Insight: Multi agency competition must stop, or Cx will suffer, say CAB Studios

Strategic brand, marketing and digital consultancy CAB Studios are calling for specialist agencies supposedly working together on integrated campaigns, to stop competing with each other for the biggest budget, which they say will lead to a fragmented strategy and ultimately, a less compelling customer experience.

CAB Studios, whose client list includes PizzaExpress, Jamie’s Italian, DW Sports and Côte Brasserie, have recently commissioned a new White Paper, ‘Power to the Customer’, which studies how brands must evolve in the customer age, and what the industry needs to do to keep pace. Within it, CAB outline the danger of a siloed approach to creativity and Cx management among brands, and go on to outline the pitfalls of multiple agencies working with a client. They also argue the case for budgets to be agile and responsive, which they say is made difficult by agencies fighting for a bigger slice of budget and arguing for the dominance of one channel over another. CAB go on to warn of the risks of what they call ‘conflicting motivations’ among different agencies, which makes personalisation very difficult, and lack of agreement on the overall strategic approach, even if there appears to be widespread buy in at the beginning.

Ben Wood, executive creative director at CAB Studios commented, “It’s natural for clients to seek out the best in class and to want to work with agencies who are specialists in their field. This makes perfect sense in theory, but the challenge comes when they appoint several specialists who are simply unable to work collaboratively. Competing for budget and recognition has no benefit to the client, and it certainly does not improve customer experiences, so why does it still happen?”

“We believe agencies need to abandon their egos somewhat, and get better at working honestly and transparently with each other. A sharp focus on the strategic objectives and what we all want to achieve as a collective is vital, rather than looking at what each individual agency wants to do to make themselves look better. We strongly resist this at CAB, and invest time in establishing real value partnerships with other agencies. It makes our job much easier and it delivers far better results for our clients.”

Other topics explored in Power to the Customer include; mastering Omnichannel, Lifecycle marketing, the Big data and its role in Cx, and the concluding chapter; ‘Manifesto for Change’, in which CAB call on organisations to stop imposing rules on minimum qualifications when seeking out creative talent, and that they learn to recognise creativity and marketing ability in all of its’ guises. The white paper is available to download here.

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