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Why oh why do corporates build marketing empires?

I have seen this on numerous occasions during my career... companies decide that they can do a better job, and cheaper, than an agency.
If you want to market your products and services to your customers, why not let the experts do it for you? (Image: Henry Trotter, via Wikimedia Commons)
If you want to market your products and services to your customers, why not let the experts do it for you? (Image: Henry Trotter, via Wikimedia Commons)
In one case I got involved with a large financial institution that had four staff members handling marketing and by the time I left the agency they were over 100 people strong! All this was done to 'save' money. The truth is they wasted money by increasing their overhead and the agency that used to do all the required work lost substantial income. The quality of marketing staff employed was poor and obviously did not have the experience the agency staff had.

Out!


In walks a new CEO and the bubble burst! Some 90% of the staff members were retrenched. There are many such cases and yet this empire building continues. Why oh why? Agencies earn their money by appointing highly skilled people who can do a task fast and effectively. They further guarantee the result... i.e. agencies take the responsibility for the print job [as an example]. Their knowledge and skill will in actual fact save the client money.

Just one recent example serves to show how money can be wasted: a client ordered wet-dem tables from an agent directly to 'save' money. Then the client asked us to source the tables. The exact same table from the same supplier was half the price. So, had the client used us it would have saved 60% as our mark-up is 25%...

Why oh why do the corporates not leave the advertising/promotions to the experts and do what they do best? What happened to agencies and clients working together to build a brand?

About Rolf Akermann

Passionate Marketing / Brand Strategist with substantial industry experience - Thrives on building and growing successful brands...
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