3 Key Factors to a Successful Agency Relationship

As the relationship between advertisers and media agencies continues to evolve, it’s important that the way advertisers and media agencies measure the success of their combined efforts evolves as well. Periodically, a full-scale Media Agency Review is an excellent way to evaluate if your relationship is delivering results in-line with your business objectives. (For more on this, check out our post on the Seven Critical Elements of Ensuring a Successful Media Agency Review.)

While performing a full-scale Media Agency Review on a periodic basis is critical
to ensuring a healthy agency relationship, they are often complex and time-consuming. This leaves a gap for something more frequent, but less in-depth,
that would help you consistently evaluate your agency relationship. Monitoring this gap is important as it will allow you to uncover and overcome more frequently encountered agency relationship challenges before they become bigger, and more costly, issues.

Ultimately, fostering a solid agency relationship is critical for marketers to ensure that they are maximizing their ROI and, according to a recent survey, 3 out of every 10 marketers are “not satisfied” with their current agency model. So how can marketers ensure that they are amongst the 14% of respondents who are “highly satisfied”?


1)    Prioritize Transparency: Transparency has been a major storyline throughout the years, this is not new news. From the ANA Media Transparency Initiative to the most recent ANA Media Conference and everything in-between, the topic of transparency has been one of the most prevalent in the industry and with good reason. Advertisers have long relied on their media agencies to purchase their media. Upfront presentations inform clients of the overall costs that the agencies are aiming to achieve and highlights different strategies that will help achieve the best ROI for their clients. Everything is presented on a very topline level and many of the ‘insignificant’ details of their buys are glanced over. The clients only have their historical performance to compare the current year’s buy against 

This is why transparency between advertisers and media agencies is so critical. By being able to see all of the details, advertisers can begin to evaluate the overall performance of their investments, and not just a year-over-year report. If you’re not seeing the desired results, it might be time to perform a full-scale review and work on where improvements can be made.

2)    Avoid Trading Quality for Cost: Promises of reduced Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPMs) and higher efficiencies often tend to sacrifice quality for the lower price. Be wary of promises that sound too good to be true. Agencies can also purchase more Run-of-Site (ROS) programming or change the mix in favor of less expensive dayparts to help cut costs. This may look good on investments reports but be assured that you get what you pay for. Ad quality has been a significant focus of media agency reviews so far this year. By agreeing to a set of KPIs with your agency partner before setting out on an advertising campaign, you can much more effectively evaluate the performance of the agency going forward. Some of the KPIs used to measure quality performance are: GRP delivery, Targeting, % of inventory in Top programing, and Reach. By utilizing these KPIs throughout the lifecycle of an advertising campaign, advertisers can gain a much better overview of their agency’s performance. 

3)    Set KPIs and Goals with Your Agency: To ensure that you aren’t sacrificing Quality for Cost, advertisers should work with their agency to set KPIs and can even incentivize agencies to hit certain goals. Sometimes these goals involve hitting a certain CPM or keeping their investment under a certain amount. It’s vitally important that advertisers hold their agency accountable to their promises while also actively monitoring effectiveness throughout the campaign to ensure success.


Moving Forward

For advertisers and marketers alike, understand that a successful agency relationship is well within the realm of possibility even in the rapidly shifting Digital Transformation world. By keeping the factors outlined above in mind when setting up your own agency relationship, you will both be poised to realize a successful campaign and relationship.

Have additional questions about the relationship between advertisers and media agencies? Reach out to our team of experts at info.US@ebiquity.com.




By Whitney Birdsall
About the Author:

Whitney Birdsall is an Account Manager for Ebiquity - North America

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