Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Marketers Be Educated on Good Agency Relationships?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Marketers Be Educated on Good Agency Relationships?

Article excerpt

The latest guidelines issued by the IPA say that agencies should inform marketers as to how to assess their performance, to create more profitable and productive relationships.

JEFFREY MERRIHUE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ACCENTURE MARKETING SCIENCES

Managing an agency relationship is an important and difficult task. It is important because millions of pounds are invested, and the company growth rate is at stake.

A smooth relationship results in more time and energy spent on delivering high-quality, timely marketing programmes, while poor relationships distract from the task at hand.

It is difficult because contacts need to be established and developed at senior, middle-manager and junior levels. When this does not happen, the process can break down.

For this reason, developing and managing relationships should be part of the training for companies committed to excellence in marketing.

CILLA SNOWBALL, CHAIRMAN, ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO

The best client-agency relationships are based on active selection, not passive inheritance. So they have to be continuously assessed, challenged and refreshed on both sides, in a way that is productive, open and fun.

Regular appraisals - in both directions - are a good thing. And they work. The IPA initiative provides a good prod to those in passive relationships. The format and construct they recommend are sound.

But good performance evaluation goes beyond diligent form-filling. It is about regular, straight dialogue and feedback on both sides - and plenty of it.

So it doesn't matter who initiates it - client or agency - as long as there's lots of it. …

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