Thursday, May 31, 2007

Agencies or Clients: Who is Worse?

The cover story of Marketing News is called "Proving Ground: Greater need for ROI calls agencies' role into question."

Fascinating statistic in it:

  • A recent study by the CMO Council showed that half of public relations and advertising firms' clients likely would switch agencies this year;
  • 54% of 350 marketers surveyed plan to drop one of their agencies this year.
  • Meanwhile, PR firms experienced the largest turnover among all types of marketing agencies in 2006, with more than 35% of marketers replacing their PR agencies last year.
The study cited "poor performance, lack of strategy and creative firepower and insufficient outcomes" as the things that made clients irate.

So whose fault is it?
  • Are agencies only interested in creating funny nonsense, so they've lost focus on the bottom line?
  • Or have clients started to treat their agencies like hourly vendors, and then wondered why they're not as connected as they were when they were treated (and paid) like partners?
  • Are agencies focused on their own bottom line more than their clients' bottom line?
  • Or do clients fail to disclose, stick to (or even have) a clear strategy and measurement plan, leaving them to judge executions based on personal preference
I've been a client for years and now I'm on the agency side, so I've seen some of both... Over the next couple days I'm going to focus separately on what makes a good client and what makes a good agency... Maybe we'll find a happy middle ground somewhere.

UPDATE: First article is up: "What Makes a Good Advertising Client."

As always, I welcome your comments.