What makes a good agency? -
October 20th, 2010
The process of agency evaluation involves regular assessment of two aspects of performance area – financial and qualitative.
1. The financial assessment focuses on how the agency conducts its business to verify costs and
expenses, the number of personnel hours charged to an account to an account and what
payments are made to media and other outside service suppliers.
2. Qualitative assessment explores the agency’s efforts devoted in planning, developing and
implementing the client company’s advertising campaign and an assessment of the achievements.
For a qualitative assessment even the small things matter; such as a quick turnaround time,
creativity because this is what the agency is in the business of, value add in terms of giving the
client a creative edge by giving them a ‘creative leap’ etc. One can also evaluate agencies by their track record of losing clients or acquiring new clients and retaining them.
3. Good advertising is advertising that produces sustained results.
Good advertising requires:
*Understanding every aspect of marketing, advertising, design and media.
4. Consistency, Creativity, Media relations: consistency and continuity with account personnel: A
good agency will ensure there is consistency and continuity with account personnel. Sure, junior
positions may change, but at the senior managers level, the client wants expects continuity here.
5. Basic approach for evaluating creative approaches: Is the creative approach consistent with
the brand’s marketing and advertising objectives?
a. Is the creative approach with the creative strategy and objectives? Does it communicate
what it is supposed to?
b. Is the creative approach appropriate for the target audience?
c. Does the creative approach communicate a clear and convincing message to the customer?
d. Does the creative execution keep form overwhelming the message.
e. Is the creative approach appropriate for the media environment in which it is likely to be
f. Is the ad truthful and tasteful?
6. Certainly a good agency will have passion for their client – not just the day they pick up the
new account, but next year and the year after that. They will work hard to keep the passion alive
and stay fresh.
7. A good agency will have a positive attitude, as negative thoughts and feelings about the client
eventually leak into the work.
8 The agency must immerse themselves in the client’s industry. An agency owes it to the client
to provide sound advertising and marketing counsel. This holds true even if they think the client
doesn’t want to hear what they have to say.
9. A good agency will keep in mind all of the pressures that exist on the client’s side.
The client’s contact people may have many internal variables they have to work with that impact how—and how soon they can respond – and the speed of that response.
10. Take seriously the responsibility for spending a client’s money: The agency should recognize that take seriously the responsibility for spending a client’s money as if it’s their own is a big responsibility – one it should take very seriously if they want to remain a valued partner.
11. They will not be “yes” people.
Finally, a good agency will remember that they are the experts in marketing and advertising. A good agency staff will have a firm point of view and “sell” for their recommendations to clients—they will not be “yes” people.