edition 29 november 4 2004
supplier or partner?
In the past three months the team at P3 has been busy with the benchmarking and negotiation of some major creative and media contracts. Through these engagements we have developed some significant insights into the key issues currently facing advertisers and their agencies. In this edition of P3 e-news we discuss the basis of the relationship between advertiser and their agency and the impact the remuneration model has on this. P3 ? helping people achieve commercial purpose through creative process Share this with a friend or colleague by clicking on the link below or add them to the ?p3 news? mailing list, by emailing their details to people@p3.com.au

is your agency a supplier or a partner? While many people in the industry talk about being in partnership with their agency or with their client, the majority of remuneration models do not support this position. Many advertisers and their procurement executives take a buyer/supplier view of these relationships, while the agencies often approach the relationship talking about a partnership. But what is the difference? Which of these is correct? And what impact does this have on remuneration? supplier / n. one who furnishes with what is lacking or required, to satisfy a need or demand This broad description captures the relationship between advertisers and their agencies, where the client requires the provision of creative communication ideas developed for their specific needs and then executed to an agreed plan. Just because this service is customised to the needs of the client does not make the agency a partner. partner / n. : Law. one associated with another or others as principal or contributor in a business, usu. sharing its risks and profits. The key point here is they share the risks and the profits. Lets look at some typical remuneration models in the market and determine if they reflect a supplier relationship or partnership. Media Commissions & Service Fees A number of clients still use this buyer/seller mode of remuneration, with the client buying media/services and the agency supplying these with the remunerated based on the volume bought, not on the quality of work or outcome. Retainer and / or Project Fee These are a derivation of the head hour model, where the resource required is calculated or estimated and the total fee is paid for each service, project or outcome. Rather than based on expenditure the focus has moved to the client buying human resources and paying the associated costs. Advantage: 1.    The buyer knows the cost up front and is able to budget 2.    Guarantees the cash flow for the supplier against a set human resource. 3.    Buyers can make informed decisions on whether these services are cost effective and essential. Weakness: 1.    No recognition of the value created in the form of intellectual property or revenue or profit generated by the supplier 2.    Difficulties defining the service levels and quality of the personnel required to provide those service levels. 3.    Irrespective of doing an outstanding job or a hopeless job, profitability remains the same. Performance Based Remuneration (PBR) PBR is increasingly popular as a way of providing an incentive for the agency and usually takes the form of sacrificing profit margin. The most successful models use a mix of soft, medium and hard measures. 1.    Soft measures: relationship objectives measured by systems such as APRAIS. 2.    Medium measures: marketing measures eg. brand awareness, desirability or propensity to purchase. 3.    Hard measures: business measures eg. sales increases, market share, market penetration or even share price. Difficulties: 1.    Achieving agreement on the measures, especially the hard measures such as sales. 2.    Difficulty managing the PBR as a floating component within their budget, with a “use it or lose it” accounting practice. 3.    PBR measures that are complex, difficult, time consuming and costly to administer and implement. Partnership Behaviour So what does constitute a partnership? Where the agency share in the risks and rewards. 1.    100% of the agency profit at risk based on PBR. 2.    Linking all agency profit to the sales success or profitability of the client. 3.    Investing time and resources with a major profit or revenue share. 4.    Joint venture with agency as the outsourced marketing / advertising department. Conclusion Not every client wants a partner. Not every client wants a supplier. The basis of any remuneration should compensate a supplier for their costs with a reasonable profit or reward the partner for the value they create in the business. Advertisers and their agencies need to understand the type of relationship they want and develop remuneration models that reflect and sustain that relationship, not just pay lip service to it. P3 has experience in developing customized remuneration models based on industry benchmarks and best practice. To find out more contact biz@p3.com.au
talking remuneration

 

P3 founder Darren Woolley recently presented this topic on Agency Remuneration & Relationships at the B&T Advertising & Marketing Summit 2004.

The Summit was held on October 26 & 27 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For details on obtaining copies of this paper and other click here to go to www.acevents.com.au/ad2004/

it starts with the strategy
The junction between marketing objectives and creative execution is strategy development. Here is the point where the process can succeed or fail in a spectacular fashion. Brendan van Maanen leads the team at P3Process in helping advertisers ensure they and their agency are getting the maximum value from their strategy development process. To discuss how P3Process can help you contact Brendan by email brendan@p3.com.au  
benchmarking your tv production costs online
Imagine the next time your agency presents a television estimate, instead of looking at the bottom line you can see how each cost center compares to the industry average? The P3TV online benchmark application provides advertisers with a benchmark report instantly showing how the cost items on the estimate compare to the industry benchmarks. To find out more try the demo at www.p3tv.com.au/app  

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