Data is a "Force for Good" in Client/Agency Relationships

November 28, 2016

By Bill Duggan

The widespread and increasing use of data to help manage agency relationships is leading to more informed decision-making. This is delivering positive benefits to client/agency relationships as well as improving efficiencies at both clients and agencies. Furthermore, the increased use of data is improving transparency and accountability, both hot topics at the moment. Bottom line: Data is truly a "force for good" in client/agency relationships. 

Those are the key findings of a new survey by the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and Decideware. 

The survey, entitled Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships: What's Important to Marketers, revealed that more than 80 percent of marketers currently use data "often or always" to help them manage agency relationships. Further, 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.

The use of data for managing agency relationships delivers strong outcomes: 82 percent of respondents saw it contributing to better overall client/agency relationships while 90 percent said it improved agency efficiencies and 78 percent indicated it also improved internal efficiencies at the client's organization.

The survey looked at 37 different data points across broad categories including media, billing/budgets, agency time/fees, production and creative. Data in media was the most important and most utilized of any category.

Meanwhile, data in creative warrants more attention.

To increase the use of data in evaluating and managing creative, agencies should consider strengthening the processes for briefing and copy approvals as those affect creative process efficiency -- which in turn affects speed, cost and quality of creative work. Data also should be used to track progress; specific suggestions include the number of rounds of revision which work undergoes prior to final approval, the average length of time that each approval step takes, and "soft" metrics like the quality of the brief.

The ten highest rated metrics in terms of importance were:

  1. Efficiency of media buys
  2. Delivery of total campaign audience goals
  3. Budget updates
  4. Media quality assessment
  5. Agency performance evaluations
  6. Campaign acquisition/conversion rates
  7. Cost benchmarking of media versus internal historical rates
  8. Cost benchmarking of media versus industry rates
  9. Agency scope-of-work deliverables
  10. Viewability rate of digital advertising.

The report was a joint collaboration between ANA and Decideware, a provider of custom agency management solutions for marketers.

Thank you to Jack Myers for previously publishing this perspective in

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