At a high level there’s good news from this study for agencies: overall client satisfaction with agencies is high.
But a closer examination of the results points to a number of issues agencies need to think about. Agency proactivity, account coordination, quality, staff turnover, meeting objectives, meeting budget and deadlines were all issues of concern for communications executives.
Client organizations often reported being unimpressed with agency responses to RFPs. Boilerplate responses, upselling, and off-base proposals were all raised as issues, and reasons why agencies fail to move beyond the RFP hurdle of the search process.
With a third of respondents indicating some level of concern around their search process and the agencies they had selected, and data showing clients working with agencies to align expectations after they have been hired, it’s clear that client-agency relationships may not always start on the right foot.
There are clear consequences of this. We found that 70% of client-primary agency relationships were three years or less in duration. So, agency turnover is clearly an issue – and given the kind of budgets reported, agency turnover is not good for corporate communications executives or agency leaders.
How can agencies avoid missteps in the hiring process, increase the odds of being selected, and give themselves the best chance of building long-term relationships with client organizations? Here are some recommendations:
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