Vice President of Marketing

Client-agency relationships are constantly evolving as consumer communication needs and methods change. As a result, Crayola’s Victoria Lozano believes in maintaining relationships based on the strengths offered by a particular agency.

Lozano explains that the key to successful marketing campaigns lies in maintaining best-in-class expertise in its capabilities. Clarity surrounding objectives and executional expectations are imperative to achieve the best results from agency resources.

“We are able to find partners who are specialists and very good at what they do to an extent that it wouldn’t make sense for us to try to replicate those capabilities in house,” she says. “These types of considerations help us make decisions about when we need to do things in house and when we need to seek external resources to meet a particular goal.”

One key area of focus for Lozano is the integration of digital and social media channels into the marketing mix. She explains that when Crayola has a traditional TV ad, there is a great deal of interactivity around the role that ad plays in driving traffic to Facebook or the website. Being conscious of how each element of the mix can direct the consumer to other channels and drive a more interactive experience is always top of mind.

“Digital engagement provides such a rich experience and opens so many doors for opportunities to reach consumers,” she says. “As a result, it is attracting a higher proportion of spending in a much more diverse way, so it is also shifting the way we allocate spending.”

As a result of all the new channels that are available to engage consumers, the client-agency relationship has evolved fairly significantly, according to Lozano.

“The business started out with a number of specialists in various areas and later evolved into a centralized agency, where businesses had a ‘one-stop shop’ for their marketing needs,” she says. “And now, people are realizing that an agency can’t be good at everything. You have to look at their true capabilities and choose to work with them based on how their strengths can positively affect your business.”

In terms of evaluating agency performance, Lozano explains that it depends on the type of agency relationship that has. For example, Crayola has tier 1 agencies that are simply committed to delivering on certain projects, while others are expected to contribute to where the business is moving strategically.

“With the agencies that we view as strategic partners, there is more expected of them over the long term, but they also have more benefits; for example, we have a bonus component that is tied to business performance,” she says. “We expect them to think about the business in a holistic way, to understand our business, and to think beyond the task that they are charged with at the moment.”

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