Campaign India Team
Sep 23, 2014

Babita’s blog: To Transact. Or Transform.

Agencies working with marketers are losing respect and love, says the author, and presents a remedy

Babita’s blog: To Transact. Or Transform.

Had written a piece recently on how a retainership model drives passion and ownership because we take the business uncertainity out of the equation.

It is not easy to put pen down to paper and let the creative juices flow when a business target hangs like a sword over our heads.

That put to rest, are our relationships diving towards being more and more Transactional?

Quick decision making, zero lead time, no room for errors are market realities. The question of going that extra mile of conversations, debates, motivating teams have become nice to have but not a must have.

And why not?

Technology has democratised creativity. A camera in hand and video upload sites makes one a movie maker. A photographer. Social media experts. Banner designers. Packaging designers. Script writers. I go to management institutes where students are more keen on writing scripts than understanding strategy. Focus groups see wise comments on how the colour of the t-shirt in an animatic should have been two shades lighter.

The tables turn when creativity is, at times, mistaken for something that has been turned out cheap and quick. Both work for the short term.

Tempers are calmed.There is something happening on the business, defined as buzz.

Until the next review where results reveal the impact.Or maybe,the lack of it.


In all of this, the original stakeholders- the partner agencies who worked together with the marketers to create that overarching value we call Brand, are losing respect and love. The prerequisites of team work and good work- time for ideation, tissue paper idea tossing around, taking that gut feel call and being fine if the call does not work- are a thing of the past in a lot of cases.

Fact is, only the winners write history. No one reads the graveyard tombstones of the ideas that failed and actually lead to learnings that created the win.

So we are nosediving into the transactional world. In some cases.

And not seeing the writing on the wall.


That a strong relationship between marketers and partner agencies has to be Transformational.

Where each feed off the other.

Where debates are another way of showing respect for views.

Where the pushback is on the brand and not a threat to the business.


A Transformational relationship does exactly that.

It transforms.

Brands.People.Creativity.Leads to collaboration.

Being open to anyone or anything that drives the business for the better without the relationship being questioned.


At the heart of it lies respect and trust.

That everyone is in it together. A common goal.

To celebrate. Or to take the responsibility.

Both the marketer and the partner agency play an equal role in making this happen.


A script written half-heartedly is no script. An idea presented without a soul is no idea. A brief without rigour and inspiration is just lip service to a task. So are idea reviews that lack objectivity. Disengaged teams that go through the motions.

A Transformational relationship grooms leaders for tomorrow.People who become the continuity on the brand, the writers of its journey.

And yes, if responsibility for the brand’s success and the team’s integrity to the business is at question, it is time to make changes. Quick ones.


There is no middle path.

Pretty much like Life itself.

(The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.)


Campaign India

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