Maximising Your Agency Relationships – People


Simon Francis

It amazes us how often marketers talk about the pros and cons of different agencies, without considering the people in them.

At Flock, we believe agencies are just platforms for people. We know this because we’ve not just worked in agencies, but we’ve run them at the highest levels.

An agency is often not ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but teams within an agency can be, depending upon the talent. And, an agency may have a great reputation but the talent that garnered such plaudits, may have left.

This is why when we work for advertisers on pitches, ‘Get Fit’ exercises or agency appraisals, we heavily focus on the agency talent.

An advertiser that can attract the best agency talent on to their business, nurture them, help them work as a team and reward them has the highest chance of sustainable success. It doesn’t matter what sort of agency you use, or indeed if your agency is insourced or in-housed.

So, here is a questionnaire for your 100% honest consideration. If the answer to any of the questions is ‘no’ then fix up or give us a call!

  1. Do you and your marketers understand how agencies work?
  2. Do you have the best of the agency’s people?
  3. Do you have the best way of keeping the best people?
  4. Do you inspire your agency to greatness?

Procurement have a major & increasing role to play in managing agencies, but their value can be increased with a mix of both hard and soft skills.

Here are some of the things that marketing procurement should be doing:

  • running ‘agency business model’ days and ‘are you a good client’ days with marketers
  • have marketers interview agency staff for key roles or have independent audit of key staff to get best talent (we work with our recruitment partners Grace Blue to assess key roles for our clients)
  • marketing procurement should contract for inclusivity & diversity and encourage processes that build solutions as diverse as the world we live in
  • make sure the key people are scoped on key projects. The Flock Agency Scoping Tool can help identify who works on what
  • procurement should contract for learning & development and for brand/consumer on-boarding sessions – you want your agency to be brand advocates and to the best equipped to do their job as possible!
  • marketing procurement may wish to consider where the bonus paid on their business goes — does it go to the staff that has earned it, or to holding company’s profit?
  • budget & contract for innovation, recognition, fun and spirit building — you want to be a magnet for talent inside and outside of your current agency
  • marketing procurement must work for the agency, inside marketing, looking to fix issues and problems in a constructive way to create a strong and enduring relationship. The Flock Agency Appraisal Tool is the ideal solution for identifying issues, fixes and progress

So, if you failed the test questions or believe your marketing or procurement colleagues may do so, or you want to know how to maximise your agency relationship, then don’t hesitate to give us a call.