How would you define “red tape”?  

One description is the “bureaucratic practice of hair splitting or foot dragging, blamed by its practitioners on the system that forces them to follow prescribed procedures to the letter”.

The term has been incorrectly used more recently when the industry discusses the ever increasing role of procurement in the selection of marketing services providers.

It is becoming a common label to challenge the activities of procurement and compliance services as a barrier to achieving client objectives.  However, what is the risk of cutting the “red tape”?

There are real cost implications in taking short cuts to due process. The involvement of a good procurement facilitator within the agency selection and management process, combined with third party industry expertise, can turn red tape into best practice process management.      

Some examples of best practice checks to deliver efficiency and transparency include:

  • Clear campaign objectives matched by insightful strategy that provide considered and detailed rationale for media weights, geographic considerations and target audience consumption.
  • Provision of real and appropriate (i.e. not inflated) planning costs with expected outcomes by channel.
  • Three quote policies for all third party costs including Demand Side Platforms with a declaration by the agency should there be a vested interest.
  • Reconciliation of all campaigns through detailed, transparent and meaningful post analysis.
  • Invoices formatted to include spot detail and itemised costs versus lump sum amounts.
  • Clear contractual guidelines for all service requirements and fees including transparency around ad serving rates and third party software mark ups and right to audit.
  • Quarterly third party review of campaign activity and agency invoices including third party costs.

Benefits marketers are seeing through best practice management include:

  • Greater transparency of marketing budget spend and performance
  • Ability to identify areas of wastage and investment opportunity
  • Refinement of true planning costs for efficient budget management
  • Detailed invoices providing greater efficiency in invoice approval and spot validation
  • Understanding of where agency relationships lie for all third party suppliers with a transparent view of costs
  • Development and application of insightful learnings for future marketing activity
  • The evolution of a culture of continuous improvement
  • A healthy respectful client/agency relationship working towards common objectives.

Agencies may push back claiming this is extra workload to provide this level of detail and transparency, yet you should expect your agency to provide you with best practice. After all, it is your money!

Call Enth Degree to find out more.