The minefield of agency evaluation by potential clients received a long overdue sweeping on Monday with the publication of a joint-industry guide on best practice.

Four British marketing bodies - the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, the Marketing Communications Consultants Association and the Public Relations Consultants Association - have evolved an Evaluation Best Practice Guide, which outlines the latest thinking and learning on agency evaluation.

Using insight from the first cross-industry research ever undertaken into how clients and agencies evaluate their marketing communications, the guide recommends three key methods to use in the process: time series analysis, regional analysis and competitive analysis.

It also discusses ways to evaluate beyond the (typical) short-term increase in volume of sales, citing in example brand value and non-consumer effects.

Key points from the cross industry research are:

  • 95% of clients say they evaluate, but less than 20% evaluate the effects on profits

  • Clients believe that evaluation data is not used to its greatest effect internally

  • 90% of clients believe evaluation data should be used in remunerating agencies

  • 65% of media agencies find it hard to get data for evaluation out of the relevant sources

  • Over 90% of advertising agency planners and account handlers view evaluation as an essential tool yet only 36% of them have had any formal training

  • 90% of clients and their agencies would be interested in a guide to evaluation
The Evaluation Guide is available free online by clicking here.

Data sourced from Institute of Practitioners in Advertising; additional content by WARC staff