Should You Work With a Specialist or Generalist Agency? w. Andrew Hoyne

Published on
September 21, 2022

Episode Description:

Over the past 30 years Hoyne has had a vast impact on the Australian marketing industry. Initially as a generalist design agency and more recently as a specialist in property and place. Principal Andrew Hoyne discusses the specialist v generalist agency models as well as the value in marketing to tell stories, take people on a journey, and market an experience, not just a product.

Key Takeaways:

  • What’s the benefit of hiring a specialist agency?
  • Why you should be willing to pay for a good pitch.
  • How to get buy-in from C-suite on marketing concepts and spend.
  • How to best work with sales teams.
  • Why marketing doesn’t stop with lead generation.
  • How do the best marketers engage with agencies?

Listen to this episode now!

This is Smarter Marketer, the definitive podcast for Australian marketers.

Featuring:

James Lawrence

James Lawrence

Host, Smarter Marketer
Andrew Hoyne Headshot

Andrew Hoyne

Founder, Hoyne

About the Guest:

Andrew Hoyne is the Founder and Principal of Place Visioning, Property Branding and Marketing agency Hoyne. He consults to major Australian, New Zealand and international asset owners, developers and local councils to create recognisable landmarks and destinations across Australasia. These projects range from residential towers and master-planned communities to commercial developments, new mixed-use precincts, and even cities. Andrew is a proponent of the categorical link between good placemaking and significantly higher profits (both economic and social).

This passion that has led him to produce The Place Economy; a series of resource books which look at best practice placemaking around the world. You can follow him on LinkedIn, or find out more on his website.

Podcast Summary: Should You Work With A Specialist or Generalist Agency?

Property marketing guru, Andrew Hoyne, discusses the specialist v generalist agency models, and which would best suit your business needs on the Smarter Marketer podcast.

Moving away from in-house resources and deciding to work with an agency is always a big decision. 

It can become even more overwhelming having to decide between working with a specialist agency that knows your industry, target audience, and challenges in depth, or a generalist agency that has a broader approach to strategy and execution. 

Both options have clear benefits, and also present their own array of challenges. Read on to learn if a specialist v generalist agency would be a better fit for your business.

What’s the benefit of hiring a specialist agency?

In short, specialist marketing agencies possess deep expertise in their chosen area. This means that you rarely have to educate the agency, and in fact, most of the time, the agency can educate you on idiosyncrasies in your sector, what's happening in other markets, and other influences. As a result, they can bring more to the table than merely executing a brief. 

Specialist agencies can challenge and add value to your digital marketing strategy through their expertise, helping to identify potential opportunities before beginning the process. They also have a passion for their area of specialisation, which means they always know what to look out for and can provide opinions for a better approach. This expertise and passion offers more focused marketing services that are tailored to your specific needs and goals, resulting in you getting the most out of your digital marketing agency

Working with a specialist agency is a great option if you are looking at growing one channel in particular, for example outsourcing an email marketing agency to write, design and deliver regular EDMS for your database. They are also effective if your in-house team is lacking particular experience or knowledge about an area, such as SEO.

What’s the benefit of working with a generalist agency?

But this doesn’t mean you should count out a generalist agency completely.

While a specialist agency focusses on certain areas in depth, generalist agencies may be across 5 or more channels that can help you deliver on your strategy. 

If you are a new business starting your marketing from scratch, have a lower budget to spend on outsourcing marketing resources, or need assistance cross a wide range of channels, a generalist agency might be the best option for you.

Why should businesses be willing to pay for a good pitch?

It’s common for some specialist agencies to charge you for a brief or pitch before signing with them. This can be a deterrence for many who are unsure whether this pitch is worth the money. It's important to understand the value-based pricing versus cost plus mark-up, and that amount you pay is directly correlated to risk involved. 

While a generalist agency may seem like a cost-effective option, going with a less-established, newer agency can waste valuable time and cause frustration. Hiring the best digital marketing agency with the most knowledge, experience, and an understanding of what's possible, will help you achieve the best outcomes for your businesses’ needs.

While most generalist agencies may offer free marketing services like pitches or creative to demonstrate their abilities, most specialist agencies won't. This is because their history and credentials are enough to showcase their capabilities and go above and beyond your expectations. 

Ultimately, the fee that an agency charges should be in line with the responsibility that they are taking on, and it's important to invest in a good brief to ensure you're working with the right marketing agency for your business from the get go.

How to get buy-in from C-suite on marketing concepts and spend?

It's important when having discussions about marketing concepts and spend, to speak in a language that the C-suite value, avoiding marketing jargon and technical terms that are probably meaningless to them. Rather than trying to make them interested in marketing, you’re better off trying to understand what their problems are and how marketing as a tool could potentially solve problems for them. Establishing this relationship will help build trust and get them to buy into your marketing strategy.

How to best work with sales teams?

A solid relationship between sales and marketing is one of the most important drivers for success in any business. This has been proven time and time again, and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. 

To foster a positive dynamic between the marketing and sales team, it's important to actively listen to what the sales team has to say and take their input on board. Treat your sales team like a client and work to create the best tools for them to succeed, because this will lead to your success too. This approach can help to bridge the gap between marketing and sales.

Why marketing doesn’t stop with lead generation.

Yes, lead generation is crucial for your marketing goals - but it shouldn’t stop there! It's important to nurture and engage with leads throughout the customer journey to increase the likelihood of conversion and foster long-term customer loyalty.

Discuss with your sales team common questions, challenges, or opportunities they are seeing with leads coming through. This can help you reshape your messaging and marketing strategy to address clear pain points. Questions might include: 

  • Who are the people registering, buying or engaging?
  • What questions are prospects asking?
  • Do we have the answers for them?
  • What are the wild cards? How do we typically deal with that?
  • Should we rethink our messaging?

How do the best marketers engage with agencies?

The best marketers understand that working with an agency should be a collaborative partnership based on mutual respect. They avoid looking down at marketing agencies as servants, and instead value their knowledge and experience in areas that they might not currently have. They listen and treat the agency as the professionals they are. 

Additionally, the best marketers treat their marketing agency as an extension of their team and work closely with them to achieve the best outcomes. This collaborative approach results in a high-quality outcome that will benefit both you and the agency. Overall, the key to a successful relationship between a marketer and agency is a partnership that is built on respect, collaboration, and effective communication.

At Rocket, we specialise in SEO, PPC, paid social ads and strong creative services. If you are looking at growing one of these channels, and want a second opinion on your digital strategy, get in touch!

Transcript

James Lawrence: I'm here today with Andrew. Andy, welcome to the pod.

Andrew Hoyne: Thanks for having me. 

James Lawrence: Very good to finally get you on. So Andy is the founder and principal of Hoyne, Australia's leading property branding, marketing and place visioning agency, who celebrated its 30th birthday last year. In its earlier days, Hoyne worked in a broader areas, broader than just properties; clients like Esprit, Just Jeans, ANZ and became really well known when you did the the Triple J visual identity back in the day. Over the last 15 years, Hoyne has moved deeply into the property space and has worked with basically a who's who of Australian property; Mirvac, Frasers, Brookfield, Walker, Lendlease and many more. And he speaks worldwide on property marketing and placemaking, having spoken at South by Southwest, Ted X, Agda, the International Urban Design Conference and many more. Andy, welcome to the pod. 

Andrew Hoyne: Thanks for having me. It's always good to talk about something that you love.

James Lawrence: Excellent. So I think today you've got so much experience in the Australian marketing industry, more recently in the property space. But prior to that, working with a wider range of brands. 

Andrew Hoyne: I’m old. I'm trying to convince myself I'm not old. 

James Lawrence: Been around for 30 years, which means I think you would have been about nine when you when you founded the agency back in the day. That's the way. 

Andrew Hoyne: It is funny to think about because yeah, 31 years or something. The business has changed so many times. You kind of kind of reinvent yourself, but you've also got to reinvent your business. And so it doesn't feel that old, even though it is quite a long time.

James Lawrence: You're still young at heart. 

Andrew Hoyne: You mentioned Triple J a moment ago. I was wearing a Triple J t-shirt, like one of those old t shirts you pull out of a cupboard wearing around the house on the weekend, and one of my kids were, what's that?

James Lawrence: Oh, no. 

Andrew Hoyne: And I said, do you not recognise this? She's like, why would I? She goes, firstly, I've never seen you wear clothing with a graphic on it ever. And then what's the whole deal with the drum and the three sticks? 

James Lawrence: They used to be things. They used to be a thing called radio. This is how we got our cool music back in the day. 

Andrew Hoyne: I just thought, wow, how things have changed. It's generational, isn't it? 

James Lawrence: So good. Well, that's a nice segue into the first thing I wanted to discuss. I wanted to, for the benefit of the listeners, just to go back to when you started Hoyne and just those pivotal moments, how you started, why you started, and those key kind of moments with clients and, and how that journey has kind of progressed. 

Andrew Hoyne: Yeah, I think I started the same reason that most people do, either because they're just very passionate about a craft as opposed to a business. And in my case, maybe I just didn't think anyone would give me a job. 

James Lawrence: Be tough to be your boss, I reckon, Andy. 

Andrew Hoyne: I just started doing my own thing and I didn't really have any thought about specialisation. It was any kind of graphic design project. So it was a lot of cultural projects and fashion and events and festivals and some retail and cafes and whatever.  And then as the years went on, I ended up doing a lot of work in mostly fashion in the 90s. And then the late 90s, I decided I was sick of being broke and getting paid ten months late or not at all. In some cases, unfortunately, the fashion industry is the best or the most sophisticated. On occasion, even at the kind of pointy sort of designer high end. And so I ended up going other extreme and working with lots of banks, superannuation companies and big business. And it was a very different experience. And from there, I ended up starting to do a lot of work in the alcohol sector. So we did a lot of work with CBD and lots of other alcohol businesses, and it was actually quite fun. But I think the big pivot for me came when I decided proactively that I wanted to work in the kind of property sector, and I was excited about the idea of developing strategic thinking that actually enabled me to name the project, do the identity, do the full suite of collateral, do the advertising, the digital designer sales and display suite environment? In the last ten years or even longer now, it's actually having an influence on the built form, the architecture, the landscape, and actually to the point of being involved in what actually gets developed. That kind of journey for me is partly based on an accumulated knowledge, but it's also probably based on my own personality. And going from the beginning of being a bit of a designer slash craftsperson to ultimately going, actually, all that matters to me is impacting people's experiences in the way that they live. Quite a leap, but one that means I look at the work and I think about marketing in a very different way today than I certainly did all those years ago. 

James Lawrence: You don't do any work outside of property anymore. 

Andrew Hoyne: Place and property are the only areas we work in. So for me it's about deep specialisation. And the position that we have is that we know more about the sector than anyone working in marketing. Certainly speaking to people globally, I think that we could probably say that internationally, we're quite well renowned as having that area of deep expertise and probably publishing our series of books. The place economy has probably deepened that position and really kind of cemented our sort of our approach in terms of what it takes to make meaningful places that people care about. And so it's important as marketing is to me, I don't really get that excited about a logo or a brochure. It's really about telling stories, taking people on a journey and developing thinking that shapes built form and shapes experiences. 

James Lawrence: That's an incredible impact, isn't it? From where you started obviously. Lots of listeners on the pod, they're not they're not working in property. We've got a really diverse audience. But I think it is interesting. The idea of a specialisation, like the horn has gone from being a generalist creative firm to specialising in a vertical or two verticals, depending on how we cut it up. What are the benefits of engaging with an agency that does, or a partner that does specialise in a particular area with deep expertise? 

Andrew Hoyne: No one has to educate us on anything. In fact, if anything, I would say that at least half the companies we deal with, we're actually educating them. We know more about the idiosyncrasies of the sector, of what's happening in other markets, of the influencers around engaging with community or local council or state government. We understand the funding mechanism. We're really clear about how to go to market and engage different audiences, whether we're selling, leasing or actually just creating a right place if it's publicly owned and not necessarily selling or leasing. So it's really the whole point of having deep expertise is bringing so much more to the table than merely executing on a brief. It's actually turning up with so much knowledge that you can challenge a brief, you can add value, and you can actually see potential and opportunity before you've even begun the process itself. If we don't think a brief is going to deliver the outcome, we need to be really honest and upfront about that. It's not about going through the motions, ticking the box, sending an invoice and walking away. I think that anyone who really has deep expertise in any area does so because they're passionate about it. They desire to accumulate knowledge and actually share knowledge within their team, but also with their clients and the people they collaborate with. And certainly in our case, I think we share our knowledge quite widely. We're not sort of scared of so-called competitors knowing what we know, because I think we're so far ahead of the game in terms of the energy, the time and the commitment that we put into thought leadership.

James Lawrence: You guys nail that. In terms of digitally, you do a good job. But then the book, is it 1 or 2 books now? 

Andrew Hoyne: So it's two volumes. The third one's just finished. So the first book was 410 pages, the second one with 570 pages. And I think the third one is close to about 700. It's pretty heavy. I do love going to people's offices and seeing them in the foyers, or going into a CEO's office and seeing it sitting behind him on his desk. I love the fact that I get contacted by people all around the world who have gotten the book and read it, and it's really influenced the way that they work and the way that they can actually lead their own organisations and think about the value that they are as a business and the impact that they can have by actually changing their perspective on what's possible. 

James Lawrence: And I think it is true; you're not learning on the job. Your team isn't learning on the job when it takes on a project. Because you've seen a similar brief and you've worked on a similar project dozens of times, and it's kind of the client isn't the guinea pig, right? The client is working with a specialist partner that knows the pitfalls, knows what to look out for, repeatable process, drive it through. 

Andrew Hoyne: Absolutely. And we're constantly providing really sage advice on a better approach and in most instances, we're very clear about what the client needs to achieve. And yes, sometimes it's sales, other times it's positioning. There are a host of different things that need to be done at different phases of a project. But with that experience, not just all the work that we've done over the years, but the fact that we speak to people nationally and internationally, we're constantly learning from others, and we're passing that learning on. So for us, it's just amount of energy that we put into kind of internal education and internal learning is substantial. 

James Lawrence: You mentioned value previously. I think pretty much all the listeners are engaging with agency partners at some level, varying experience in dealing with creative agencies. We've talked price a lot outside of this part, and you're a big believer in value based pricing, right? It's not the labor plus a markup to for the output. It's about the value that you know that you can deliver as an agency for your client. I think really interesting to unpack that for the audience; why would you pay more to to work with an agency like Hoyne compared to a more generalist creative agency that might not have the same experience? And I think it would be nice to then talk about pitching and the idea of giving ideas away before my money has changed hands, because I think there'd be a lot of people on the pod who just expect that you go out to market and you hit up ten agencies and you get a bunch of ideas, and then you take the one you want. Let's unpack that. 

Andrew Hoyne: I think the amount that you pay is directly correlated to risk. And so when you hire a firm with enormous amounts of experience and knowledge, you decrease your risk. You're not going to waste time. You're just going to get it done and get it done in a way that is more impactful and is actually going to achieve a better outcome. That comes with a certain professional fee, as opposed to hiring a firm that doesn't have much experience, hasn't done it before. And I've heard people say, oh, it's great, we want some fresh ideas or we want someone who's not bogged down by knowing too much. I've heard that a few times from substantial organisations, and it's absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I'd laugh if I didn't cry. And on the occasion that that's occurred, pretty much every single time, we'll get a call a few months later saying, yeah, it didn't work. Yeah, we've now wasted a bunch of money several months, which in many cases is, you know, more valuable than the money itself is time.  

Andrew Hoyne: And all they've done is frustrate themselves. The reality is that the way to get things done is to hire the person with the most knowledge, the most experience, who has an understanding of what's possible beyond you, yourself. Is there a room for generalist agencies? They'll always exist. And they'll always be people who just need a bit of graphic design done. But my firm belief is that it's specialists who actually drive a category, who actually develop innovation, and who actually think around corners. And that's what you need if you're actually going to kind of help your clients achieve great outcomes. 

James Lawrence: And how does Value-based pricing work in the property space? What are you pinning commercials to? 

Andrew Hoyne: Look, for us it's probably about scale sometimes. We can work on a project that might be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in value, but we've also worked on quite a lot of projects that are billions of dollars of value. And so is the work we're doing merely to position a project to sell, or are we actually creating a long term place brand which has a host of different needs through that process, from leasing and selling and positioning and actually building a long term sort of sustainable place brand that people will come to recognise that might have ended up getting its own post code that possibly will end up being on a map? If you're actually developing some strategy and some thinking that ultimately will become a new township, you know, that's a pretty big commitment. And it's also a big responsibility. 

Andrew Hoyne: And so I think that the fee that you charge can and should be in line with the level of responsibility that you are taking on your shoulders. It's interesting that in this industry, I think free pitching is quite common. We don't do it. I think it's ludicrous. And I'm also gobsmacked that some of these firms who go out and speak to a whole host of agencies to get free pitches are often lazy. They're lazy because they're not prepared to do the work and actually collaborate with a firm to understand what the best approach would be. And they're lazy because they often don't write a very good brief. We see them all the time. We just get them and decline them. But they're also not thinking intelligently about the way they're using their time. They're briefing a whole bunch of people. That takes time. They're giving them X amount of weeks or whatever to develop their their thinking, or they sort of pull it out of the box idea and they don't know what they're going to get. So, there's risk. I can't tell you how many times we've declined a pitch, and then we've heard from them a month or two later and said, yeah, we've got a bunch of pitches. None of them were very good. All it did was illustrate to us that these guys really don't get it, you know? They wouldn't actually know the difference between something that's half baked and something that's brilliant. 

James Lawrence: Yeah. And I think to properly put forward work, you need to understand the problem and go through a process. And typically agencies aren't going to have the knowledge they need to properly execute unless they go through that proven process. And so the idea that you are literally putting out work that you can question whether or not you should be paid for it, which I think you should. But even if you go, well, you know, put a pitch forward, it's likely that you're not properly putting forward work that would demonstrate your ability to do the job right. I also I think it's a moral issue too. I think why should people work for free? We've all got overheads. We pay staff. Why would we work for free? That really poor rationale that ad agencies have been doing it for decades forgets the fact that, yes, they were because they were making skillings from Mediavine. And actually the creative was almost a loss leader. 

James Lawrence: They didn't care. But that's not how the industry works. And whether you're talking about branding or specialist design agencies or firms like ours who are kind of hybrid marketing brand in a specialist sector; there's nothing to fall back on. And if firms do think that free pitching is okay, don't realise that someone's paying for it. Either they're the clients that other clients are paying for it. 

Andrew Hoyne: And when I do see firms in this sector who have set up in-house, design agencies that have a team that all they do is free pitch. I'm like, wow, how damn demoralising. I mean, how depressing to think that every day I go to work, all I'm doing is pitching free ideas. There's no value placed on the work that I do. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't. And even when they do, it gets handed to somebody else. So, you know, they're not even getting to bring their idea to life or participate in the development of their thinking. It just doesn't seem very sophisticated, very intelligent to me. 

James Lawrence: In the problem, because I feel in our space, it's pretty common now. We just don't engage, right? Anything that comes through, we just say no. Like if you want us to be putting work together, you pay us for it, and you try to build up credibility and expertise and demonstrate that we're really good at the things we do. And if you want us to work for you, you pay us in the property space. Do you think it's decreasing in kind of prevalence, the idea of pitching? 

Andrew Hoyne: I'm probably not the best gage, because we've got such a reputation of not doing it that most of the time those firms bypass us. They don't talk to us, so we don't. And on occasion when they don't realise and we kind of let them know that we've got a policy that we don't do it, I think we had one today. They called us up. They are quite a professional organisation. They seemed like good people. And we just said, no. We’ll do credentials, show our credentials. We'll happily come in and meet you and chat with you. But we won't be doing any free creative. And they said, oh, okay. Yeah, sure. We're good with that. Now the other two firms are going to do free creative. And I feel really bad for them because we're probably going to win the job because they don't have the the expertise that we have and the experience and this specific project that we'll be talking to them about. My God, we've done it so many times and so incredibly successfully too. There's no way these two other firms would have the slightest idea. And all they'll be doing is putting together some funny name with a logo and a look and feel for a brochure or a website. 

James Lawrence: Which kind of comes back to the beginning of our conversation around specialisation, right? And that depth of expertise that kind of allows you to not pitch it. 

Andrew Hoyne: And also I just think that with some of these briefs, this predetermined idea, I saw a ridiculous one a few weeks ago. It wanted to know if the part of the criteria is the logo must be able to be able to be etched into wood. This is real. I wrote this thing, and it's not about the size of the sort of color or the font or the logo. It's actually about understanding the job to be done. You know, who is the market? How can we engage with them? And rather than thinking about deliverables, because the deliverables should be thought about later to truly understand what is the problem that we are trying to solve, it might require a completely different set of deliverables. 

James Lawrence: Yeah, what's the problem and what's the way to get there? Which might lead nicely into the next part of our conversation. You've got lots of experience working with a range of marketing teams, right? Both within your own agency, lots of marketing teams for businesses in property. Really nice for you to share observations around what the best performing marketers and marketing teams, what those traits are? And maybe the first one is how you see the best performing marketers dealing with non marketers in their business. C-suite, how to bring senior stakeholders along on the journey?

Andrew Hoyne: So when marketing people are dealing with the others in the organisation, I think it's ideal when they actually don't talk about marketing. You've just got to talk about business goals and pathways to success. You've got to understand how different departments can work together. Again, it's about understanding problems or approaches. Most people who are in non marketing departments don't care about marketing. They're not that interested. And so rather than trying to make them interested, you're better off kind of understanding what their problems are. And perhaps our marketing as a tool could potentially solve problems for them. For me, I think it's it's always good to have discussions in a business language rather than in a marketing language. 

James Lawrence: That's good. I'm jumping ahead here, but the last question that's going to get fired at you, Andy, is what advice would you have for every marketer on the pod today? And that's asked of every guest and almost to a tee, it's kind of something around talk business, talk ROI, talk revenue and just focus. You can't give up at marketing. You've got to take it through to revenue in the business and solving business problems. So I think it's nice to hear that kind of reiterated. What about dealing with sales teams because the property space does have that relationship. And yeah, there's always that natural tension. And so how do you see the best performing marketers dealing with sales teams? 

Andrew Hoyne: I do see that tension. But rather than accept it, I'm always trying to make sure that there's this really great dynamic between the marketing and sales teams. I very much sort of sit back and let salespeople talk about what they believe is important to them. What their thoughts are, what their ideas are, spill their guts, tell me everything. Tell me what you're thinking. And rather than challenge them or push back and say, no, that won't work, I'm probably more inclined to take it all on board and then ask questions. Treat sales people like the client, don't treat them like adversaries. But just I always say to them, look, you know what I'm here to do? I'm here to create the best tools for you. So my standard comment is I'm going to kick the ball to you and you can kick it in the goal and be a hero. 

James Lawrence: Music to the ears of any sales rep. 

Andrew Hoyne: I want to create tools be that marketing whatever, that they're really proud to use, that they go, oh my god, this is just the best work. This is going to help me succeed. And admittedly in a lot of instances, people I might deal with in sales are very conservative and all they want is just a new version of the last thing they did, which in some instances doesn't work and isn't the right solution. I tend to deal with salespeople, lots of engaging, dynamic, intelligent people, but I probably deal with them with kid gloves. I just very softly, very gently know that they've been heard and also kind of guide them to thinking a bit more broadly, reminding them that actually, if we want our marketing to be noticed, it needs to have a point of difference, and it can't look like some other favorite thing that they've just seen. We need to engage people. Some of the most obvious things they might assume is actually about a host of messages across a number of mediums that all contribute to taking prospects on a journey. 

James Lawrence: We had Dean Mannix on the pod a few months back and very similar in terms of building that relationship and at the end of the day, actually just meeting and having scheduled meetings and talk, what's working, what's not working. What do you need from me has a pretty transformative impact. But the second point that you made there, which I think a lot of us as marketers don't think of as much as we should, is that supporting role? What is the supporting role that marketing can play once you've even engaged with the prospect? What collateral do you need? How can I help you in that level? And we find worlds changing and how people sell even more of the path to purchase is taken through digital these days. Unless maybe face to face dealing with representatives of an organisation. But even once you've built that relationship with someone 1 to 1, having collateral and assets, and the marketing kind of doesn't stop once the lead's been handed over. 

Andrew Hoyne: It's a good point. I love doing weekly catch ups to sales teams, especially if we're in the midst of a job, because I'm really keen to get their feedback on who are the people registering or buying or engaging? What questions are they asking? And do we have the answers for them? What are the wild cards? What's happening that none of us thought would occur? And how do we deal with that? Do we actually create some new assets that will make it easier for the salesperson? Do we rethink our messaging? Sometimes it's quite nice to test a number of different messages and see which ones are resonating and then dump the ones that aren't. I think testing is really good. And that's definitely done really well when you're talking to the salespeople because they're talking to the actual end customer. So for me, that's a really important part of the process is knowing when to ask the question and being really conscious of listening. 

James Lawrence: It's good feedback. And then the next one, how do the best marketers engage with agencies? What are the do's? What are the don'ts? 

Andrew Hoyne: In this world we live in, there's a really strong propensity for marketers to put themselves on a master pedestal and look down at the consultant as as the servant. So the master servant relationship is quite common. It really does not drive a great outcome. I think when you treat people in that manner that you're the client, you're the big, powerful client that gets to sign off on invoices or make decisions about who's doing what. In most instances, it's actually not even their money. They're an employee of an organisation, engaged to do a role. I'm always a bit surprised as to why people think that they can act that way. There are heaps of great marketers who are really collaborative. They really take that approach that they will make the final decision or they will direct certain approaches. They actually listen. They treat you as the professional that you are. They understand that you've got knowledge and experience that they don't in many instances, and they value that. 

Andrew Hoyne: So it's like anything good in life. It's a relationship. That relationship will always determine the quality of work that gets produced.  And so I've worked with some amazing marketing people I've learned so much from because they know the right questions to ask, and they are really honest when they don't know the answer themselves. And if the agency doesn't, then you just got to go out and find it. So I think when you have that great relationship, which is based on a mutual respect and a collaborative approach, you always end up doing things more innovatively because people aren't afraid to speak, they're not afraid to share a thought or an idea, or admit when they don't know something or suggest doing something out there and in taking a risk. But if we have that traditional master seven approach, all you're going to get is delivery of the things on your list. There will be no innovation, there will be no risk taking. It's just keep your head down and get it done. 

James Lawrence: It's such a cliche, but if you want an agency to do the best work, you have to treat them like an extension of your team, like a true partnership. We had Jordan Slover, who runs a performance digital agency in New York and Texas on last week, and very similar themes coming out of that. Which is at the end of the day, we’re people and we're business owners, and if someone isn't playing ball, we'll fulfill the contract and deliver what we've what we contractually are obliged to deliver. But when it's a client who treats you well and is respectful those things aren't always perfect, but gives you good feedback, then you have to go that little bit extra, they're the ones you go the extra mile for, right? 

Andrew Hoyne: Even more so, I mean, I can't tell you the amount of times that I've been in a situation where I've learned information that could benefit someone out in the market, and I'll go, oh, gee, this company would really be interested in that. I'll pick up the phone and call them, tip people into opportunities, massive deals. I've got nothing out of it, but I've picked up the phone and gone out of my way so many times to help people and to help companies who I've thought deserved it, who I've really happy to support and see. It's not a brief, it's not part of an active job. I'm not being compensated for it. I've been doing that all my career, probably. More in recent years. Those recommendations or those introductions that I've made have resulted in companies making a huge amount of money. I'm talking this can be millions, tens of millions of dollars. 

James Lawrence: Where are my hookups Andy?

Andrew Hoyne: It's not like you necessarily go out looking to do that. But when things you've been around for a while just come past, you know that things will pop onto your radar and you'll think, oh, I could help somebody out with that, but you're only going to do that to people who you respect, who you've worked really well with. And it's not about who are your mates that you have a beer with after work. It's actually not that at all. It can be someone that you might have nothing in common with that you wouldn't necessarily go and do something social with, but you just think they're fantastic at what they do and you respect them and you want to see them create success. 

James Lawrence: Respect is the word there. Other observations or advice traits that the best marketers that you've observed have?

Andrew Hoyne: It's funny. I used to get really frustrated when sort of 20 something marketing managers would speak down to us. They've been doing the job for two years. I've been doing it for 31 and it's almost debilitating to get excited about a project when you're not given any respect. Back to that point, it's interesting that some of the most successful people, some of the most intelligent, are also the most modest. I deal with people who either own major companies, leading big companies, heads of huge marketing teams, and they're just so down to earth they're easy to talk to. You can have a really open conversation about anything, and they're a real joy to work with. But it's no mistake that they're at the top. They didn't get to the top by being difficult or naki or just antagonistic. They got to the top because they understand how to create great relationships. They always know how to collaborate. They know how to reward people who have helped them and supported them. Almost in some way old fashioned values rather than climbing over people. That old fashioned, simple, modest, honest approach will win every time. It might not win overnight, but long term it will always win. 

James Lawrence: And I think that's really interesting because you're working exclusively in property now, right? And property is a tough space. It's a space that does have a reputation of being challenging. And having big egos and whatever else. If the market is rising to the top in that space, I'm sure direct g feedback and pushing for results but doing it in the right way… 

Andrew Hoyne: There are lots of pressures, usually time and money, and that's understandable. There can be tight deadlines and everyone's got to work extra hard to resolve a difficult situation. But definitely you'll find it's easier to engage your own team to go to bend over backwards to help a client who everybody believes in. They again, it probably even goes further. It's like we believe in the company and the people, but also the project or the product. Sometimes we see projects and we think we don't want to work on that. We don't want to put in to that. We don't buy actually working on it. We're concerned that we're endorsing it. You're actually saying to people, this is a good place to go or live or work or be a part of when we don't believe that. So for us, we certainly realise that after 31 years that we do have a brand and that does have value. And when we put our name to something, we are endorsing it. So it's important that we're really conscious, that we think in advance about who it is that we're working for because not everyone's a fit for us. 

James Lawrence: That's it. I think that is really good. It's a really interesting perspective for listeners because it's the same at Rocket, which is we haven't been around for quite as long, but the team, there's certain clients that the team want to work for, and we work with a more diverse range of verticals than you do, but there's certain products or services that the team are more excited by, and then there's certain clients based on the personalities that the team want to work with more. I think if I was on the other side and I was working client side, I think it might be easy to think that it is all driven by money and it's not. There's often we're all human, right? And there's a more diverse range of factors coming together to get the most out of an agency. 

Andrew Hoyne: Well, I just think, you go home, you speak to your partner or your children or even friends at a barbecue on the weekend. And what do we do? We talk about work. We're always talking about work. And we want to talk about it with a sense of joy, with a sense of achievement and accomplishment, and know that the work that we're doing is actually having a positive impact. So and that's about the specifics of the job itself, but it is also the legacy of everything that comes with it. It's interesting. One of the things that when I was working in alcohol, which I really enjoyed, I also thought, oh man, I just feel like I'm just contributing to landfill. These are just labels on bottles. I really don't feel like they're very important anymore. I used to quite enjoy it from a design point of view. And I do like seeing engaging brands or just beautiful brands. But, as you evolve in your career and you change your thinking and what's important to you, it's interesting because property on some level might have a negative stigma for some people, but I actually find it incredibly exciting. And I also think that having the ability to create places where people do live or work and knowing that we can shape a better outcome. I mean that's a real legacy in itself. So do you want to be built in a way that doesn't work, doesn't function, doesn't bring people together? Or do you want it to be to be put together in a way that does all those things that works? People think that's such a great place. I want to go and have dinner there or I want to live there or, a beautiful piece of architecture, that adds value to a neighborhood. 

James Lawrence: Andy, thank you so much for coming on to the pod. I'm going to ask you one final question. I gave you a little bit of a teaser there. So you've got no excuse but to nail this.  What's one piece of advice that you'd give? What's the best piece of marketing advice that you'd give to a young, up and coming marketer trying to make their way in Australia? 

Andrew Hoyne: I would look at the experts that work for your company. And I would go and shadow them. I would actually say, hey, any chance I could come and work in your office for a day or two? And they go, why? I just want to. I want to learn. I want to say how you guys operate. I want to see what happens on your side of the fence. I want to see how you guys tackle things. No one does that. But I just think the amount of insight that you would get from it. And now some firms might say, oh, look, we can't do it because we've got lots of different confidential client work around that might be a competitor to you, but some many would say, yeah, great, come along. Be a part of what is happening. Don't just brief it and walk away, but actually try and understand it. Try and get hands on in any way you possibly can, because then you'll truly learn, and then you'll be able to brief better, assess better, understand the opportunities and the pitfalls. So basically, you've just got to upskill yourself in every way you can. 

James Lawrence: I love it. That's not an answer that anyone's given, but I think it's excellent advice.  Thanks, mate. I really appreciate you coming on. And I hope that all the listeners today have enjoyed having Andy on the Smarter Marketer podcast. 

Andrew Hoyne: Excellent. Thanks for having me. And just remember, keep investing in those relationships. That's all it matters.

We wrote the best-selling marketing book, Smarter Marketer

Written by Rocket’s co-founders, David Lawrence and James Lawrence, Smarter Marketer claimed #1 Amazon best-seller status within 3 hours of launch!

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