Database catalogues over 1.6m inputs
It has taken five years and 1.6m questions, completed by 15,000 individuals across 2,000 relationships, before APRAIS, the global relationship management company, was prepared to release some of its benchmark data.
Want to know the average rating of an agency by the client? It's currently 62.5% What about the average rating of a client by the agency? 67.6%
According to Judy Fraser, technology and product development director of London-based APRAIS, the database holds a wealth of valuable information about relationships: "More importantly, we can cut this data by client type, by region and we are now revealing some crucial findings that will help our clients forge better, more productive relationships."
While the data is a crucial foundation for ongoing performance measurement and improvement, managing director Tony Geary adds: "Our challenge is to get behind the numbers, study the components of weakness and work with the client and agency together to improve things. In fact, we go to great lengths in our online questionnaire to avoid showing any numbers to the participants when they are evaluating their partner. It uses an evaluative sliding scale."
"The 100 points are hidden from view," he says. The system also provides for freehand comments which, together with the individual responses, are totally confidential.
As client-agency remuneration moves increasingly towards fee-based systems and PBR (payment by results), it is now more important than ever to institute a formal, fair and impartial evaluation of the relationship and its performance over time. Tony Geary explains: "It's our firm and proven belief that the best business results are produced by the best relationships, a fundamental issue that many PBR agreements overlook."
So what are some of the key issues affecting relationships?
The top-scoring factors among APRAIS' best relationships, and the bottom-scoring factors amongst the worst, are listed in the inset (see Table 2); however when viewed overall, a few golden rules for agencies would be:
1) Demonstrate an intimate knowledge of your clients' business and their consumers.
2) Provide solid, professional service at all management levels that shows the client they are important to you
3) Be disciplined and organised with finances and the business overall
4) Engender trust through total honesty and transparency in the relationship
5) Creative is paramount but you must also show initiative beyond the brief
6) Communicate, communicate, communicate
APRAIS is the global leader in advertising performance evaluation and remuneration planning. Launched in 1998, APRAIS is now represented across Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. By providing guidance based on proprietary technology tools for numerous clients and their agencies, APRAIS uniquely maximizes both real and emotional ROI.
Managed through the global network by a central team in the United Kingdom, APRAIS has built a database of over 15,000 responses covering thousands of relationships worldwide and created Agency Performance Benchmarks against which companies like Nestlé, Renault, adidas, Kimberly Clark, Ogilvy, McCanns, JWT, Japan Airlines, Lowe, Saatchi , Vodafone and Philips have been able to gain better understand and improve their relationships leading to greater ROI from marketing communications.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com