Measuring What Matters: How to Find True Value in an Agency Partner
During the recent AMA/PRSA Boston event, "CMO's Dilemma: Leveraging Agency Partners for Maximum Success," it was clear that brands are more discerning than ever about their agency partners. Therefore, PR, marketing and digital agencies must go to greater lengths to prove they can provide immediate value to their clients.
But what does value mean when it comes to measuring the success of agency partnerships?
If you think it has only to do with results, think again. The secret sauce of a successful partnership is in the relationship. If you think of your agency as one of your employees, it’s not easy to overlook a lack of chemistry with your team, even if the employee is exceeding every one of their goals. Similarly, if your agency is getting results, but doesn’t demonstrate a passion for your business or act as a true extension of your internal team, the partnership will ultimately fall flat.
These are the measurements that matter – and what we analyze each year as part of our client satisfaction survey.
Now in its 19th year, our survey – sent to multiple members within our clients’ organizations, from PR contacts to marketing, sales and leadership – polls our clients for open and honest feedback that directly influences how we execute our clients’ PR programs. While we’re constantly in touch with our clients for regular feedback, this data-driven client satisfaction exercise solicits feedback that informs our client service, staffing and future strategic planning.
Through a number of lenses – from passion and creativity to proactivity and writing – we assess the elements that make our partnerships thrive. Results are part of the puzzle, but only part. And, when we discuss results, it’s in the context of moving the needle. Did our work actually deliver on the programs and goals we promised? Through our analysis of clients’ responses, we assess whether we’re providing value for our clients’ budget.
How did we do this year? Highlights from our 2018 survey include:
90 percent of clients said they view Greenough as an extension of their own team
89 percent of clients said Greenough demonstrates a passion for their business
87 percent of clients said Greenough delivers on their program’s goals
100 percent of clients say they would recommend Greenough as an agency of record
Of course, data tell only part of the story. We encourage clients to share verbatims as well. Responses this year included:
“The Greenough team is proactive, responsible and absolutely excellent to work with. They are an extension of our marketing team and we trust them with our brand and messaging implicitly.”
“I'm always impressed by the ability of the Greenough Team, they are insightful, smart, strategic and, quite honestly, fun to work with, which really makes all the difference.”
“The team continues to deliver tremendous value to our brand and PR. They are such an integral part of our team; it is almost like they are long term employees of our company.”
That last verbatim was from the CEO of a longstanding client, and we’re incredibly proud of it. After nearly 20 years of client satisfaction surveys, this unique level of feedback from our clients is ingrained in our company culture. We measure what matters and, while there are many lessons learned, the true takeaways lie in the myriad ways we provide value to our clients –beyond results, rooted in relationships.