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Agency Leadership

Top 10 common commercially damaging ad agency practices

By July 27, 2012 No Comments

Over-servicing and discounting rates are just a couple of bad agency practices

How many of the following agency practices can you identify with?

Over-servicing clients

Following a straw poll, the average over-servicing percentage is 30{3e234da05fbbdc43a47fef4bb820620bdc41c4d21ad7649eedb08be0e65da68e} for the majority of agencies. How good is your agency at working within the budget? How do you think it could be improved? What needs to change to make that happen?

Discounting rates and fees to win business

Does your agency leadership alter their fees and hourly rates to ensure they win the business? How does that affect your agency’s profitability?

Failure to qualify new business opportunities

Agencies will often readily commit the company’s top senior talent for an average of three weeks to work on a pitch. This often jeopardises delivery of existing client work. Many don’t profile the prospect, ask probing questions or even meet them in person. Does this sound familiar?

Absence of a strategic approach to new business

‘Strategic’ meaning that the agency profiles the most profitable client, actively pursues similar clients, measures cost of sale (from prospect contact to final pitch), thoroughly qualifies new prospects with a standard questionnaire, has a consistent process to follow for getting new business etc?

No staff succession planning

Is your agency regularly talking to talent in the industry? Do you know who your ‘rising stars’ are? Who’s coming up through the ranks with potential? Who is paying attention to nurturing the talent?

No ‘handover’ system

How often do staff leave and new ones start from scratch and try to uncover the basic account information? Do you have a database? What’s the handover process? Do you have one?

Working without purchase orders

How often do you start work without a purchase order? How has this affected your ability to ask for more money when the brief changes half way through the project and doesn’t match what was originally asked for?

Lack of quarterly resource planning

How often does it take you surprise that a key member of staff is on holiday during a particular busy period? How did that happen? Why do you end up having to pay additional freelance costs at your busiest times? Did anyone plan for that? Why not?

No cost analysis and adjustment of estimates

Do you analyse how much you charge for projects? Do you keep your estimates roughly the same despite every job going over? Who ensures you are charging accurately for what the job actually costs? Are individual account managers charging what they always charge? How has that affected business?

No regular evaluation of staff performance

Is the annual review affective? Are you talking to your staff regularly about performance? Are you hiring in haste and repenting at leisure? Hiring the wrong person for the job is a hidden cost to the agency and due to insufficient staff performance reviews is often unidentified and no corrective action is taken. Are you evaluating your team’s performance and giving regular feedback?

Please let me know how you score? Do you feel your agency performs pretty well? Please leave a comment in the box below.

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