All the Reasons Every CMO Needs a Specialist Services Advertising Agency

I recently watched a masterclass from Cesar Vacchiano, Global CEO and co-founder of SCOPEN on the Agency Scope global trends that have emerged in the past 12 months and which are expected to guide the industry into the future. Of the many interesting trends and insights shared, there was one that truly stood out for me… it was the complexity that CMO’s are facing in having to manage 12 or more agency partners. It’s a trend that seems to be the norm in the world as well as here at home (in South Africa) right now. I was astonished… twelve? That’s a lot of partners – with a lot of people and a lot of tasks inside each partnership – to manage, control, measure, track, finance and coordinate!

For marketers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to orchestrate all their partners

This essentially entails having a lead agency to establish which agencies are responsible for which space and to keep them in their own lanes. While this does seem to be the norm, I believe this is an impossible responsibility and the potential for discord and disaster seems immense.

A simpler solution, in my mind, is the idea of the ‘specialist agencies under one roof’, a concept which has been a part of the Ebony+Ivory strategy for quite some time now. It’s a different take on the integrated, full-service agency, but rather than integrated, these specialist services act as unique service lines under one agency umbrella. This approach of aligning primary specialist services (supported by out of industry specialists where required) under one banner, is a less complex manner of being able to assist the CMO with the majority, if not all, of the advertising services required.

One captain, with a strong hand at the helm, steering one ship, with all hands-on one deck in one location, seems far more plausible an answer than one captain trying to direct and steer a number of ships, each belonging to a different fleet with a multitude of hands – largely unknown. That seems like an impossible task!

In response to this conundrum, I thought I’d share the value to a CMO of having a single, specialist services advertising agency and honestly pose the question of, ‘why would anyone want to proliferate a complicated process with even more complexity through the use of multiple, unconnected partners?’

‘why would anyone want to proliferate a complicated process with even more complexity through the use of multiple, unconnected partners’?


Firstly, a specialist services advertising agency provides expertise in all aspects of advertising, both traditional and digital. This includes strategy, creative, media planning and buying, research and analytics, production, reputation and crisis management, events and activation, social and digital, implementation and measurement. Having all of these services under one agency umbrella allows for a coordinated and cohesive approach to campaigns, which is essential for success. This agency can work with the CMO to develop a comprehensive advertising strategy that aligns with the organization’s overall business goals and objectives and ensures a seamless and co-ordinated delivery of that strategy.

Secondly, a specialist services agency can save time, money and resources. Advertising campaigns require a significant investment of time and money, especially when managing multiple campaigns across various media channels. A specialist services agency can manage all aspects of the campaign, from concept to execution, freeing up the CMO’s time to focus on other critical marketing activities. Additionally, the agency’s expertise and experience provides the holistic overview to ensure alignment that can only be achieved through an end-to-end understanding of a clients’ requirements. Not to mention the cost savings achieved through more effective media buying, production processes and digital dissemination.

Thirdly, a specialist services agency provides access to the latest industry trends and technology. Advertising is a constantly evolving field, with new channels and technologies emerging regularly. Keeping up with these trends can be challenging when trying to leverage these across different agencies to understand the impact, value and implications. A specialist services agency is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments and to understand and implement them across the value chain. This means the CMO can benefit from the agency’s expertise and access to the latest tools and technologies to ensure their advertising campaigns are as effective as possible, and again, enhanced by the holistic view of what needs to be achieved.

A single, specialist services agency can deliver on ideas, delivery and tracking that can help differentiate the brand and increase its appeal to customers

Fourthly, a specialist services agency provides valuable insights through data analytics. In today’s digital age, data analytics are critical to measuring the success of advertising campaigns. A specialist services advertising agency can provide detailed analysis and reporting on the performance of advertising campaigns, including metrics such as engagement, click-through rates, and conversion rates because the data is held under the umbrella of the single agency. This data can be used to optimize campaigns and improve their effectiveness.

Finally, a specialist services agency provides a fresh perspective when looking at the full picture, instead of only a small part of it. Silo’ed teams can become entrenched in their thinking and may miss opportunities for innovation and creativity because they are not integrated into the end-to-end process. A specialist services agency can deliver on ideas, delivery and tracking that can help differentiate the brand and increase its appeal to customers.

The result, a specialist services advertising agency provides significant value to a CMO. With expertise in all aspects of advertising, access to the latest trends and technology, and valuable insights through data analytics, a specialist services agency can help optimize advertising campaigns, save time, money and resources and drive revenue growth. Which leaves my fundamental question again…, ‘why would anyone want to proliferate a complicated process with even more complexity through the use of multiple, unconnected, partners’?

Let’s talk about your advertising needs and requirements. We have over 50 years of experience under our belt and are able you guide you to a solution that will be tailor made for your business.

Mail me at:

Paul Middleton | Managing Director


We’re an independent, African full-service, creative, digital and media agency with the rare privilege of a track record that spans more than half a century. We have all the services of a traditional agency married neatly together with the digital age.

We build, grow and entrench brands for now and into the future.

Just imagine what we can do for you.

Ebony + Ivory.

Big enough to do it all – small enough to want to.

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