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Clarity Of Purpose : Best-practice Agency Evaluation Series Part 1


Common agency evaluation issues


A common problem we encounter with relationship reviews is that participants at all levels are often unclear about the purpose of the program, and how it is implemented. Typically this problem occurs when a program has been in place for a number of years and has taken on a life of its own. The problem with this state of affairs is that administrators, evaluators and the agencies all become disenchanted and therefore reluctant to participate.

What's the purpose of your agency evaluation program?


Advertisers with best practice relationship evaluation programs ensure that all participants in the program — administrators, evaluators and the agencies — know clearly why the program is in place and how it is implemented. Questions to consider here include:-

  • What is the purpose of our evaluation program?
  • Is the program solely focused on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of our agency/supplier in order to improve their performance and our satisfaction with their performance? Or are other issues involved as well e.g. the calculation of incentive compensation payments?
  • Is the key purpose to help us understand how the agency/supplier could do better (one way review), or we do also want to know how we could better mange the agency/supplier (360 degree review)?
  • What actions do we intend to take at the end of each review e.g. meeting of senior management from the client and the agency/supplier? Do we intend to develop an Action Plan to direct the next steps?



Best practice evaluation programs should have clarity of purpose. The programs lead to actions that have value for all stakeholders. Everyone in the program is on board.