Performance reviews… Why do marketers implement and adhere to a performance review program for their staff?

Obviously because it allows staff and managers to re-group, and ensure they’re on the right track in terms of KPI’s, marketing goals, and ultimately the business plan.

Given the meaningfulness of such reviews, why is it that some marketers don’t see the inherent need to apply a similar review program with their marketing suppliers?

Ok, so some marketers do. In fact, we have tracked performance of agencies for some of Australia’s biggest marketers and have witnessed the benefits for both the agency and the clients. We’ve seen turnarounds in agency performance as well as identified triggers for poor agency service delivery. We’ve seen major improvements in client/agency relationships when they use the reviews as an opportunity to re-group and check where each stakeholder is at in terms of KPIs.

As for the marketers that don’t apply a performance review program with their agency partners, maybe it’s a case of ‘which tool do I use?’ and ‘how much will it cost’?

We’ve seen the emergence of myriad DIY agency performance assessment tools that, on the surface, appear attractive to cost conscious procurement departments wishing to fulfil a contract requirement to assess agency service delivery. But will they enable that re-group opportunity, and help to ultimately drive results for the business? What do these generic software offerings really deliver for marketing departments wishing to make a genuine assessment of the quality and value of the relationship with their agency partners?

Then there’s the marketing-focused performance survey route. There are several tools in the market (we’ve got one ourselves, called Benchmark ACE ©). They all have varied offerings, and you will need to consider what’s right for you. Ask yourself, which tool will:

  • Highlight your agency’s strengths and identify areas for improvement
  • Identify any client side obstacles to agency success
  • Investigate service and knowledge levels and needs
  • Clarify expectations and provide a roadmap for agencies to develop action plans for improvement
  • Recognise individual efforts
  • Provide a link to remuneration
  • Benchmark performance across an agency roster against common service expectations

Talk to your network, see what’s on the market, and tailor a performance solution that’s right for you, your team, and your marketing partners. Bear in mind that an average or below average result does not have to mean the end of a client/agency relationship. Rather it can inform both parties on the necessary steps to take to improve the relationship by identifying key areas for improvement – on both sides.