7 tips for effective Agency assessment

10:53 AM, 14 September 2016

Tracking progress and success with your agency partners is crucial to an effective client-agency relationship. But many advertisers struggle to get the best value from what can appear a difficult task.

There are a range of tools available to manage and maximise alignment and collaboration, but tools are merely that - how do you practically get the best outcome from agency assessment?

A recent WFA workshop sought to answer that question:

7 steps to successful Agency Assessment & Performance Management:

1. Measurement isn't the end goal. It's the start of the process.

Don't assume that measurement will offer actionable solutions per se; it's about making sure that both marketing and agency teams are involved and engaged in setting and agreeing to KPIs at the start of the process as well as the actions to be taken if KPIs are not met. And, this needs to be measured and monitored closely throughout the journey.

2. Don't hesitate to over-communicate.

If, for a start, you're unsure what you should measure, undertake a discussion or conduct a workshop with your agency and internal stakeholders to align and set KPIs together.

3. Build common KPIs across the team.

Agency KPIs should be aligned with marketing KPIs for common KPIs that both marketer and agency can be jointly measured on and incorporates:

a. business / marketing performance
b. operational performance.

These should also be set and shared across the agency roster.

4. Get everyone to the table.

Inter-agency KPI setting adds an extra level of complexity to assessment & performance management. To ensure that shared goals are established and committed to, make sure to have complete working sessions with all agencies present at the time of the project kick off.

5.Senior-management support will ensure that performance management is prioritized.

Internal resources can sometimes be too time-poor to perform proper analysis or follow through with actionable solutions. Securing the buy-in of senior business and marketing leaders in support of the agency assessment & performance management programme will help ensure that analysis and actions are committed to.

6. Technology can provide timely solutions.

The measurement of performance information and subsequent results isn't always delivered in a timely manner, but this is where technology can assist in accelerating the process. An online feedback platform can enable real time input for immediate results.

7. If all else fails, make it personal.

Even when agency assessments are compulsory and frequent, the best systems in the best of times can sometimes still result in vague viewpoints that are unsubstantiated or just incomplete. Consider scheduling face-to-face sessions (or phone interviews) with key stakeholders to facilitate the process and ensure that you get the information that you need.

Are you on the same page as your Agency? What are your best experiences with client-agency relationships? Your worst? All feedback, queries, and opinions are welcomed to lindsay@anza.co.nz

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