Thought Leadership

17+ million data-points enable unique insights
into client-agency relationships

Clients Get The Agencies They Deserve

Over 50 years ago, David Ogilvy famously said that “clients get the advertising they deserve”. This has now been validated by our analysis of over 20,000 client-agency relationships which has shown that agency performance is highly dependent on client performance.   Read more

Client-agency relationship performance

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Could your relationship benefit from our help as these clients have?

Using Benchmarks to Aid Constructive Dialogue Leading to Improved Long-term Marketing-Agency Partnerships & Results

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Far too often, the evaluation process is used purely for negative purposes. Never more so than when the evaluation is in one direction only – the client evaluating the agency.

A global client in the personal care industry was working with two of the top global agency networks. At first glance, the agencies performance results for this client were amongst the worst seen.

However, Aprais interrogated its database to understand the situation better. Analysis of evaluations for the same two agencies working with other clients in similar markets showed that many of the clients were substantially more satisfied with the output from the same agencies.
This posed the obvious question – was this an accurate reflection of the performance of these two agencies or was it possible that the issues might lie with the client organisation?

The data prevented a knee-jerk ‘blame the agency’ reaction and led to discussions to work together for everyone’s mutual benefit. So, even in the absence of two-way feedback, it is possible for objective findings to drive meaningful change and improvement.

Driving Marketing Team Excellence by Responding to 2-way Feedback

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Scrupulously unbiased in our approach, Aprais delivers an objective evaluation process that highlights issues for both the marketer and the agency.
One of the largest advertisers in the States manages a labyrinth of more than 20 marketing agencies. Aprais’ 180° two-way evaluations revealed a consistent finding – that ‘poor briefing’ by the client was causing agency frustration at the lack of clear guidance. And, of course, for the marketer this resulted in frustration that expectations were not being met.

To the client’s credit, it took on board the feedback and actively sought to address it in several ways with better training, revised briefing documents developed with its agency partners and linking clear agency briefing to staff performance KPIs.
This resulted in significant and continuous improvements in the briefing performance score by +22.5% over a 2-year period. What’s more, morale at both the client and agency tangibly improved.

Improving Marketing & Procurement Alignment Via Objective Global Agency Evaluation Programmes

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Managing and negotiating the agency relationship is quite different to the normal challenges faced by procurement. The procurement department at the US HQ of one of the world’s largest technology companies needed to understand the strengths, weaknesses and nuances of the numerous agency relationships it had around the world.

Since introducing Aprais, the central marketing and procurement teams have been able to leverage both internal and external benchmark data on agency performance with norms by market, region, marcom discipline and industry sectors. In doing so, much of the subjectivity has been taken out of the discussion.

Focus has moved away from opinions to understanding and defining actions. Because of this, a common standard has been brought to all stakeholders concerning agency performance & relationships regardless of their role or where they are in the world.

Addressing the Hidden Pitfalls & Costs of Internally Managed Agency Evaluations

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It is often thought that it is easier and cheaper to use ‘off-the-shelf’ software or homemade excel-based systems for client-agency evaluations. It may be easy but it is also mistaken to overlook the true internal resource costs involved when administering and managing the input and output for such a programme in-house. No resource is free and it can usually be better spent on other value-added tasks. This resource can also lack the experience to identify objective questions and assign the right participants.

Many clients who come to us have begun with a self-administered package route and quickly realised the limitations of this approach. A leading bank client learned the hard way but on transitioning to Aprais found there was far greater adoption and participation as well as engagement from the teams involved. The presence of a 3rd party removed suspicions of bias. And key diagnostic questions were being applied based on leveraging key findings of what worked elsewhere. The data could now be tracked over time and benchmarked, driving greater confidence in the outcomes.

Using Harmonised Evaluations to Guide Through Company Restructures & Agency Rationalisations

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For over 8 years, Aprais has worked with the Americas regional office of a key player in the drinks industry. During this time, the company acquired leading brands in many markets and, in doing so, inherited a multitude of different agencies and ways to manage their relationships.

The consistent and transparent Aprais approach enabled the rapid bringing in to the fold of these new brand and agency teams. Comparisons of issues and opportunities became easier, thus smoothing the path to assimilation and the exchange of learning. This resulted in better informed and quality conversations post acquisition. Since implementation, the Aprais evaluations have reflected consistent improvement in the brand and agency teams and has led to better work.

Generating A Score for the Sake of It or Delivering Meaningful Performance Improvement?

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Aprais was approached by an agency network to advise on and establish a programme of continuous client feedback. The existing process indicated static or declining performance numbers for the majority of assignments with the exception of a single major global client appointment where scores demonstrated consistent improvement over a 2 year period. Upon closer investigation Aprais identified that this exception was the only client to have already appointed Aprais to manage it’s broader Global All Agency project.

So while all clients were being measured to generate a score, only one was externally benchmarked resulting in a 10+ point significant performance advantage across all business areas.

The Aprais process delivers clear benchmarked results that allow for informed capabilities discussions and paths to improvement to be developed. The result is better agency delivery for advertisers and more satisfied clients for agencies.

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