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Marketer Participation: Best-practice Agency Evaluation Series Part 4

agency evaluation

Agency Evaluation Issues


Low levels of participation by potential assessors often undermine relationship evaluation programs. This is a problem for 2 important reasons:

  • A basic goal of an agency relationship program is to uncover views at all levels and touch points in the relationship, an objective that is ever harder to achieve as issues of geography and devolvement come into play;

  • High levels of participation in the program enhance its value and credibility.

Improve Marketer Participation


Agency relationships typically unravel from the bottom up. Every agency knows to keep the CMO happy! But what about the team handling the day-to-day business? What about the team in some far-off country? If the goal of the program is to optimize performance and satisfaction in the relationship then the views of all participants must be sought. Early detection of problems – or more positively, the discovery of successes – is the best way to optimize the relationship.

Turning to levels of participation, the more people that contribute then the better the result. As with market research or elections, the outcome becomes both richer and more representative as participation levels increase. And the more robust the input, the more valued the outcome.

These problems can be addressed in a number of ways:

  • Ensuring that the program is designed to be “bottom up”. For example, our global advertisers invariably evaluate local brand relationships and then roll these up to get a total country outcome, then regional and then global. Evaluating from this local level means that every assessor has a real and meaningful reason to participate;
  • Optimizing the user friendliness of the questionnaire or scorecard e.g. by limiting the assessment criteria to approximately 15-25 questions.
  • Making the assessment process intuitive; if explanations and training are required, participation rates fall;
  • Offering the ability for assessors to be able to easily add comments as well as score.