What Clients Expect From Agencies and Agencies From Clients – An inside look at 360 appraisals


Nearly 60% of agency appraisal scores, based on a first wave review, are not meeting expectations. A surprising stat based on 130+ agency appraisal surveys we’ve conducted at Flock over the past 2 years. To help improve client/agency relations we wanted to share our findings, highlighting areas where high performing agencies excel, areas where agencies typically score low and the clear correlation between agency and client performance. The insights are from our Agency Appraisal Tool, an automated, cloud based tool consisting of Client on Agency, Agency on Client and Self appraisals, providing a 360 perspective which you can view here: Agency Appraisal Tool


Data vs Flock Industry Benchmark

  • Accessibility (+14%) – agency partners who are accessible and can quickly adapt and respond to requests and changes are highly valued by clients. Based on qualitative feedback it’s also clear that great account leads are at the heart of successful client/agency relationships.
  • Consistency in output (+13%) – those agencies who consistently deliver high quality work, clearly outperform their peers.
  • Openness and transparency (+11%) – the best agency/client partnerships are those that are built on openness and transparency, where each has clarity on all aspects of the business and relationship and where the agency is seen as a seamless extension of the marketing team.


  • Collaboration to deliver the right content to the right consumer (-20%) – clients expect a high level of collaboration between teams and agency partners to optimise content against audiences, media channels and touchpoints, but many are simply not receiving this.
  • Audience planning tools (-18%) – the 2nd lowest scoring area is where clients don’t believe their agencies are getting audience planning right. Providing a robust approach with practical tools is key.
  • Best practice sharing & proactivity (-15%) – many clients do not feel their agencies proactively share innovative ideas and best practice learnings from other brands, without prompting.
  • Access to performance dashboards (-15%) – clients are seeking greater visibility to performance dashboards to enable on-going optimisation of campaigns vs waiting to review results after the fact.


Based on the “Agency on Client” Appraisals, of those Clients rated by their Agency as “very good”:

  • 29% had agencies rated as “very good”
  • 81% had agencies rated as “good and met expectations”
  • With less than 20% having agencies that “didn’t meet expectations and needed improvement”

Those Clients rated by their Agency as “high performing” felt they had:

  • 43% better creative output
  • 36% better leadership and
  • 16% better media planning from their agencies

Areas of Client performance that led to better agency performance were;

  • Providing well defined, clear and focused briefs
  • Providing meaningful business data and insights
  • Providing ample time for response and adherence to agreed timelines
  • Delivering feedback that is clear and internally aligned across client stakeholders
  • Openness to innovation, testing and learning

While no two client/agency relationships are the same, we hope these insights can help enhance relations and improve those that may be going off track. If they are, please get in touch as our experience is most relations can be course corrected through bi-annual 360 Appraisals and Get Fit Workshops, As we have worked agency and client side, we understand the challenges of each, can provide a balanced perspective and help hit the re-set button.

If you would like further information on our Agency Appraisal Tool or Get Fit workshops, which we’re doing virtually at this time, please get in touch.