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Working with agencies

The client-agency relationship can be key to producing effective communications. Disagreements over remuneration and lack of communication remain major sources of friction between the two sides, and in the media space transparency has recently become a key client concern. With more media options than ever, big advertisers tend to work with a range of agencies, rather than a one-stop creative and media shop. Tasking them all on delivering separate, but holistic, brand communications can be a highly complex process.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This guide summarises key arguments around the topic of taking on, managing and measuring advertising agencies, offering marketers practical advice from experts, with links to other papers on the topic. It offers key reading from the beginning to the end of the process, from finding an agency to evaluating its performance.
Best Practice guidance and tips based on an analysis of over 8,000 client-agency relationships.
Best Practice paper on ways to remunerate agencies beyond traditional models of agency compensation.
Why companies are moving strategy, creative and digital to in-house agencies
Advice and insights for clients on to manage their advertising agencies more effectively.

Case Study

In 2000, Cuisine was the market leader with a high subscription base and no serious competition to speak of.
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Article

This article examines how marketers should respond to the ongoing trend in B2B organisations by which buying is becoming more complex and buying journeys more digital, while marketing silos are coming down.

Article

This article claims that many marketers take an unsophisticated approach to key account management, even though the majority of their business comes from a few big customers, and identifies five steps they can take to improve their efforts.

Article

This report analyses results from a global WARC survey of senior agency planners, covering the current state of the strategic discipline, future opportunities and challenges, and guidance on building the planning team of the future.

Article

This article advises that complex business problems cannot be solved one silo at a time and that both agencies and clients need better integration.

Research Paper

This report details the findings of a study into the costs and economics of the programmatic advertising ecosystem, and offers practical solutions to help advertisers take greater control of their programmatic investments.
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  1. Article

    This report analyses results from a global WARC survey of senior agency planners, covering the current state of the strategic discipline, future opportunities and challenges, and guidance on building the planning team of the future.

  2. Article

    This event report addresses attempts by McDonald's, the restaurant chain, to pursue marketing "at the speed of now".

  3. Article

    In this article, Paul Feldwick, former planner at BMP/DDB, discusses what the legacy of the 'planning revolution' is today and what aspect of it, if any, has value for the future.

  4. Article

    This article argues that the real role of the strategist is to find new growth by answering the big questions that face the organisation and embracing the need to step beyond the conditions that have delivered success to date.

  5. Article

    This essay argues that agencies are fundamentally optimistic, while boardrooms are rather more glass-half-empty; agencies look to optimise while boardrooms prefer to limit damage, so agencies should use this paradigm to prove their value as 'immunisers'.

  6. Article

    This paper outlines a process to help avoid making costly mistakes in giving feedback on creative advertising ideas.

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