Enhancing Client/Agency Relationships – New ANA Research!

April 23, 2015

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

In first quarter 2015, ANA conducted parallel surveys among ANA members and agencies on issues related to the client/agency relationship, resulting in the white paper, “Enhancing Client/Agency Relationships.”  

First, the good news on client/agency relationships. Both clients and agencies agree that:

  • Their client/agency relationships are strong
  • A long-term client/agency relationship is important
  • They trust the other

Further, both clients and agencies agree that the agency is a valued business partner, plays an important role in the client’s business strategy, and is influential in driving business results.

However, there are pockets of dissatisfaction.

  • Clients and agencies are not in alignment on the fairness of their compensation arrangements. Agencies have much lower levels of agreement that compensation agreements are fair. Both clients and agencies are lukewarm on the value of performance-based compensation as a motivator of agency performance.
  • Clients and agencies are not in agreement on whether clients provide clear assignment briefings to agencies. Only 27 percent of agencies believe clients do a good job (and zero percent strongly agree). However, 58 percent of clients think they perform well on briefs.
  • Clients and agencies are not in agreement that the client approval process works well. Only 36 percent of agencies are in agreement (and only 2 percent strongly agree) versus 54 percent of clients.
  • Clients and agencies have different views on the value procurement adds to client/agency relationships. Only 47 percent of clients agree that procurement adds value, while just 10 percent of agencies agree.

To foster a more productive relationship, both constituents agree on the importance of:

  • Clients providing better briefing and streamlining approvals. The ANA and 4A’s will be collaborating to determine how best to accomplish this.
  • Agencies being more proactive and having a better understanding/greater empathy of client business.

The survey was completed by 126 ANA members and 105 agencies, providing the opportunity to compare and contrast responses from the two groups. The “Enhancing Client/Agency Relationships” white paper was just issued and has full details.

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