The middle of the year provides a timely opportunity to touch base with your agencies.
These Northern Hemisphere summer months offer advantages in that the speed of business is relatively a little slower.
Marketers and agency teams might have a little more time to step back, think about their client-agency relationships and complete an evaluation survey.
In a slightly slower business environment, Program Administrators have a little more time to prepare and conduct the evaluation, to prepare and distribute the results, and to foster discussions about what actions follow.
On the other hand, summer obviously means people are on holidays and securing high response rates can require more outbound communication to targeted respondents.
Providing an early warning can help to raise awareness that an evaluation will be conducted.
Timing the evaluation to avoid the period when most people are away and perhaps leaving the assessment window open slightly longer than otherwise can all help to ensure good response rates.
If you’re not conducting mid-year evaluations, then it’s not a bad idea to run a test and assess if the right people, and the right numbers of people are responding to your satisfaction.
Some advertisers time their full-evaluations for the middle of the calendar year. They take advantage of the business climate to go deep and dig into their agency environments. Generating good intelligence around this time provides good guidance and enough time to ensure things are in place and progressing well to meet end-of-year advertising and business targets.
On the other hand, if your program features a comprehensive end-of year review, then mid-year evaluations can serve as a valuable pulse check to see if things are tracking to the expectations of stakeholders. Waiting a full year to track results is sometimes less than ideal, particularly if relationships and performance aren’t actually meeting expectations across the board.
A lighter pulse check, focusing those key items revealed as most important in the end-of-year assessment captures data that can inform decision making to steer the ship back on course.
Identifying concrete actions, putting them in play and generating positive outcomes is the most powerful technique to ensure ongoing high levels of engagement in agency evaluation programs. When respondents’ can see that their input contributes to improvements, motivation stays high to participate in the next round of evaluations.
Action Programs should feature a visible level of formality and structure to engender confidence in the program.
That is, communicating a successful cycle of Evaluation – Results – Actions – Improvements is satisfying and important to administrators, marketers, agency staff and the program champions in the C-suite.
Right now we’re in the middle of Calendar 2018 and it’s not too late to conduct an evaluation to guide your client-agency relationships through-out the 2nd half of the year. If you’d like help or advice, please let us know and we can provide access to our expert Project Managers who work closely with many clients in all major markets.