Catherine Foisy : "I want to deconstruct gender stereotypes in advertising."
Justine Laurier wanted nothing to do with agency life after earning her degree in marketing communications. She didn’t want to work for several clients with whom she had no affinity:
"That's how I found myself at Tourisme Lanaudière. I loved what I did there, and I love the industry, which is why I stayed there for four years."
“Over time, digital marketing started to play a bigger role in my life and I wanted to specialize in campaign management. So I thought maybe now was the time to give agencies a chance. But I didn’t want to work for just any agency. I wanted to target smaller ones that matched my values."
Justine ended up at Republik and she’s been there for two years already. But at first, agency life was a big no-no. So why Republik?
To answer the question, we need to understand the somewhat broader picture of the role the marketing industry plays in the media. The truth is that often, between agencies and clients, there is a great lack of transparency, something Justine finds absolutely abhorrent. She cites two examples:
“Historically, media agency remuneration has been based on commissions, not fees. Agencies will therefore pay themselves by taking a percentage of the total media invested, and sometimes even by having hidden margins. The consequence of this is that often agencies will push clients to spend more, regardless of whether that is a good recommendation or not, in order to make more money. And this is where the first transparency problem arises."
“Then you often see agencies talking to themselves using very technical vocabulary with 'buzzwords' or using very complicated tables and charts in campaign performance reports. The result is that often the customer does not fully understand what is being explained to them. You may have had the best campaign in the world, but if the customer doesn't understand, you don't bring them any added value."
In both examples, transparency issues come from the same cause; the agency is not there to support or educate the client, the agency is there to sell more media. The consequence is that the client becomes dependent on the agency and its expertise.
Justine wants to build a media department at Republik that is committed to educating internal teams on the client side.
"I want us to be a transparent agency, which acts as an ally, educates the client, offers clear performance reports, enables them to do better in-house. And what makes me proud is that we already do it naturally!"
"We take the time to properly equip the client with the necessary tools, ensuring they fully own said tools and can do what they want, when they want. If they want to switch agencies, they own all of the history built with us. In addition to that, media buzzwords do not exist at Republik."
What Justine is talking about is the result of Republik's Social Capital Building™ process. This process ensures that all people from all departments, both on the client side and agency side, come together at the same table to work together.
This way, clients share their industry knowledge with the agency, and the agency shares knowledge with the client about their expertise. This exchange allows everyone to share common goals.
“What I love about Republik is that we consider the client to be the expert in their industry. We are experts in our field, but we have to educate ourselves on our client's industry, and they are in the best position to tell us about their clients and competitors. And if they don't know, it's our job to help them gain that knowledge in-house."
"The truth is, it's beneficial for everyone if the client is able to internalize some of our marketing expertise. It makes our work more efficient and productive. In short, I want to uplift clients, not sell them more media."
What kind of agency welcomes the personal convictions of its team members? An agency that wants to change the world, nothing less.
At Republik, we work with clients who understand the importance of taking action on social and environmental issues and who integrate the principles of social responsibility into their business models. We are looking for talents who have strong convictions and who have the ambition to change the world.
Don't let your convictions take the backseat, put them to work and run with it.