s sales and average order value are steadily increasing. \"The advertising bucks the category trend and makes a emotional connection with the customer,\" says Clancy. \"It\'s a brand ethos more than an advertising idea and it\'s embraced everywhere among Magnet staff, in the stores, on television and on the web. It really is 360-degree thinking and we are seeing great results.\" And she is already building rapidly on the agency\'s roster of clients by pursuing an aggressive new business strategy - JWT has a sector-leading success rate of converting nine out of every ten business pitches.
Recalling the controversy of her departure from BJL for JWT, Clancy stresses that it was a \"fantastic opportunity for me at the right time\" and that she would \"not have joined any other team\". She reserves her final words for praise of the \"best possible team to join\" - Dave Bell, Andy Cheetham and Katrina Michel - a triumvirate of talent that she says combine creativity, strategic awareness and commercial nous \"in no particular order\".