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'Client of Choice' Rating Can Increase Agency Commitment up To 28%
Landmark Study Reveals the Value of a Good Client-Agency Relationship
LONDON & WASHINGTON, Jun 27, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Advertisers who are considered "client of choice" status by their agencies stand to gain an increase in the agencies' commitment to their account by up to 28%, according to a recent study. An extensive data-mining exercise of several million data inputs conducted by London-based APRAIS and the Advertising and Marketing Communications Roundtable, a division of Corporate Executive Board, shows that the most important factor influencing agency commitment to an account is whether that client is considered to be "Client of Choice" by the agency.

The analysis conducted by the Roundtable was based on anonymized data from more than 1,400 agency-client relationships and several million individual questions answered through the APRAIS client-agency evaluation system.

The study, conducted earlier this year, investigated the different factors that drive agency commitment to the client account, an important measure that impacts how an agency allocates talent to the client, how deeply agency management is involved with the client, their level of initiative, and their willingness to work as a business partner beyond advertising (all things most advertisers say they want from their partners). Among various drivers tested, the two companies found that the most important driver was whether the agency considered the client a "Client of Choice" (defined as enjoyable to work with, providing challenging projects, etc). In fact, clients with high client-of-choice ratings can realize increased agency commitment of up to 28%.

Interestingly, many clients believe that the most important factors driving client-of-choice are beyond their control. Andy Armstrong, Practice Manager for the Advertising and Marketing Communications Roundtable, said "Contrary to conventional wisdom, clients actually have more control over their status as a client-of-choice than they think. Many clients believe client-of-choice is solely driven by the client brand or the value of their account, which, for the most part, is out of the MarComm executive's control; however, many clients under-appreciate client-of-choice drivers that are within their control, eg, offering timely feedback and recognition, being open to fresh creative ideas and new media opportunities, and being a smart consumer of agency resources."

Speaking of the findings, Tony Geary, Managing Director of APRAIS, said, "In what can often be seen as master-servant relationships, this shows that clients can actually extract greater value if they treat the agency as a real partner. Of course, the agency has to live up to the trust placed in it by the client, otherwise it won't last."

About The Advertising and Marketing Communications Roundtable

The Advertising and Marketing Communications Roundtable (www.amcr.executiveboard.com) provides insightful and action-oriented best practices research, data, networking, executive education, benchmarking tools, and decision-support services to a global network of over 300 heads of advertising, marketing and brand communications, and marketing services at leading companies. Drawing on the power of the Corporate Executive Board's cross-functional network from around the executive suite, the Roundtable focuses on topics that are most critical for advertising and marcomm executives: integrated marketing communications, interactive/digital media, agency management, sponsorships, and brand and consumer communications.

About the Corporate Executive Board

The Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ: EXBD) provides analysis and authoritative guidance to the world's most successful organizations. With a member network of over 80% of the Fortune 500, the Corporate Executive Board delivers indispensable resources for timely decision-making on all issues related to strategy, operations and general management. For more information, visit www.exbd.com.

About APRAIS (www.aprais.com)

APRAIS is the global leader in advertising performance evaluation, improvement and remuneration.

Based on proprietary technology tools, APRAIS is able to manage and assess the perception of the relationship between advertisers and their marketing communications agencies; to provide actual measures of relationship performance. Working side by side with both companies and agencies, these 'soft data' performance scores are tracked over time and can be incorporated, along with other measures, into PBR (Payment By Results) calculations.

APRAIS is unique in that it has built a database of over 4,000 agency-client relationships in 42 countries, involving 300 agencies, 200 clients and over 10 million individual questions answered. This has enabled APRAIS to create "Agency Performance Benchmarks" against which companies can better understand and improve their relationships, maximizing both real and emotional ROI from marketing communications.

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in London, UK, APRAIS is an independent organisation that has offices across Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East and Africa. With a network of 19 offices and 33 senior personnel worldwide, APRAIS works with local and international clients and agencies across a variety of industry sectors.

APRAIS evaluates relationships every 6 months, using a 360degree appraisal process and a proprietary on-line tool for collecting and analysing data at various levels.

The parties are helped to understand the dynamics of their relationships, action plans - short-term and long-term can be drawn up, providing guidance to both parties to enhance the relationship further.

APRAIS is available for all marketing communications relationships including:

-- Above the Line

-- Media Planning & Buying

-- Public Relations

-- Sponsorship

-- CRM / Direct Marketing

-- Digital

-- Market Research

-- Packaging Design

SOURCE: Corporate Executive Board

Corporate Executive Board
Joni Renick, 571-303-4074
jrenick@executiveboard.com
or
APRAIS Worldwide
Tony Geary, +44 1661853875
tony.geary@aprais.com