CANNES: The clash of clients’ demands with planners’ ambitions was a constant theme at the Cannes Lions Festival. Both sides agreed that the relationship needed to change and could be better. Here’s how.

  • Become more commercial:
    “How can you possibly be a powerful adviser if you can’t be commercial?” said Grey London CEO, Leo Rayman. “Because deep down, the most wonderful thing about being a strategic person in an organisation, your job is to accelerate growth.” Really effective planners need to try to empathise with the pressures of a profit and loss.

  • Keep looking elsewhere:
    One of the risks of in-housing is the loss of perspective, to see that the history of other brands can inform the one on which you’re working.

  • Get closer to the execution:
    Strategy is more than words on a page, said Paula Bloodworth, Brand Strategy Director for Nike at Weiden + Kennedy. “We should understand that intersection where creativity meets the consumer, we should learn everything about it.” A strategy must be more adaptive, more executional.

  • Stop billing by time:
    “Do your best ideas happen in time-based chunks?” asked Leo Rayman. “No, they’re months of reflection followed by an amazing shower, watch TV and something pops into your head. That’s exactly how we should be thinking. Why don’t we price to value?”

  • Prove value:
    Linking what an agency does back to the bottom line is part of the CMO’s responsibility, meaning that agencies should aim to provide the most useful justifications for the client to take to top table. 
Rayman and Bloodworth were speaking as part of WARC’s annual Future of Strategy debate in Cannes (see more here: How can agencies become more useful?). You can read their views in full in the Future of Strategy Report, out later this month.

Sourced from WARC