By Bill Duggan
We are living in an era of marketing accountability. So it’s a little hard to believe that one-fifth of marketers do NOT conduct formal evaluations of their advertising and other communication agencies. That’s one of the findings from a new ANA survey.
It’s no surprise that “traditional” creative and media agencies are the types of shops most likely to be evaluated. Evaluations are less likely to be done for other types of agencies including digital, direct marketing, public relations and multicultural agencies. ANA encourages evaluations of ALL types of agencies.
Agency performance evaluations are an aid to maintaining and then enhancing client/agency relations. 97% of marketers believe that evaluations are effective in maintaining the client/agency relationship. So agencies should not be afraid of evaluations or think that such evaluations will be used to “ding” them when overall evaluations are a positive tool.
Best practices identified from the survey include:
• All marketers (even those with smaller budgets) should conduct formal agency performance evaluations on a regular basis.
• Assign a trusted, neutral point person (could be internal – for example procurement – or an outside consultant) to keep focused on objectives and metrics vs. personalities.
• Consider having a more informal “mid-term review” to avoid surprises at the end of the year.
• Use a consistent format for all agencies, although specific questions can be varied for different agency types.
• Use technology to facilitate adoption, ease of implementation, and analytics.
• Consider 360-degree evaluations to get the perspective of the agency.
• Present results in person.
• Have clear corrective action plans with due dates and owners.