I just read an interesting article on how local businesses in a small resort town are asking the city for better reporting, more accountability and standardized metrics.

agencies need to start paying attention

Too many marketing firms are not listening.

Shrinking revenues are creating pressure on the small town’s finances, and now they must become far more fiscally accountable.  The local businesses are pushing for better accountability so limited funding can be directed at the most productive activities.

Some of those who are attempting to analyze the productivity reports that are submitted claim the lack of financial or demographic data standards makes it impossible to fairly evaluate the productivity from either an economic or community-relations perspective.

Change the Players.

The city is the marketing manager, brand manager, or director of advertising at any one of your clients. The business leaders are acting as the C-suite. CFO, CEO, CMO, etc. In these tough times every action, every marketing plan, every cost will be studied. Analyzed. Picked clean.

What are the goals? How will we measure success? What is the ROI?

This is something business consultants in the world understand, and something they build into their proposals each and every time. Call it a cost/benefit analysis, matrix reporting, measurable deliverables, but they speak the language of the C-suite.

How is it impacting your agency and what are you doing to deal with the changes? Expecting things to remain the same is not an option! Perhaps take a page from the consultants?

Account Management is Stressed from All Sides:

By clients:

  • Unclear about their role
  • Unhappy about their cost of service
  • Unhappy with the lack of tangible results provided

By agency management:

  • Expensive assets
  • Suppose to keep clients happy and they’re not
  • Too many seem to be on the client’s side

By agency creative management:

  • Unable to sell the good stuff in
  • Dictates to creative too much
  • Doesn’t provide good input on what needs to be done

By agency financial operations:

  • Wouldn’t charge what the job is worth
  • Takes client side in any dispute
  • Won’t do time sheets

Account management is a critical agency function that is under serious scrutiny by both clients and agency management. With good reason. In the rush to get the work out, agencies hired and promoted quickly. Now many agencies have an account service department made up of inexperienced people who haven’t the marketing knowledge or advertising skills to help the agency or support clients. These inexperienced account management members tend to focus on what they know best: managing projects through the agency.

Rethink Account Management.

The answer for agencies is to train their account teams in new skills, showing them how to work smarter, not harder. And High Gear, a high impact, one-day on-site learning experience for account management from Sanders Consulting Group, is the best way to do that. Act now and get some account service training.

All members of the account staff, from the junior level up to group account directors, will benefit greatly by attending High Gear. Additionally, anyone who works on a regular basis with clients (creative, design, media, planning, production and ancillary services such as PR and interactive) will find the High Gear training invaluable. Your full team’s participation will accelerate this program’s impact.

If you’re interested please reach out, [email protected] and let’s schedule time for High Gear. The program is supported with a 120-page teaching manual that keeps the learning fresh for years.


Great photo by cookiemonstah