Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Agency Evaluation

The client-agency relationship is a delicate thing. By definition, your advertising agency should act on your behalf in matters concerning your marketing communication. At the same time, you want the agency to be responsive to direction. You want a partnership. After all, we will be judged on the quality of marketing communications developed within the scope of our limited resources (time, marketing budget etc.) Like any relationship, it takes work. As the client, we need our agency to understand expectations. You don't want the agency-client relationship to become disruptive. Here is a five-point agency evaluation system. Maybe it will be helpful in evaluating your agency-client relationship.

Creative Excellence: Above all, the agency should be creative and not just in art direction and copy. They should be able to look at your marketing problems creatively. They should consider creative ways to allocate media spending. They should be creative when it comes to spending money and managing limited resources. They should be creative in presenting fresh

Smart Marketing Thinking: Your agency doesn't have to know as much about your business as you do (Although that can be beneficial). They should think like business people. They should recommend ways that will build the business. They should suggest ideas that are reasonable and strategic.

Problem Solvers: The best agencies will be able to read between the lines a little. If the budget is limited, an agency should be able to deal with that. If selling ideas into the organization or the distribution channels is an issue it might be appropriate for them to help with this process. They should be able to work with you to take anxiety out of your life and not add to it.

Capabilities: The agency relationships you establish should match well with our needs. Evaluate the agency on what it does well. Suggest improvement when you can. Some agencies offer an uneven range of services. If they can't or won't accommodate you, you may need to unbundle some services. Weight this notion against the added time and energy it may take to build an additional agency-client relationship.

Flawless Execution: Careless errors can cripple the effectiveness of any advertising. Nobody's perfect. But the greatest idea in the world will suffer if not produced well. This is a tough place for an agency to fall short but it's all too common.

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