Each year we help between 75 and 100 marketing and procurement teams to find their way through the maze of marketing communications agencies and choose the right agency – or roster of agencies – for their needs.

Some of our clients need our help from start to finish: from helping them refine the brief for what they actually need from a new agency partner through to supporting them as they successfully embed their new agency relationship. Others simply need a hand in putting together a list of agencies to invite to pitch. Whatever the need, we design a flexible approach that works for you.

We offer bespoke consultancy on the agency market across the full range of disciplines including advertising, CRM, digital marketing, media planning and buying, promotional marketing, PR and strategic consultancy.

Our consultancy broadly covers two stages but it’s not a sausage machine: we flex what we do according to what you need.

Your knowledge of the industry and insight into individual agencies and people was invaluable. I would thoroughly endorse AAR's services to any client thinking of undertaking a review. Money well spent!
Director of Marketing, John Lewis

Discovery

Together we’ll work out exactly what you need the agency to do, what the mandatories and the watch-outs are. We’ll scope out the available marketplace for you and, without drowning you in agency credentials, give you enough information about each potential agency partner to enable you to make an informed decision as to who you should have an initial meeting with. We’ll accompany you to these initial ‘chemistry’ meetings, help you to select the right agencies to invite to pitch and handle all of the feedback to the agencies you’ve met or received information from.

Choosing your Agency

We can help you to decide on the style of pitch that works best for you and your team.  We’ll support you in the design of the pitch brief and the briefing session for the agencies, schedule important interim sessions such as Q&A and work in progress meetings before you see the final presentations. We’ll create a meaningful scoring system to help you evaluate the presentations, and compare and contrast the remuneration proposals from the competing agencies. We’ll attend the pitches with you and then facilitate a post-pitch wash-up session where you will make your final decision.

That’s quite a lot of things that we can help you to do and we’re well aware that you might not need all of them. That’s not a problem. Just tell us where you need the most help and we’ll design our consultancy so that it fits that need.

Why work with us ?

  • You know who you know.It’s our job to make sure we know who you dont know so that you can feel confident that you’ve comprehensively explored the market.
  • We always avoid duplication of effort.If your procurement colleagues are helping you to manage the process but you still want some insight and input from us, we’ll dovetail our service to complement and supplement their role.
  • We do the leg-work for you.We’ll reduce the interruption to your day job, anticipate and solve any problems that may arise, and serve as an independent facilitator, devil’s advocate and, on occasion, referee.
  • We are expert in helping you to forge lasting partnerships. 90% of the agency relationships we have been involved in creating last in excess of 7 years.
  • Confidentiality and discretion. We never leak what we do to the trade press and can help you to manage any public announcement of your plans if you choose to do so.
  • The agency community trust and respect us as professional, impartial advisers. We act with integrity. They are candid and open with us, knowing that any information they share with us will be treated with respect.
  • You’ve got your day job to do.  Finding and appointing a new agency is time-consuming and can be fraught with aggravation.  Trade press leaks, unsolicited approaches from inappropriate agencies, internal stakeholder management, diary glitches,  and numerous other lion traps that occasionally appear during pitch processes can make it painful.  We minimise this.
  • We’ve been helping our clients to appoint their agency partners for the last four decades. There isn’t a challenge that we haven’t helped a client through or a best in class agency that we haven’t met in that time. You can have complete confidence in working with a team who know what they are doing, will add value to the process and have experience that will help you ‘future proof’ your decisions.