Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships — What’s Important to Marketers

October 31, 2016

By Bill Duggan

A new ANA report, “Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships — What’s Important to Marketers,” has just been released. Done in collaboration with Decideware, we sought to better understand how marketers are using data to manage agency relationships and how learnings can be applied to optimize client/agency performance. Data points were analyzed across categories including media, billing/budgets, agency time/fees, production, and creative.

We found that data is frequently used for managing agency relationships and use is growing.

  • More than 80 percent of marketers currently use data “often or always” to help them manage agency relationships.
  • Use of data to manage agency relationships is increasing, with 84 percent of marketers seeing it growing in their organization and none seeing usage declining.

Importantly, use of data for managing agency relationships delivers strong outcomes.

  • 82 percent of respondents see it contributing to better overall client/agency relationships.
  • 90 percent see it improving agency efficiencies.
  • 78 percent see it improving internal efficiencies at the client’s organization.


There was significant input from survey respondents (via open-ended responses) that data helps build better relationships, with improvements over time. Representative comments were:

  •  “Using data helps both agency and internal organization quantify value to the organization and facilitates better agency relationships.”
  • “Data builds trust with business partners and agencies.”
  • “Data ensures both sides stay focused on the agreed-to measures. It reduces friction and waste.” 

Data is truly a “force for good” in client/agency relationships. Yet there are opportunities.

Marketers should leverage data to improve their internal efficiencies. Data in creative particularly warrants more attention, as marketers should strengthen the processes for briefing and copy approvals. Data collection and storage, including the resulting insights, need to be centralized and automated to provide easy access to learning.

Complete details are in the report, “Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships — What’s Important to Marketers.”

You must be logged in to submit a comment.