I put this Whitepaper together from thoughts, gathered over 30 years in marketing, about the validity of the concept that having a “competitive account” debars an agency from new business. Derived from personal observation and experience, Ian argues that this is based on illusion and there is much to be gained from working with a specialist marketing agency.
Many years ago when I worked in the motor industry it was considered that a car company would not use an advertising agency that was already working for another car company, generally on the basis of some vague ill-defined suspicion – or simple exercise of power for its own sake – much publicised power plays took place around this approach – with occasionally an agency switching from one account to a more lucrative/more prestigious one. All the while this was going on the design agencies, like Pininfarina and the engineering consultancies like Ricardo, had for years been beneficially and securely working for many different car and engine manufacturing companies – even in some cases one car company e.g. Porsche or Lotus, designing major parts of vehicles for another manufacturer. This spread eventually to the advertising scene where it became recognised that specialist expertise is the important factor and can be accommodated quite comfortably.
Having worked over nearly 20 years for industrial component companies that consider themselves to be “competitive accounts” – and done so to the benefit of all – I still from time to time come across the objection that having “competitive accounts” debars an agency from other work. Needless to say experience has shown that specialisation and commitment in industrial marketing deliver substantial benefits – contact me to see how we can deliver those benefits for your company.