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- Beyond agency search, what other services does Ark Advisors offer?
Our practice areas focus on all aspects of managing the client-agency relationship, including compensation consulting, agency evaluation/assessment, agency roster management, etc. For a detailed menu of services, click here.
- When is the right time to conduct an agency search?
Embarking on a search means that you have done your due diligence and are certain that it’s time to realign your marketing resources. Ark Advisors can help determine whether a current partnership can be saved or if making a change is the best way forward for your business.
- How does Ark Advisors know so much about agencies?
Marketing is a highly dynamic industry in which both talent and accounts change partners frequently. Given the volume of our business, we’ve worked with nearly every leading agency in the country (creative, media, digital, direct, etc.). Outside of our client engagements, we meet with agencies weekly to keep abreast of their evolving cultures, capabilities and clients. In addition, we have a proprietary and confidential Agency Database that provides us with up-to-date information about thousands of agencies.
- What kinds of searches does Ark Advisors lead?
Our experience runs the marketing gamut. We’ve helped our clients find the best media, creative, digital, CRM, branding, shopper marketing, SEM, innovation, healthcare, PR and multicultural resources domestically and in markets abroad. Additionally, we lead searches for both agency-of-record (AOR) and for project work.
- How long should a search ideally take?
Ark Advisors’ clients benefit from a highly focused and disciplined process. Our search process is customized to fit each client’s specific timing and needs. In general, a pitch should take no more than three months from project initiation through agency selection. We can also conduct an expedited “Fast Track” process when needed or appropriate.
- What makes Ark Advisors’ role valuable to marketers?
Having led hundreds of searches, Ark Advisors can expertly guide marketers through the agency landscape to help match them with the right agency culture and best talent to drive their businesses forward. We’re a knowledgeable yet objective third-party, bringing rigor to the process — which makes us an asset to agencies as well. Check out our full suite of Marketer Services, here.
- How can I ensure that I am paying my agencies fairly?
Healthy and productive agency relationships are based upon a fair value exchange. Ark Advisors has negotiated contracts representing over $5 billion in total spending across a broad range of industries; we have a robust database of agency fee datapoints that can be easily cross-indexed by geography, specialty, annual or hourly rates, etc. Our in-depth knowledge of the marketing services space enables us to provide added value insights to properly align staffing and costs with the client scope of work. We provide benchmarks and industry best practices regarding contracts, agency staffing and fees. And we also offer expert advice on the evaluation of agency contracts and negotiation (or re-negotiation) of agency compensation agreements.
- Our Procurement team manages agency sourcing and fee negotiations. How can Ark Advisors add value to their process?
Ark Advisors often works in collaboration with corporate Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Departments. We are in the marketplace every day, meeting with agencies and negotiating contracts. This volume of experience ensures that the best-qualified agencies get into your consideration set and that the resultant agency fees are in-line with industry norms and best practices. View our list of services for procurement and sourcing departments here.
- How do I determine whether I need a new agency or if my current agency relationship can/should be repaired?
Before embarking upon an agency search, it is critical for client stakeholders to determine whether their current agency partners bring the necessary capabilities, talent and commitment to keep your business. Ark Advisors has multiple diagnostic tools to evaluate the state of your agency relationships. If together we determine that the relationship can and should be saved, we will guide the development of a remedial plan addressing any key pain points in order to enhance collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness. If the relationship is beyond repair, we can help manage an agency search, compensation negotiation and transition plan.
- How do I best manage my agency so that the relationship remains healthy and the agency continues to perform at a high level on our business?
The best way to ensure a productive relationship is to maintain open and ongoing communications regarding the state of the partnership – both informal discussions about how a particular project went, and more formal assessments at regular intervals (semi-annually or annually). Ark Advisors has helped our clients implement ongoing 360˚assessment programs that provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback on all aspects of the relationship, ensuring that problems are caught early and addressed.
- How can I improve the level of integration between our roster agencies?
While it is critical to manage the level and quality of communication between your agencies and your internal stakeholders (Marketing, Media, Corporate Communications, etc.), it is also important to manage the level and quality of communication between your agencies themselves (creative, media, digital, etc). Ark Advisors has several tools to assess the level and quality of agency collaboration. The findings (from annual or semi-annual surveys) can be tracked over time and are often then used as KPIs for incentive compensation.
- Does Ark Advisors manage projects outside the U.S.?
Yes, we have on-the-ground experience and capabilities around the world. Please see our Global Solutions page for more details.
- How much does it cost to work with Ark Advisors?
We offer a wide range of services for marketers, procurement executives and agencies. A phone call or meeting with an Ark Advisors principal can help you determine the level of engagement appropriate for your needs.
- Do agencies have to pay to participate in a marketer review?