As we begin to conquer a new year and approach our year anniversary, Agency Scouts are looking ahead at what we hope will be a year of extraordinary achievements for us and our clients.
Whilst we have no doubt that achieving these will require late nights and laborious days, our founding mission continues to inspire us each day. That is to help brands and agencies across the UK grow together.
For my first Founder’s Notes article of the new year, I thought it appropriate to share with all a few things we’ll be bringing your way throughout the remaining 11 months of 2018. There are many other exciting developments we have planned, but in this article I will simply cover a few of those I am most excited about.
These include an entirely new solution to help ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’; a change to our existing solutions to combat poor diversity and culture within agencies; and a new way for you to access our insights.
Introducing the Agency Scouts Trusted Partners Programme
There are an endless number of so-called accreditations agencies can flaunt to attract new clients. Having lead an agency, I always found the ease of gaining these accreditations shocking.
In most cases, they would simply require a few testimonials from existing clients before giving the agency their ‘stamp of approval’. Rarely would they walk through the door of the agency in question or speak to their past clients.
The Agency Scouts Trusted Partners programme is very different. We require each agency to open their doors to a thorough audit before we will even consider them to be a potential Trusted Partner. It is only through doing this that we can be confident that brands are welcoming a valued partner into the mix.
Within this audit, we’ll delve into their approach to communication, transparency and innovation. We will also analyse their teams efficiency and the results they have achieved for clients. Finally, we will randomly make contact with existing and past clients for a candid opinion on their capabilities.
Following the audit we will then publish an in-depth report, in which we independently rate agencies on each of the cornerstones of a strong client-agency relationship as outlined in our infographic. Each of these reports will be accessible to brands through an online portal.
Once they have received Trusted Partners status, agencies will be required to allow regular audits to maintain their status and remain on our online portal. Those who do not welcome or fail an audit will no longer be a Trusted Partner and be required to no longer use any promotional materials suggesting otherwise.
As we reveal more about the programme, agencies will be able to apply and brands will shortly after be able to access our online portal. If you’re an agency and believe you have what it takes to be a Trusted Partner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing the Diversity and Culture Audit
As per my article published in late 2017, poor diversity and continued harassment plagues ‘Adland’. Not only is this resulting in disgusting treatment of some, but also results in poor results for brands that require the viewpoint of females and minorities within their marketing.
Agency Scouts will be shortly introducing a Diversity and Culture Audit to both our agency selection and auditing solutions. Like existing elements of these solutions, this audit will not be required but instead available at the request of all brands looking to welcome a new agency to their roster or maximise the performance of an existing partner.
Within the Diversity and Culture Audit, we will require agencies to divulge the diversity of their team at all levels and confirm the average salary of various sections of their workforce. We will also speak to existing and previous employees to understand what, if any, cultural challenges they have faced.
Once complete, we will then share our findings with the brand and agency. We will also make recommendations as to how diversity and culture can be improved, therefore allowing the agency to flourish and brand to have confidence in the viewpoints being provided by their partner.
If you’re a brand and have concerns over the diversity and internal culture of your agency partner and believe it could be negatively impacting the results being achieved, please send an email to email@example.com. We’ll explore how our agency selection and auditing solutions can provide you with greater confidence and trust in your agency.
Introducing the Agency Scouts Podcast
As an avid listener to podcasts myself, I understand the desire to listen to our insights whilst on your commute to work or pumping iron at the gym. We are, therefore, working ardently on the introduction of our namesake podcast in the first half of 2018.
The Agency Scouts Podcast will echo the contents of our written blog, with added amusement, candidness and the potential of special guests. New episodes will land fortnightly and provide insights on agency procurement and management, as well as dissect the latest news impacting brands and marketing leaders.
When the first episode is available, you’ll be able to listen on our website and SoundCloud. We’ll also look to make each episode readily available on your favourite podcast app, such as Stitcher and iTunes.
If you believe marketing leaders will benefit from your insights and would like to be a guest on one of our first episodes, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get in touch and will have some join us as we welcome our new podcast to the world.
Introducing the Getting Tactical Series
Whilst having a knowledge of the cornerstones of a strong client-agency relationship is essential for marketing leaders, ensuring you have a tactical knowledge of major marketing channels is also vital.
It is only through doing so that you can have a high-level, hands-on involvement in each campaign you may be running. The added confidence also allows you to challenge your agency when necessary.
Our new Getting Tactical series of articles, infographics and videos will provide you with actionable insights. They’ll be written by marketers and cover each of the main channels, such as social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimisation. All the whilst, we’ll keep it simple whilst ensuring you’re ‘in the know’.
These four are just the tip of the iceberg with many more exciting changes coming to Agency Scouts throughout 2018. I’ll be sharing each of these with you throughout the year through my Founder’s Notes.
2018 is certain to bring new challenges for brands and their marketing leaders. Through the procurement of a trusted partner and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship, we believe that brands and agencies can flourish together through these challenges.