From the off, there’s a pressure on the new agency to hit the ground running, to deliver quickly, to work collaboratively and seamlessly both internally and with your existing agencies and, most importantly, to start showing some return on your investment.
Everyone has the best intentions to lay the right foundations and get it right. But we know how easily the finer details can be overtaken by other pulls and pressures on your time despite this intent. And how quickly the weeks and months can pass when there’s a constant flow of projects and a relentless demand to deliver faster, cheaper and better.
Our latest research revealed that 64% of senior clients said they had been regularly disappointed in the first six months of working with their new agency. Whether that’s a result of unfulfilled expectations or unarticulated assumptions, we know that once opinions are formed, they are difficult to change.
So, it’s critical they are voiced, assessed and addressed quickly, before they affect the quality of the working relationship and the success of the output.
At AAR, we’ve helped clients and agencies assess their partnerships for over a decade.
If you are in your first year of working together, we recommend we deliver your first review – our independent ‘health check’.
After that, if your procurement team has a standard approach, it’s easy to absorb your new agency into that or we can adapt our annual review to suit your needs.
This review pinpoints and diagnoses the realities of working together vs expectations, against the intent and ambitions at the pitch and appointment stage. There is a specific focus on the original objectives that most annual reviews don’t have.
Using a combination of online surveys and stakeholder interviews, it’s quick, simple and time efficient and doesn’t detract from other priorities or day to day delivery. It’s also entirely mutual, with both client and agency committing to the review process practically and, we recommend, financially.
I have worked with AAR over the last 3 years on agency performance reviews. Always collaborative, highly professional and with tangible outputs that both agency and client are able to focus on to improve and maximise relationships, the AAR review has now become a key pillar of our agency management process.
We explore agency strengths and weakness, client strengths and weaknesses, blocks and barriers to efficiency and effectiveness, and the real root causes
We identify gaps in service which need addressing now to reflect any changes post pitch considering people, process and output
Our approach focuses on what matters most, delivered quickly, objectively and with no distraction from you or your team’s day jobs
We’ll advise on the most efficient way to capture senior stakeholders’ views to ensure perceptions don’t derail a successful long term partnership
We will deliver clear recommendations on what needs to change, what needs re-engineering and what needs to be recognised and built on to enable great work
We will suggest changes to your existing SLA’s and KPI’s to ensure the right metrics are tracked and measured moving forwards
We will give you an external perspective by comparing your results against other clients and agencies in their first year together using our unique AAR benchmark data