Client / Agency Relationship Evaluation Consultancy
“I’d like to improve the effectiveness & efficiency of our relationships
with our creative, media and PR agency partners.”
“How good are our relationships and what actions should be taken
to achieve better results?"
An effective and efficient client/agency relationship is not automatic - it needs to be nurtured through ongoing communication. Effective and trusting relationships are also two-way – both agency and client must work hard to ensure success. Both sides must understand what they are expected to do, how & when they are expected to do it, and how well they are doing in order to improve. Good relations also achieve better results. Evidence from the UK is that clients that view their agencies as partners (as opposed to suppliers) have stronger, more satisfying and more productive relationships.
ARC developed a research paradigm for client/agency relationship nearly twenty years ago, in the early 1990s. The result was the Evaluating Advertising Agency Performance report, published by ARC and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA). This was updated with a second edition and recently with a third edition. The approach to the research was also published in academic journals and conference proceedings, including ESOMAR. Since then ARC’s relationship evaluation has been used extensively and even licensed to other countries. It has also been copied by competitors - in question phrasing but not in root understanding. Whilst the research has been updated to reflect market changes the underlying academic approach has remained true and consistent. Over the years ARC has worked with many clients and their agencies - from single relationships in the UK to pan-European evaluation of creative, media and PR relationships. ARC has also worked with some clients over many years, helping them to stay at the top of their game.
Best practice relationship management includes regular, formal and two-way evaluation. The vast majority of UK advertisers formally evaluate their advertising agency. The specification of the roles of the agency and client and the regular monitoring of overall and specific performance provides a benchmark for progress and a foundation for constructive dialogue enabling and encouraging action to be taken to improve performance. Formal agency evaluations are also useful to ensure that unspoken assumptions are not misplaced. They remind all of the expected roles and progress against workplans.