TPC – Why Process Needs A Name To Really Work


Sep 6, 2015

I have to admit for the LinkedIn’s articles recently have become too general for me which urged to share something specific to marketing service industry so that it can be more beneficial to some of my peers.

I’ve worked for 2 marketing service agencies, and make reference to quite many to understand how they really work. Unlike worldwide agencies with long history of establishment who are strong at capital investment and process management, smaller and independent ones frequently get entangled into the mess of managing many projects at the same time especially when they grow up to the size of more than 30 staff.

Service quality is for sure the first one to get the impact and therefore all the good things stop at proposal and action plan only. When executed, there is a huge gap. Of course, every company has process to manage projects. The only problem is no one actually remember it when they do the work; therefore, they get lost each time new project comes in. Trust me, I saw it all!

To clarify my point, allow me to ask you some questions:

  1. Do you know Balanced Scorecards? Value Chain? Five Forces Model?
  2. Do you remember your company’s process and how to apply it?
  3. Do you have one single resource of reference when you don’t know what to do next?

If you answer “Yes” to these questions, it’s ok to stay here for a little longer. I could not imagine how Michael Porter could propagate his theories if he even did not give them such a fabulous name to rename like these. I believe it’s easier to remember then recall when needed.

So I came to the conclusion that:

In order to minimize errors, everyone must remember operations process by heart. The first step to do it is giving it a name

In IDM the current company of mine, I call it TPC = Total Process Control, which I train my staff weekly and discuss all issues related to it. 

In short, TPC is ideal for operations process of a marketing agency as it revolves around all work of Account Team and then branches to other Product Teams (you name it: Creative, Planning, Social etc.).

TPC Total Process Control comprises of 3 phases of 18 steps of building a strong and healthy client-agency relationship.

Phase 1: New Business (7 steps in sum)

  • We measure the capacity of prospects and their needs
  • Then develop a suitable solution
  • Deliver the solution through presentation
  • Finally measure the win/lose ratio of pitching

Stage 2: Execution (6 steps in sum)

  • Good execution starts with good internal briefing
  • Coordination between client and agency to achieve commitment
  • Well defined campaign management process and reporting

Stage 3: Client Service (5 steps in sum)

  • Campaign feedback to be collected
  • Data integration to prepare for further campaign and estimated ROI

I don’t give a full version of TPC here because I believe every agency is different and each is capable of developing there own if understanding the concept.

In my company, in order to enhance transparency, we send TPC to clients before starting any campaign so that they can be cross-checker for our own service provided. As a result internally and externally, 18 steps of TPC are ensured to never be missed.

So far, I don’t think that TPC is unique or anything special, but it is shown that I – as a tech marketer/strategist – take the matter of execution very seriously. We – agencies – are living in the world when good things usually stop at the proposals, plunging into any pitches, giving fancy proposals and then executing them lousily. It’s time to take execution seriously, starting by having a named operations process of your very own.

So what you are waiting for? Get out there – name it – advertise it within your company to make sure everyone remembers. Then get back here and let me hear your feedback, regardless of the results.

Happy pitching then execute it!