You’ve just gotten back from the annual brand planning conference for GavonPlus, the MereRx Laboratories brand you’ve been working on as the agency’s Account Director for the past 18 months. GavonPlus is the company’s leading over-the counter antacid product and has been a very steady performer for MereRx in terms of net trade sales and margin over the past 10 years. In addition to agency fees, the brand (on average) has a “working” media budget of around $3.4M – currently split 42% in television, 31% in magazines and 27% in on-line. The MereRx has been an agency client for over 15 years, and has handled GavonPlus for 12 of those years. It has been a very good client for the agency, and over the past 18 months you have built a very good relationship with the GavonPlus Brand Director.
The Brand Manager calls you and sets a meeting for the following day to discuss the “download” from the brand planning conference and to begin discussing the brand marketing calendar and the agency’s SOW and fees for the upcoming year. Given that you’ve just come out of the brand planning conference, you have a pretty good idea of what the brand’s and the Brand Manager’s priorities will be for the coming year, so you don’t give this meeting much more thought or preparation other than reviewing your notes and the presentations from the conference.
As the meeting is about to finish up, the Brand Manager pulls up a new presentation for the assembled group’s review.The presentation, Project Leapfrog, provides an overview of the Brand Manager’s plan to grow the business. Project Leapfrog is an initiative to build both competitive insulation in key national accounts (grocery, pharmacy and “big box” retail chains) and to maximize brand sales and profits as effectively and efficiently as possible. Included in the Leapfrog plan is “stretch budget” request of $3.0M in “working” media for the coming year – bringing the total brand media spend to $6.0M (+100%) for the coming year.The agency’s assignment on Project Leapfrog: a presentation to the Brand Manager in two weeks outlining the agency’s thinking, point-of-view and recommendation on the allocation of the incremental $3.0M in media support to achieve the brand objectives outlined in the Project Leapfrog presentation.
So now the fun starts … you get back to the office and you have to immediately start thinking about how you are going to approach the Leapfrog assignment. Where do you start? ….what and what types of information (consumer, category, sales, distribution, media) will you need to begin working on the assignment?What other information would you need to source to assist you in developing the agency’s thinking, point-of-view and recommendation?Who else will you need to bring in on this assignment to ensure you have a “bulletproof” presentation to the Brand Manager? And you need to get going as two weeks is not a lot of time given that your “day job” is overseeing GavonPlus in addition to three other MereRx brands.