The Agency Scoping Process is broken – here’s how to fix it!


Our scopes of work are a mess, how can I get oversight as to what my agencies are actually doing?

We have no control over agency spend, it’s like a bar tab, how can I have visibility of fees?

How do I know if I’m still paying a competitive and equitable rate for my agencies?

– sound familiar?

The purpose of the scoping process is to define the scope of work, objectives, resource and agency fee on a project or annual basis. It helps establish a clear understanding and agreement between the advertiser and agency as to ‘what’ needs to be achieved and ‘how’ this will take place. Essentially, the client wants to be clear on what they are getting for their agency fee, ensuring this delivers against business needs and the right talent is secured for the right price. The agency wants to ensure clarity of what activities are required, set expectations, and ensure they will be fairly compensated and rewarded. The Scoping Process needs to be a well-oiled machine to ensure, agency scoping can be accurate, efficient, and effective to ensure nothing slips through the net. As we know, however, this is the case more often than not!

The top 6 scoping process issues we see across our clients are:

  1. Lack of agency fee transparency
  2. Out of date agency fee benchmark data
  3. Painful, manual, inefficient scoping process in excel
  4. Lack of trackability and access to historic negotiations
  5. Repetitive scoping of agencies that increases workload
  6. Limited options and capabilities around fee analysis

These issues can easily snowball leading to a painful, inefficient process fuelled by incorrect agency fee data, duplication of work across scopes and the inability to compare between scopes and agencies.

Whilst these issues can feel deeply embedded within an organisation, thankfully there are ways to fix it!

1. Streamlined Deliverables Taxonomy – clearly define each activity within a scope including description, frequency and any modifiers based upon varying levels/versions of an activity. By building out an exhaustive list of all agency activities in this detail, you can ensure specificity and transparency with your agency and enable like for like comparisons between scopes and markets. You can also integrate the taxonomy with a set pricing model to streamline agency fee and scope development.

2. Central Scope Management System – by investing in a scope management system, scopes can be stored and governed in a central location, enabling review of historically negotiated rates, quick access to agency scopes, seamless comparisons between deliverables, scopes, agency fees etc. and consistency between markets.

3. Regular fee benchmarking – an annual review of your agency fees against a robust industry benchmark will ensure you are still getting the best value for money and optimum seniority mix against your scopes. Benchmarking will enable you to continue to evolve your client-agency relationship and ensure you are investing in the correct deliverables and talent.

4. End to end process review – reset your scoping process by clearly defining roles and responsibilities, breaking down silos, determine required output at each stage and embed solid governance approaches.

If you are looking to fix your Scoping Process and build future proof scoping approach, get in touch. Our Flock Agency Scoping Tool is designed to boost transparency around agency fee, provide a robust industry comparison and deliver a structured, central scope management system. Our expert team can also help to run a comprehensive review of your scoping process, develop a unique deliverables taxonomy, provide comparison between agencies/markets, and upgrade your end-to-end marketing process. Let’s work together to fix your scoping process!

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