Every year agency talent and star marketers converge in Cannes to soak up the thrilling aura of the world’s greatest creative. Both parties leave with a fair dose of creative envy and fully committed to return next year to win big. But what stops them? Eliza Esquivel, VP Global Brand Strategy at Mondelēz International, will offer insights and inspiration on why agencies and clients often lose their way on the road to great creative. As an agency world native now fluent in client speak, Eliza will share burning issues clients face and recommend ways for agencies to use creativity to help address them.

In the face of rapid change, invention is quickly replacing innovation as the true benchmark of progress for agencies and clients. Being innovative is not enough. Agencies need to be inventors. For clients. And for ourselves. This is where we believe the world is going, so in the spirit of invention, we’re practicing it today. The best agency partners will not just be “Doing things that matter”, they will be “Making things that matter”.

Lori and Ed will talk about building an inventor culture at kbs+ including:

  • How the agency began it’s cultural evolution
  • How employees and clients are responding
  • How the strategic and creative work is changing
  • Lessons learned as kbs+ evolves from innovation to invention

Celebrate – Creativity and Technological Innovation

Technology is evolving at a pace so fast that even those within agencies whose sole job is to stay abreast of the latest and greatest are having a tough time doing so. Many agency creative leaders, whose job now depends on harnessing the power of technology are relying more and more on the expertise of developers, software engineers and tech innovators to ensure the ideas generated work in the hyper connected world. Likewise, technologists need ideas and content to bring their technology aspirations to life. So, while we’ve been talking about integration and convergence for a while now, it seems that there is still work to be done for true harmony between the two groups. Sir John Hegarty, founder and worldwide creative director of BBH recently said, “Creativity challenges technology and technology inspires creativity”. In this session, Brunner’s Chief Digital Officer and their Executive Creative Director will openly share their challenges, successes, and set-backs – and most importantly their lessons learned as they continue to champion a fluid creative technology driven approach to our business.

Barkley’s Business Transformation

What do you do when half of your business goes away overnight? Two years ago, Jeff King, CEO of Barkley, received the phone call that agency executives have nightmares about – The new CMO of their largest client was putting the account into review. The client had been with the agency for 17 years and represented roughly 50% of the agency’s total revenue base.

Twenty-four months later, Jeff is here to share the untold story about what was happening behind the scenes during the months that followed. He will also share key lessons learned by a management team that has now replaced nearly 100% of the lost revenue, diversified its client base, doubled the agency’s bottom line and has taken employee morale to new heights.

Celebrate – Structuring for Growth

Taking your agency to the next level requires focus, a healthy dose of honesty and, most importantly, A PRIORITIZED PLAN…beautifully executed. Most agency leaders face similar questions. Evolving Capabilities: What capabilities do we need to add to grow? Should they be in-house or can they be outsourced? Technology: How do I evolve the agency to meet client expectations without committing to a structure that will become obsolete and/or a financial burden? Talent: How do I motivate my best people to stay as I recruit outside talent to give us the additional perspective we need to change? What do I do when the agency has grown beyond the potential of some of my senior people? How can I use a philosophy on compensation as a retention vehicle? Priorities: As I move to structure the agency for growth, where should I focus our time and resources first, second, third, etc. What is the plan?

Celebrate – Pricing Power

Pricing principles that capture value and enhance profitability

Pricing can no longer be an after-thought, with the pricing strategy and rate structure applied after the service offering is developed. Increasingly, clients want unique pricing structures that include shared accountability – this applies not only to agencies, but is part of a larger trend across many service-business industries. Successfully aligning interests requires integrating the pricing strategy as a core component of the offer – using price to help determine: What is included? How is success defined? How services are delivered. This discussion will take lessons learned from both advertising, and other segments to frame the role of pricing in the sales process. We will also discuss the ways leading-class pricing organizations find success with client procurement teams – who have been very effective at driving down rates. This includes the importance of differentiating cost vs. fees vs. value. Successful alternative fee programs are not positioned as new forms of discounting, but are leveraged as a different way to measure and compensate for value. And, finally, we will discuss the concept of “losing on price.”

Ménage à Trois: How Travelocity, McKinney and the Roaming Gnome have Kept PR Magic in Their Marriage

It’s no secret the Travelocity Roaming Gnome is one of the most talked‐about, beloved and shortest icons in advertising history. But all that warm and fuzzy didn’t just happen. Travelocity’s Director of Public Relations Joel Frey and his Agency PR Partner from McKinney Janet Northen will give you an insider’s view of ten years with the Roaming Gnome and how strategic PR has helped travel enthusiasts all over the world fall in love and stay in love with their favorite garden statue. It’s a beautiful story.

Celebrate — Creativity

Three creative directors celebrate the work that they are most proud of and identify a campaign that they admire and wish they had done. Following the three presentations, there will be a discussion on the ECD’s suggestions on what they need from agency management, agency staff and clients in order to produce great work.

Celebrate — Learning

Led by three key Forum participants, there will be an interactive discussion among all attendees of the key takeaways/learnings from the day’s session. What best practices have been identified from the various sessions of the Forum?