Client – Supplier Alignment

Project: Assist a major advertiser in their commitment to continuous improvement in the practices they use to manage the agency’s remuneration as well as in the practices they use to jointly plan and implement marketing communications campaigns. A benchmark for the continuous improvement process on a comparative study was implemented on their behalf. Among the tools used a series of roundtables with managers from both organizations were conducted to surface issues and help the teams actively listen to each others perspective.

Outcomes: The PBR model put in place by the client and agency compared very favourably to Benchmarks – though there were some variances between the system as it has been negotiated and the emerging Best Practice. Among the recommendations were: Ensure that all players understand the activities that are current best practices and how to expand on these. Pick a brand measure to place in a central position of the agency contract.

Align Management on the Future of Marketing

Project: A major bank sought to align senior management on the future of marketing communications. a) How will each of the major marketing communication channels develop in the future? b) How will companies integrate their marketing activity across these media? c) How will companies organize to manage this integrated communication? d) How will marketing communications agencies evolve in light of these changes?

Outcomes: Senior management aligned around insights and information gathered at the roundtables. As one EVP put it, ‘I came expecting to get one good insight. I am now overwhelmed by the amount of things we have to consider’. As a result of the real-time roundtable information gathering, a number of changes were implemented immediately.

Developing Performance Attributes

Project: Create a process for developing formal performance attributes and measurements, plus activities to improve the client/agency relationship. The project encompassed a rigorous examination of the issues, employed pragmatic implementation of the desired solutions. “At the Bank there’s a lot of second guessing top management. The Bank is consistently inconsistent.”

Outcomes: The team built and implemented a more efficient “marketing initiative process” that clearly identified how a broad matrix organization can ‘get to market’ successfully, ensured all players understood and were accountable for their roles, and impact the customer experience such that it becomes well differentiated and consistently identified with the brand.

Alignment Around the Customer and Brand

Project: The senior management challenge was to convince a banks’s product groups that product differentiation could no longer drive the business; that the brand was not ‘fluff’. Nine product teams were required to understand and align around a newly defined brand theme plus implement it seamlessly throughout the chain of customer experience.

Outcomes: Roundtables and workshops enabled the teams to notice that the bank already had a strong brand. Focusing on the customer experience created greater interaction between the product groups and other support functions. The CMO later noted that the project ‘… had measurable impact and came at an important time for the bank’.

Strategic Planning

Project: A highly successful television broadcaster had successfully changed its core strategy several times during its 25+ years. By anticipating and capitalizing on the many market changes that are a feature of their industry the company had succeeded at delivering new value propositions to the marketplace. Recent strategy planning sessions had helped the organization focus on internal issues.

Outcomes: Executive management plus staff and management roundtables assessed what’s working and past planning successes. Customer roundtables also provided insights on the strengths and gaps in the organization. A core team then designed the planning activity. Planning created a Solution Focused view of future allowing strategic priorities to emerge. By using solution focus throughout the process the client was able to take a more purposeful view of their current strengths and possibilities for the future.

Legal Services Strategy Planning

Project: A full service medium-sized law firm that had seen substantial growth in the last few years. The challenge was to grow the business significantly and profitably over the next five years while continuing to position the firm as lean, flexible and efficient in a focused and well-managed manner that met the needs of the individual partners.

Outcomes: A strategic planning session among all partners looked at building on the successes of the business while developing improved approaches to practice growth, management, productivity and administration. Agreement was reached to focus on building state-of-the-art practices in key industry segments while enhancing client service and client diversification within those segments.

IBM Customer Forum – a thank you

I want to formally thank you for a very successful roundtable at the IBM Forum at the BAI Retail Delivery event this year. This was something of an experiment for our team, and it came off as a resounding success. With well over 150 people in the room, we achieved our objective of providing an innovative forum for discussion with our customers and business partners, setting the tone for the conference. We had very positive feedback both from our business partners who sponsored the event, and our customers who found the discussion stimulating and innovative. Your leadership was instrumental in the outcome. Thanks again!!
IBM Financial Services Sector Marketing Manager – Banking (Global)