What the Association of National Advertisers is telling us

What can be done to improve the agency review process or, when possible, repair and enhance an existing relationship?

What advertisers are saying

The average agency review today does not seem to produce what advertisers are looking for. A recent survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers says that the average relationship between advertisers and their agencies lasts less than 4 years. Another study shows that more than half of the major advertisers surveyed are not satisfied with their current agency. What advertisers say they want most from their agencies are value and accountability. And, they don’t seem to be getting it.

Value and Accountability should be measured

Drexler/Fajen & Partners works with many advertisers to define value and how it can be measured. We have developed specific criteria for accountability that must be incorporated into the performance of the agency, not only at the outset, but also on a regularly monitored basis. That’s the only way a satisfying business relationship will produce a successfully enduring result.

Value has several meaningful benchmarks. Wasted media investments occur because of mis-targeted or misguided media placements. Inequitable agency staffing and scope of work, in relation to specific client requirements, also creates financial waste. Agency compensation can also be misleading and sometimes lacks transparency. Agency resources should also be amortized according to their application for particular client tasks and expected outcomes. We have developed specific benchmarks for salary levels, overhead, profit margins, staffing expertise and media pricing against appropriate norms that can save considerable amounts of money.

Accountability is critical to engender trust and confidence in the agency. Establishing proper metrics to achieve specific goals should be created at the outset of the relationship. These metrics not only serve to measure media objectives but marketing outcomes as well, so that, in the final analysis, an expected return on investment can be assessed. In conducting the review, it is also important to produce a customized planning assignment that can demonstrate how the agency thinks, how it applies innovation and strategic leadership to help solve the client’s problem and how the agency team works together and with the client.

The process does not end with the review. Drexler/Fajen & Partners believes that an ongoing system for monitoring and evaluating the agency on a periodic basis, will enhance agency performance and deliver significant process improvement. Monitoring expectations, over time, will allow for adjustments and modifications as necessary and continuous process improvement. Our experience for over 40 years in the business of agency management, executive recruitment, media consultancy and marketing/media research has provided us with the necessary perspective to deliver what clients expect from You can reach us at 646-459-2325 or email mike@drexlerfajen.com or steve@drexlerfajen.com. Let us know if we can show you how we work with advertisers and if we might help you with a potential review or strategic assignment now or in the future. All of our discussions are in strictest confidence and we look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Mike Drexler
Managing Partner
Drexler/Fajen & Partners

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