MarTech Interview with Christine Moore, Managing Director – North America at FirmDecisions

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How can marketers fix a knowledge-gap (if it exists) between their team while optimizing team efficiences for better results to drive more customer impact? Christine Moore, Managing Director – North America at FirmDecisions shares some thoughts in this short chat:

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Tell us a little about yourself Christine…we’d love to hear more about your new role at FirmDecisions and a few near-term plans you’re focusing on!

I’m Managing Director North America at FirmDecisions. I have spent my career working in financial and operational roles within marketing procurement and the agency landscape. My role is help clients build and maintain strong, commercially sound business relationships with their agencies across all disciplines. It’s an exciting time to be in this role, because the rules of engagement have changes so much over the past 12-24 months – both due to the pandemic but also due to the change in consumer behavior, which in turn affects the marketing and agency mix.

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Seeing how you’ve had a vast experience in both agency run marketing models and in-house marketing teams: what are some tips / learnings you can highlight from these experiences?

I am amazed at how much of the “we versus them” attitude and feelings still exist within the client-agency relationships. I also feel that there are many parties within both sides that have that same mentality within their company. Goals for marketing, procurement, finance and legal are rarely focused on the same outcome. And the same goes for the different teams on the agency sides.

As mid-level marketing and sales teams still strategize new ways to drive business expansion and growth during this tough period due to Covid-19, what are some top thoughts in terms of strategies and marketing technologies that you’d like to share as key tips?

I think it’s important to understand where the knowledge gaps are within a client organization, and then reach out for help where possible to make up for the shortfalls. Many clients do not have marketing as a core competency – and they shouldn’t – they are in the business of making great products for the consumer to buy! FirmDecisions and other companies help ensure that the clients get what they are paying for, so the client can focus on running their business and achieve their goals. As more and more companies move into the mar tech space, it is important to evaluate if there is a benefit to own those relationships in-house or outsource them.  Finally, I believe it is important to review and update contractual terms everyone to two years as we see so much change on a continued basis. Master Service Agreements often end up containing old clauses that limit the client and the agency’s opportunity to work together at the forefront of innovation. This will inevitably weaken the flexibility to take advantage of new approaches to marketing and sales.

How according to you can marketing leaders and distributed marketing teams create a more transparent marketing process during this time, to ensure better optimization?

Like I said above, this is a very complex area, for a reason, and therefore it is worth investing in professional support to ensure transparency. In all honestly, it starts with a great contract in place between the right parties. So taking the time to make sure all the right clauses are in the contract upfront is key to ensure transparency over the life of the contract.

As consumer trends and behaviors change and business dynamics evolve; what are the few factors you feel marketing and sales leaders need to keep in mind as they adjust their strategies to suit changing needs?

We find that many marketers continue working with the same contracts in place over several years, only updating the scope of work and deliverables. With all the changes in consumer behavior, it is imperative to review and update all contractual relationships with your partners on a timely basis. Clients also tend to be les careful with smaller volume contracts. Some believe that since the dollar amount is small, the contract requires less scrutiny, which isn’t the case. Often these smaller contracts are for new and innovative services that the client is trying out. They could become very important in the near future as we have seen with marketing trends over the last year or so.

Take us through some of your most successful management lessons before we wrap up?

For me it is imperative to lead with engagement. No one got to where they are in their career by themselves. It’s important as a leader to have a vision, provide guidance and let people engage from where they are. You can be a leader from anywhere – it doesn’t have to come from the top. In terms of management lessons, I believe being true to your own core values is a key driver in managing people, projects and companies. The authenticity that you show makes you be a strong and trusted partner and leader.

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FirmDecisions, member of the Ebiquity Group Plc., is an independent global marketing auditor that provides financial transparency in the client-agency relationship to the world’s biggest advertisers. 

Christine Moore is the Managing Director – North America at FirmDecisions

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