MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast

Bruno Gralpois | Agency Mania Solutions

January 05, 2022 Rusty Pepper & Dana Small & Bruno Gralpois Episode 15
Bruno Gralpois | Agency Mania Solutions
MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast
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MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast
Bruno Gralpois | Agency Mania Solutions
Jan 05, 2022 Episode 15
Rusty Pepper & Dana Small & Bruno Gralpois

Kicking off 2022 is Bruno Gralpois,  the Co-Founder of Agency Mania Solutions (AMS). AMS provides automation through SAAS and professional services that produce consistently higher outcomes along every step of the agency management continuum. Bruno is also the author of Agency Mania: Harnessing the Madness of Client-Agency Relationships, which was recently been published in its second edition. 

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Show Notes Transcript

Kicking off 2022 is Bruno Gralpois,  the Co-Founder of Agency Mania Solutions (AMS). AMS provides automation through SAAS and professional services that produce consistently higher outcomes along every step of the agency management continuum. Bruno is also the author of Agency Mania: Harnessing the Madness of Client-Agency Relationships, which was recently been published in its second edition. 

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Dana:

Hey everybody. This is Dana small, and this is rusty pepper. Welcome to another edition of micro the marketing

Rusty:

procurement podcast.

Dana:

Rusty the end of the year,

Rusty:

the final countdown, uh, exciting to be able to get this episode record. I think we've had a really good one today. So I'll let you do the introduction and we'll get our Dessinger does.

Dana:

Yup. So we've got a great person who, if you've been around Ana or the industry, you probably know him for his book. His name is Bruin out. Can I, I'm gonna probably butcher this, say it for me.

Bruno:

exactly. Really

Dana:

good job. Well, you're married to a French woman. That's not fair. Rusty.

Bruno:

Are you getting.

Dana:

Yeah, it's clearly not fair and I'm glad I didn't even butcher it, but we're now we're so glad to have you on the show. So if you would like to tell us a bit about your background, your experience. I know you've been on agency side, you worked for the Ana, which is really cool. Um, and maybe a little bit about, uh, your books. That'd be great just to kind of kick that off.

Bruno:

Happy to, well, thanks so much, um, for you guys, for having me on the show. So yeah, I've been, I spent a lot of my career on the, actually on the client side, I would say probably 80, 20. Uh, I did spent several days at seaside, but I studied on the client side and I was lucky enough to do that full, um, elbow of yours in Nobu, just great companies. So, um, And so, and during, during the, uh, starter would say on agency side, I got to seeking. The good and the ugly and, you know, and, and all of it. Um, so very, always very insightful. When you walk on the client side, you have that experience and to walk into the agency shoes, uh, at some point in your career, but mostly like, uh, educated. Uh, I spend a lot of, lot of years working on the client side. Um, and I was obviously probably, and a fun couple of years as a client. And, you know, I, I'm a big fan of that, of the Ana as an organization that many of those actually that are, you know, providing these kind of thought leadership, you know, I do street, but on the client side I worked for Bobby. My longest stent was Microsoft. So I worked there for about 10 years. Um, a lie in tech, you know, tech is a love and passion of mine. So AcroSoft was kind of a good place for me to do that. It's a little, the little Silicon valley in Seattle and, and, um, it's also the birthplace of cloud-based computing as you know, with, uh, Microsoft, Azure and AWS with Amazon. So, um, just a great place to do a lot of that, but I. Jumped around a little bit. I worked for other companies like visa work in the telco space was sprayed on organization. Um, anyway, so, um, so that's my kind of what led me to maybe the book actually. Um, if you want me to speak to that for a second? Um, because when I, I was at Microsoft, I, the very loud. Oh, so they should exercise at the time. I think he was allowed just call sedation exercise in the tech industry. And, um, it was a year long project. Um, and it's, it was a very, it was a global initiative for the company that was going from being very engineering driven and, you know, uh, bill gets to being a lot more audience and segment based with, you know, At the head of the company. And so we wanted to have more of a control voice in the marketplace. Cause it was very, you know, there's a lot of cacophony, right. Product teams will talk. You know, product and segments, we'll talk to segments, you know, uh, occupies or mid size. And then, you know, you'd have audiences like end users and developers and businesses should make who's being talked to from different teams. But guess what? They were talking to some people, cause you could be a business decision maker in a midsize company using office and they would eat would be about it. So we're like, well, we can get 5,000 marketers to start behaving and work together. Or, or maybe we can actually get to the funnel and get to the agencies. Um, you know, and Microsoft was all type a personality, people with budgets or ready to go at it. So getting these people to, you know, to really come together unified way was going to be challenging. So, but getting to the agencies and I think fury agencies will give us more control. And so we led that that's the consolidation, the primary reason where we led that process. And after that, when we ended with a couple of big strategic relationships, They're like, well, we know the baby's born, you know, we, we need somebody to raise a child. Will you want to take that job? And so I did and I led and build a team from the ground up. There was foodie about enabling stronger relationships and partnership that drove corporate value and doing the process. I'm like, well, I need to find out where the best companies in the world during obviously I went to the Ana my good friends. I'll talk to you, a lot of companies. And I was like, absolutely. Blown away by the level of sophistication and experience, you know, like something CPGs company had been around forever when you put into practice over the years and I'm like, what a shame that inflammation is not anywhere. So I decided to consolidate it. And that became basically the business, the book agency mania, which was a collection of these best practices. And I wrote that in 2010 when I was at Microsoft. Now it's in second edition. Thanks. Tom has gone. A lot of things changed, but it was really the attempt and, and he did fairly well. He got, you know, Tulsa, multiple languages, even Chinese modern itself, a silver copy of that, which I can read. But, you know, like there was, it will love entrusts around how do we go about doing that? And so the timing was great and I was able to then take a lot of these best practice to other companies or other places where I would play those. So that was, I think will lead us eventually to where I'm at now, but that's kind of my little iPad crimes.

Rusty:

It's an interesting background. I know. So you started the agency mania solutions back in 2013 with two co-founders correct? That's correct. Yes. And as soon as that time, there's been a lot of innovation and change the market place. So I've got a question for you, which of all the innovations and changes that you've seen since 2003. Which ones are having the biggest impact on marketing procurement professionals.

Bruno:

That's a great question. I think for me to answer that question, I almost have to explain why we studied agency media sushi in the first place, which as you can tell, we named the company after the book, uh, because the book get some little bit of awareness in the marketplace. This is, but we realize these people were looking for more than just this. What they wanted is to blink those best practices to life. And the way to go by doing was to be using technology. And now we don't need to talk about MarTech extensively here. We know that marketing technology has really changed the landscape of how we go about doing everything. Everything is digitalized, you know, the world in which we live, whether it's where we produce or how we go. But. Israel ion technology. So it was a natural evolution for us to think about. Let's try to find a way to operationalize best practices by giving clients the tools and the technology to make these things happen. And so obviously one of the biggest, you know, development for the past 15 years has been obviously cloud-based computing and the ability to sell developing applications in a cloud that scale. The entreprise grade and allows organizations to, you know, deploy these new capabilities, quite cost inexpensively, you know, uh, compared to, you know, what would have been the alternative years, years prior. So I think that was a big drive. So the, the MarTech, uh, interest, I think fueled a lot of the innovation, I think the, uh, cloud-based capabilities and, you know, we, I was listening to recently. Then you, uh, CEO of Amazon and the work they're doing, I mean, NWS was still dancing 15 years ago, but it's taken, but that business has been exploding. I mean, w what an amazing, uh, journey is being on, but he really fueled a lot of innovation or ops thinking. And a lot of companies now are coming up with you, ways of accomplishing what people have historically very much. So I think that's one of the big piece of innovation. I think that, you know, since the inception of our company, uh, is really, uh, contributed to deploying these capabilities across just larger brands on a global basis.

Dana:

It's interesting. You've got to think about our audience. And so from a marketing procurement professionals, point of view, What would you say has had the biggest impact for them, for us to really be able to understand and best support our brand partners and agency partners?

Bruno:

I think procurement is a very interesting space because it's where people came from originally in procurement. I think a lot of people were really like, so. Functions, many of them eventually got into marketing, procurement, learning, new skills, learning, marketing as a practice. Um, I think we're seeing when more marketers maybe going into procurement or at least get, you know, um, an employee getting the know-how and it's the divide I think is greater because marketing is getting more complex for procurement to keep up, gets increasingly challenging. It's it's I'll give you all, it's hard, helpful marketers to keep up with marketing, right. I put Kayla at these like, wow. I mean, like to be in the same woman, having a conversation with a marketer and, and making sure that we, you know, that that conversation is actually going to be value add is increasingly more challenging for procurement. Just again, to be in the, in the know, understanding what agencies are doing now and the ways by which they go about doing it. If you're going to be a valued partner to your marketing stakeholder. You got to be able to keep up. And I think he goes back to the point of, uh, technology. You also need to be able to have certain level of understanding of how technology is affecting the marketplace and the way we go to market as organizations. And so procurement is also challenged to keep up with technology. And if you've seen them uptake kind of any of these MarTech maps, I mean, they're like eye charts. You can't be like so many. Ways people are going to market with tools these days, but how can you be effective in what you're doing? If you don't want understand how technology is affecting, not only what you do as an organization, but how agencies are policing work because agencies are building technology, they're building IP, they're leveraging other tools. So sometime the agents sometimes are principal in the work they're doing, you know, like typically on the media side, but because of that, it's changing the nature of how we do complex. Like, why are you, what are you buying? Are you buying labor? Are you buying some IP for that agency that now as software that you'll becoming increasingly dependent on to, to get the work done? So not understanding. If all the landscape, we did put your, the disadvantage as a marketing for Kevin. So a professional. So I think that's, that's kind of that unit I make is how do we keep up? And so one of the things I do and it's, I feel like it's a little plug for that piece of content that we produce on a regular basis. We do an industry update if we fall to six, And it's I'm, I'm doing it. Um, it's, you know, um, the collection of, you know, hundreds of articles earning a week, ports, uh, acquisitions, uh, wasta changes taking place in marketplace, it's kind of a bullet point summary that's basically gives you. Everything that's going on in the marketplace and the reason I'm doing it, sign me up. Well, I'll send you a copy right after these, these, these conversation. But, um, and I built it because I needed to get. And I never leave and breathe that stuff every day, but I still feel like I need to be on top of it every day, everything happening I need to know. And I was like, well, I'm doing all that work, you know, might as well pass on the benefit to other people. So I started summarizing, but more of the, maybe that's my Microsoft years, you know, like. Concise. I didn't want to too. We write a book, but you know, mostly do like bullet points, summary. Like you can just scan through it, you do it at lunch and then you're caught up and I'm saving you hours or days of, of research. And so that's why I did it, but all of that to say, um, and we, we, we get the other way, you know, to anybody who's interested. So you can, it's, it's free. You can set up the reason we, we, we did that just because again of that, Yeah. To keep up with things. And, and if you don't have that, you're walking into a meeting and you'll see, oh, the marketing team talks about something and you not keeping up. And you don't know about the, you made a verse, you know, in the, the new, the new made our world and, you know, and, and, and be able to, to

Rusty:

tease it all. I mean,

Bruno:

you name it. It's acronym says TLS. Three-letter acronyms. That mean nothing to a lot of people. How can you be a value add partner if you're not even in a conversation?

Dana:

So do you think that's the biggest mistake that marketing procurement makes is not keeping up with trends and information and understanding the marketplace and the industry and all the changes that are been?

Bruno:

I think it puts them at a disadvantage. I don't, I don't think you got to blame. I mean, Dale, like everywhere. Yeah. I mean, if you look at what they, and A's doing, which is talk about them or other organizations, they do a lot of training. They do a lot of content. They do podcasts, they do, you know, I'll get it. Th there's a love, uh, there's just a huge appetite to learn, but we all have limited time. So you can't spend your days on just, you know, learning, reading, you know, um, attending conferences. It's tough. You have to be very selective. So how can we enable or support. You know, um, these, these professionals with the kind of resources they need and, you know, like, I think what you're doing is commendable. I just, I love your show because you you're big, you're a big part of that solution is just bringing the kind of, uh, insight and knowledge, um, in a way that the adjustable that's modern, that works kind of in the new kind of work environment and allows people to keep up. So, um, kiddos to you, by the way. But, um, I think.

Dana:

So would you say there's other huge mistakes that marketing professionals might make? Um, you know, aside from, if we don't keep up with industry trends a hundred percent, we can be part of the conversation. And then again, what value are we providing? Right? Any time the sourcing person goes to a new business partner, we have to sell ourselves. We have to be able to explain, you know, what's our value and why do you want to work with us? What are their kind of issues? Do you see marketing people. Mistakes that they're making on that you think could maybe be easily solved.

Bruno:

Well, you know, we, if you look at the major trends for the best of say five to 10 years, uh, like the, the rise of in-house agencies, client taking on the more, I think there's been a point there's been a pivotal point where clients started second-guessing agencies. I'm not sure that you're going to be the strategic partner that's taking us to the next phase of, of, of a business. Oh, you know, you may not be the, you may not be the partner that's gonna really help us grow the pace that we need to. And because of the complexity has been harder for you to just keep up or even to keep talent, you know? And so we've seen a lot of organizations where the hiring. Hi, you know, subject matter expertise within, within organizations demanding more. And that's why I think we've seen the rise of sort of specialty agencies plan being more sophisticated saying, I may not need as much of a fully ethic rated agency that can do everything now, actually increasingly more capable of knowing exactly what I want and I want the best in class. I want that specialization CNM. I'm going to be taking on a more active role up there, obviously. And so I think the challenge with that is you taking a lot more as a marketer. And I think we've seen limitations of that. I think the rise of in-house agencies has continued it only programmatic and very complex thing. I think in that particular case, it makes sense because you own the IP. That's very critical, but how you go about doing media and some, the intelligence behind it, you know, clients want to own, and they want to have to study it because of lack of transparency into. So I think there've been some fundamental reason why in certain aspect, we've seen that in other places. I think clients are taking on too much. They, you know, it's like all we can do it all type of thing. And I think the mistake they're making is still missing on the opportunity really to. Find strategically grounded partners that can do what they do best and, and bring them at the right place to do the right channel work. And if you can do that, I think you can, uh, these, you know, amplified value across the board. Now, if you do that, uh, another challenge is that you have to be, I would say. Uh, we wired to be a good partner and I see a lot of musicians that just don't know how to do that very well. I wrote an article maybe 10 years ago that I called it, uh, the era of relationship capital. And for me, it was like, it was a pivotal point at that time to where we we've gone through this era of human capital, you know, and intellectual cap capital and so on, and relationships are becoming essential asset. Because of the complexity because of the growth and there's a need for collaboration and, and, and finding ways to, we turn these relationships into, uh, high value partnerships and he takes skill set. And I think that skill set is not very well understood sometimes. Oh, it's taking for granted very commonly made mistake. You're not investing in a relationship. Oh, you look maybe, or your agencies as a cost, whether an investment and a. And I w I wrote another piece a while back that speaks to that, which is you don't like to call the chicken and egg kind of a concept, which applies, I think, to the client agency relationships where clients are creating a lot of the pain points, you know? Uh, and it is a causality thing, right? It's, it's called the concept of first cause, which is what the chicken and egg thing is from. Did he bite too? I stood, but, um, it's the same concept, right? By their behavior and lack of understanding, perhaps at times are creating a lot of the issues that then they even truly point a finger to the HTCs app and not understanding that they actually, um, at an ether. So I think that's another challenge I see, or, you know, uh, another, uh, uh, of, I see marketing organization so popular, but organization face.

Rusty:

So do you see that trend that we talked about the in-house agency and as companies bringing everything in house to try to do that more specialist versus generalist mentality, do you see that continuing on and just making this situation even worse?

Bruno:

I think so. I think we'll continue to see a trend. You know, it reminds me years ago when, when there was, uh, just, uh, a lot of interest on performance based compensation, like everybody was like, that's a new, that's the new way, right? That's a new path forward. And a lot of companies rushed into doing. But they're Russians. And a lot of that, if you look actually many surveys that were done, many were enabled to realize the value that they thought they could get from it. And the reason for that, because it wasn't done properly, it would give us rushing to it then for the wrong reasons. And I think that's what's happening with the NAS agencies. To some degree, people have rushed into it for the wrong reasons and some of them are failing at it. And I think it's going to be a try. That's going to be hard to. Um, so I don't think it's gonna necessarily go back, um, or reverse, but I think it's going to slow down, uh, because I think people are realizing that running an agency is complex and very, very demanding. It can be costly. You know, everybody has to deal with talent, acquisition and retention now, and you you're exposed to that when you're on your own in-house agency. So I think it's just that, you know, if you go in for the wrong reasons, you're not going to get the result that you want. So, um, I PD was slowed down sooner, frankly. I was wrong. I thought he was going to slow down like three. And he continued. And so who knows how long he'll continue, but if you look at the NAS on the in house forum, now there's a lot of work. There's been a lot of interest and a lot of work being done to build these new capabilities for people to run in-house agencies more effectively and it's helping. So I think that will continue because there's good momentum behind it, but he will slow down. No doubt.

Dana:

You think it's because of procurement's push of this could save us money. Let's bring it in house that it's continuing on this pace. Because to me, I see it as, you know, you still need strategy partners. There's a place for in-house, but I think there's still a place through the agency for strategy. Do you think it's people who maybe don't understand that are a little bit less mature in their thought process that are pushing from procurement side to bring it in house and say.

Bruno:

I think he was one of the big driver early on. I think there'd been a couple of major drivers plus was one that I talked about the laundromat agent, you know, plant saying, we need to see what's in the black box. What's going on here. Like we need to know we need to own that. So I think that's one, that's one driver, certainly on the media programmatic side, I think in some activities that companies think rather strategic. Like social and subtle things we call to their business, especially as companies are pushing into e-commerce and anything that's constitutional or as is an element of social and customer service element. I think there's a, there's a desire to keep that very much into inside the walls of the company, which makes sense. And on the marketing side has been a way about your point, you know, is there a more cost-effective way of doing this? And what if we could do it ourselves and then also the proximity to, to, to the Brian and the team and the agility and the flexibility. You know, there's some things to be said about that as well. But I think initially was we did a cost driven. I don't think he's as much as a driver anymore. And I think because I think it's been hard for companies to, to, to actually demonstrate. Uh, consistently that they actually able to realize these level of savings all the time because of the cost and even cost, I guess, even to operate these cannabis structure, um, you know, but was a big driver. Yeah.

Rusty:

We're still at this pandemic and the way the changes that it's happened, the way that companies are operating, the way that they're structuring the agency, uh, Agency relationship client agency relationships has been put under pressure. How do you build these relationships? How are you getting in front of customers? Technology obviously has been a big driver that enable that, uh, people are getting pretty much tired of being in front of a camera and zooming all day, or do it in Google meeting teams, meetings. It's it's exhausting. How are agencies including. Getting past that and pushing through it because it is it's, it's a challenge across all areas of the business, but specifically you're dealing with something so creative

Bruno:

and that's what, it's a great question. Um, I recently was us, but they need to two-way to guide on how to provide. And it, because it's a topic of high interest. And the reason I mentioned that is because I specifically added a section in there about how to do that in a zoom world, because how do you evaluate creative to your point? It's a highly creative work. How do you provide feedback effectively using new technologies and not having the benefit of having these in-person interactions? I think we, Andrew estimated how much work we do outside of work. Oh, the work environment, like the relationship building the discussions in the hallway. And when you, uh, when, when you ask agencies to presented the ideas and concept, it's hard for them to see, you know, and, and manage the room or manage the call and get the input. So they have to put a lot more rigor around who's part of the call. Hi, do you managing input? You know, we, you know, many agencies are requiring obviously the, you know, everybody to be on video where you can see people's faces and reactions. And, but you know, a lot of these things are muscles that we all have to flex and build. It's not going away. There's no way this is going away. Uh, you know, and, and you don't just have to. The price to see that many organization. So now offering many different work, very flexible work environment, many organization though, even requiring a police to come back or they have so much flexibility. So on the client side, we're not going back on the agency side while they're not going back either because that's saving a lot of money to get a lot of their real estate operators. You know, it's, it's how they've been able to cope with their cost structure. Um, now if the. And if you, if you understand that and need to enable that, you know, you have to find other ways to do that. And so I think what we're going to see more innovation. I don't know the metaverse is going to be one of them. I'm hearing all these people saying, well, got to do these video calls, calls now with our avatars and you know, I'm going to stop, you know, I don't know if she's seen. The, the new made, uh, the, the new Facebook made a company now, but, and they're, you know, um, they're kind of a presentation and then you capabilities like, you know, maybe that's the new world we were going to be, we're going to be flying in meetings and having these little kind of weird it's, it's up to, you know, how are we going to cope with that, frankly, because you know, the creative world and you're mentally. It's about passion and human expression. And yet we are excessively using technology, um, and dehumanizing the world, the workplace in many ways. So to your point, how do you weight the gap? The divide that we're creating between trying to relate to people creatively and human and working, not like robots, but just being excessively. Automated, I guess in some ways. So I think we'll have to find the right balance point. I don't know where it's going to be. Everybody's going to experiment with different ways of doing it. I do believe at some point, we're going to say, and I see that that tree for event, I'm going to book your con next week, which we up into sponsor that conference. We excited, but I mean, attendance is low as, you know, as much floor that has been historically. And, but people are dying to get back and meet again. And then, you know, and you see the joy of people you see that we haven't seen each other for couple of years and you're like, oh my God, it feels so good. So I think we miss it and we'll cross over to the new generation. That's given a learn to be on zoom every day and they won't miss it because they'll never experience it as much as we do. So I think it's upon us to make sure we find the right balance. I have just

Dana:

one last question. Have agencies reduced the rates since all the overhead with true or are they just making money?

Rusty:

Yeah.

Bruno:

Yeah. Good question. I, you know, well, you know, because I, I track a lot, you know, I, I was you analyze, I love the earning reports, you know, agencies out doing really well right now, all the bids you're holding companies that they are doing very well. And I'm very happy they're doing well by the way, every client should be happy to doing. And I'll tell you why in a second, because that's ties to your question, but so yes, they they've been able to reduce costs. Um, some was good, some was bad. So getting a of real estate to expensive real estate in fancy locations where you don't need that much office space anymore. That's okay. I think we can all say it's for the better, perhaps in some ways. Dave also, he just love an eight count. As you know, when it could be that, then it was a massive stuff. Reductions peop they were reducing payroll. And there were a lot of things they were doing that were hurtful to people. And a lot of there was a lot of Thailand migration, what I call negative attrition. So that was not as good. And so the fact that they're doing better to me is good because we need them to continue investing into. We need them to invest in capabilities that we as client benefit from. I think if you look at their, their level of profitability, they are nowhere, you know, I think the ones that are killing it right now, it's the Google, it's the Amazon it's, you know, it's Facebook. Those companies are usually benefited from the siltation through e-commerce and acceleration, I guess, continue to like socially. So the other one, like killing it, right. If you look at their growth, I mean, we're talking here 30% gross. I mean, like, it's amazing now the holding companies, you know, some of them all actually double digit, uh, which is good in organic growth and so on, but they, they hurt, they were hurt for a while. So I'm actually happy. They're recovering. So are we going to see, um, Um, you know, some of that reduction in overhead, I think that the investment is shifting. So probably not. I think he's going to go into other bottom places for them to continue building their business. That Covey does make them suffer. I think we, we all get to expand that team. You know, my prediction is as we leave in the world of. It's so easy to change up. Now you're working from home. You don't need to get your family. You can work for, I mean, I can express on Friday and you work each of these on Monday, they ship you a new laptop and you're up and running. So it's going to be harder to keep people because you don't also have the cultural phenomenon. The triking the Kool-Aid thing. We're not spending as much time together. So we're not does ingrained into the culture. And so it's. Too busy featured jobs. And I think the agencies are going to the same issue. It can be easy for people to jump ships and go to another. And so we're going to have to pay people more to week 10 talents. So there's going to be more of an expense in acquisition and retention of talent. And I think we're going to redeploy all travel budgets and we'll that savings into people. Three conferences, two.

Dana:

I mean to me, I see like an increase in freelancers and that's the next, I think, issue for marketing procurement to get their arms around of understanding those costs, right? Because you have this new, younger generation. Now everybody else too, who's getting used to being completely remote and being freelance is going to be, you know, I feel like a new trend to go through and like, how do you manage that? Right? How do you manage the cost with them and knowing if your agency is using freelancers or if they're in house. Um, I think it's going to be a tough road to tackle, but as a procurement person, I still think we should all go back

Bruno:

to your point about freelance. I do see some, some organizations know asking agencies to report on that because there is a different kind of overhead structure. Uh, and as agencies are moving from more retainer and we'll talk additional retainer, . Agreement cost plus model to more flexible work arrangements or, or project best relationships. They are shifting a lot of their talent from FTEs to, to overflow staff and freely. Which, you know, comes with challenges. I mean, you know, we all thinking, oh, you know, there's, there's some plus on, on the side of people freelancing, but you know, for agencies, even for clients, you know, a lot of freelance workforce is hard to manage to some degree. It's very. And consistent at times. Um, so it comes with those savings potentially, cause you don't have some of the cost, but it's also more competitive. So again, you have to pay for it. So yeah, I think, I think a lot of the costs are shifting. I really don't see a lot of places we're going to be able to, we train fat. I think it's just a, it's a different, you know, it's, it's lean muscle, but in different places of the body, if you will. But yeah,

Rusty:

I think you're seeing a shift in basically where budgets are coming from. They're basically taking it from one pocket and putting it in the next, because they're having to redeploy it. We see that at our, even in our world where companies are, they used to be in on the production side are saying, we don't want to be, we don't want the overhead and hassle to deal with production. We want to be more marketing and really go out there and do more digital engagement that way. And then outsourcing to backend provider. To be able to do all the production. We were already better equipped to set up, to be able to do it and get it to scale quicker. And it's not like there's all this other just saving more money. It's just, they're taking the money that they had typically for overhead and the cost to run that production into digital and pushing it out to those channels. And in fact, there's nothing else. They might be spending more.

Bruno:

And, and, and, and some of it is, again, going back to technology. This is where the investing in technology. Doing things faster, better being more agile, being more flexible. Um, so again, we see that with our clients, obviously, because that's what we, that's what we do. Um, but we sit with agencies as well, just, you know, very keen on bringing more of that into the way they operate. And that takes, that takes money. You know, you need to invest in, you know, in technology, you need to maintain it. Um, uh, it's, it's pays off multiple times, but you, you got to make nature.

Rusty:

So before we wrap up Dana, I'm going to actually double click on that on a question you just asked, but I'm going to ask it to you, but you talked about, can we renegotiate some of these different rates in agreements, but for the marketing procurement, see if you have a partner who could innovate and drive that process innovations and engrossed. Where does that fall compared to the overall rate?

Dana:

So I really think it depends on if you have a true strategic partner in the agency, right? Like, I, I know I'm working with some of them that are truly invested and truly are innovative. Um, if we are going to be long-term partners, I think those are the people who I won't press as hard as. Um, and saying, Hey, we need to cut costs, cut costs, because we want them to innovate. We want them to bring us the latest and the greatest, and for us to be ahead of the curve, I think the more mature procurement person understand that I think newer people in this space don't, and it's just price, price, price. Um, but I think, you know, when you can get somebody who understands that relationships are key, This type of situation, um, because they're an extension of the team in a sense rate. Um, you don't have somebody pushing as hard and I don't think it's as big as, as a priority. I think becoming efficient is seeing where, you know, Hey we're and I've seen this a ton of time. Hey, we're paying for you guys to do or accruals. We're paying an a hundred dollars a quarter for you to do our clinic. Silly things like that, that you could look at and say, why are we paying this much money when we could have somebody, you know, procurement do it, or whoever else? Um, I don't think price needs to be pushed on. I think it's looking at the overall processes and things that, um, of that sort, I would say innovation should be top of mind or procurement. And we shouldn't push. If we know they are strategic partners that said when you have people who aren't and they're just, project-based. Uh, truly we pushed the hardest, right? If they're not key suppliers, if they're not long-term partners, um, those are the people who might get beat up a little bit more from the procurement standpoint of view.

Bruno:

I think one of the challenges that if I can add to what you just said, a challenge, but I think just a wonderful opportunity. I think if you, if you think about it that way, we've, you know, in a procurement world, the thing the tendency has always been thinking this fat agencies. Pocketing money maybe when, uh, you know, maybe it's some, you know, w we want multiple sprints, so you want to see everything they operate than everything else, which I think some of that is reasonable and fair, but there's an assumption that agencies that make too much money. I think if you look at holistically and for every, I mean, for as long as I've been studying the market, You know, they are loud, usually profitable businesses. I mean, compared to many other industries. Um, so for them to make a reasonable amount of profit is, is again healthy. That's how you attract talent. That's how you build a, you know, a very healthy industry. I think that when there is. There's no doubt about that, but the west is maybe a different flavor. If you will. It's like the misalignment of expectations, the waste of working with an agency and not that inquiry about what you want and having them going cycles on things. They shouldn't be doing cycles on like the, the. You know, healthy briefing practices, the inability for client to really plan effectively. And we allocate the right resources, matching the wrong agency skill set to the wrong work, asking JJ. You know, it's silly scale to do that. I mean, obviously all these things, I think we address with technology many ways, right? We help parents with, but I think a more healthy conversation to have with your agencies, if you think there is waste and there is west, um, whether you think it or not, I think if you carefully look you'll find itself is actually to invite them to be a partner in trying to you don't you fight and we move it. So it's inviting them as a partner to be part of the. Rather than trying to. You know, question or challenge them in aspect of how they run their business. I think he's saying, Hey, we operating as leanly as we could. Are we adding unnecessary steps in our process? Can we be more agile? Can we put, use work more effectively together? And. I mean, you know, and maybe we invest some of the money we're going to be sitting together and doing better work. So it doesn't have to be a loss loss proposition for the agencies, but it's finding a way to find common ground in operating better and most successfully together. To me, that's a healthy way of engaging your agency.

Dana:

Is it easier conversation to have to write when I've had those conversations of, Hey, let's sit down together and tell me what you see. Tell me where, you know, our side. Isn't perfect. Either. Tell me where the brand is. Screwing up. Like, you know, we're having 10 revisions because guess what? Global and north America category you're, we're seeing millions of dollars go out the door, right? To me, you really do have to sit down with them and have them be your partner to, to understand how their business is running and where they see the efficiencies. Because they're going to know it a little bit quicker than you are as a procurement person. Right. I think, and it's an easier conversation to have. It's not, you'd like bang your fist saying cut your costs. Um, and I prefer those conversations like self. So I think it's very key for a lot of people. You know, really understand that everybody makes mistakes and maybe you need to take a look at your brand and what is the brand doing too? And you know, we're not perfect. So, um, how can we become more lean efficient and what can we do to better work with the agency? Um, cause I'd seen those issues and they can be very costly, right? That's not a fun thing. Hey, because you know, global and north America can agree on creative. We just specify Tyler's going through revisions. Um, it's, it's not a good feeling I think to have.

Rusty:

So I would agree. And we covered a lot in this podcast. We discuss innovations and marketing challenges and how technology is helping us solve. Uh, how marketing has become more complexity, continue to be more complex and even trends and how marketing organizations can continue to evolve and navigate this crazy marketing and marketing procurement landscape. So we really appreciate the time and thank you for coming on my crop.

Bruno:

Thanks for having me. Yes. Yes.