Creativebrief: How do you see the media landscape unfolding in the next 5 years?
Jeremy Sinclair: The media landscape is a very difficult thing to judge given the digital world is still in its infancy. For sure, everything will be digitally based, completely personalised to individual consumers and all mobile. ‘Channels’ as we know them today won’t exist. A rich array of content tailored to your needs will be accessible through numerous digital portals. It won’t be long before we are creating personalising TV ads, or rather moving image ads, for each consumer to be accessed on any screen – at home, work, phone, tablet or whatever else comes along, at just the right time for them, and synchronised across multi access points. Paper will still play its part in the next 5 years. There are too many of us middle aged and upwards who still like to ‘flick’ and will never feel completely comfortable with just technology. We have a big debate about holiday brochures and the role they play, but we have customers who book online, then come into our shops to collect a brochure so they have something tangible to read and show friends. I think it will take longer than 5 years for paper to disappear.
Creativebrief: Do you prefer to use an ‘integrated’ agency approach or specialist agencies by individual discipline?
Jeremy Sinclair: Currently we have specialist agencies working across our activity but more and more, agencies are developing integrated capability. I think the more important challenge is to create an integrated approach internally before looking at integration externally. Merging offline and online marketing can often be quite a challenge when online is so ingrained into the fabric of driving sales. The offline/online distinction needs to be thrown out and the entire pot considered as one. The future is about optimising the entire marketing spend across all media using econometrics, web analytics and other measurement tools.
Creativebrief: Do you prefer to use local agencies by market or international/global agencies?
Jeremy Sinclair: In TUI Group we have a combination. Mediacom buy our media in UK and Germany, and for Late Rooms too. On the creative side, all the source markets have their own agencies although there has been some sharing of property from time to time. Holidays are not like cars or clothes – they are very individual and complex experiences and what the UK like in a hotel can be very different to what Germans or Scandinavians like, food and entertainment being classic examples. There’s nothing worse than sitting through entertainment that has to be repeated in several different languages before you get to the punch line!
Creativebrief: When choosing agencies in the past were you ever influenced by awards?
Jeremy Sinclair: Awards are a useful nod to previous success but may not be relevant to what the business needs are. I would always look at the quality of agencies’ previous work and how relevant it is to what I need to get done.
Creativebrief: What challenges do you face, managing day-to-day agency relationships?
Jeremy Sinclair: In my experience, the success of agency relationships boils down to three simple things:
- The quality of the agency staff, in particular in understanding the business
- Whether they are ‘people like you’
- And most importantly the brief you give them. If the agency is clear on what they need to do – the relationship will be great.
We’ve had terrific results with BMB and Mediacom especially since we’ve got our dual brand strategy crystal clear.
Creativebrief: How often do you look at new agencies or review your roster?
Jeremy Sinclair: Ideally as infrequently as possible! Changing an agency is time consuming and costly so as long as I’m very happy with the work being produced, there’s no point in wasting energy.
Creativebrief: How do you monitor and stay-in-touch with the agency market to ensure you work with the best?
Jeremy Sinclair: Press, websites and personal references keep me informed enough.
Creativebrief: Which agencies do you think are ‘hot’ right now?
Jeremy Sinclair: I would say this as we use them for creative on both Thomson and First Choice, but BMB have delivered us a brilliant new TV ad for Thomson and have done some great ads for First Choice in the past. They’ve also won more new business than any other agency this year so they must be doing something right. I have to say that Mediacom are doing a terrific job for us too in getting great value out of our media spend. I would add that I’m impressed with the work that Adam and Eve have done on John Lewis.
Creativebrief: Do you/have you used intermediaries in the past? What are your observations?
Jeremy Sinclair: No, we’ve never used them.
Creativebrief: What’s your attitude to the ‘traditional’ pitch? Do you think there is a better/more modern way?
Jeremy Sinclair: I think the traditional pitch has a lot of merit. Take the three things I mentioned above about what makes a great agency relationship. It’s important to meet the people you are working with to understand them and what they are capable of. Technology can be used to speed things up through.
Creativebrief: Would you ever consider awarding an agency business without a pitch? What would they have to do / demonstrate?
Jeremy Sinclair: I think this is possible but only if you are very confident in what they are capable of. I would guess this could come from previous experience or recommendation from a close source.
Creativebrief: What are your top tips to agencies when presenting credentials to you?
Jeremy Sinclair: Show a real understanding of the business and the business challenges, in a creative way. I recently had a cold-call email from a chap who’d booked a Thomson holiday for him and his family. His pitch was essentially a list of all the missed opportunities across the whole customer experience that we could have delivered to him had we been more integrated. Now that’s a seriously good understanding of our business!
Creativebrief: What was the most impressive agency presentation you have ever seen?
Jeremy Sinclair: I honestly can’t say that there’s one that really stands out.