“Ark Advisors has a deep knowledge of the agency marketplace, and provided great counsel. They were particularly strong in helping develop our brand briefing materials, frame our specific request to the agencies, and evaluate proposals. At a tactical level, they were good about timing and keeping us disciplined with scheduling and communication throughout the process. We were very pleased with the outcome of the search, and if need arose again I would certainly look to Ark Advisors to lead it.”
— Steve Shannon, Executive Director, Marketing and Product Planning Cadillac Division, General Motors
“I have worked with Ark Advisors several times and find their services to be extremely valuable. They have extensive knowledge of the ad agency landscape; their process is both very effective and efficient, easing you (and the agencies) through the timeline, and providing meaningful counsel, insights and “thought starters” without undermining your authority. One of the many benefits of their Search process is that it yields useable work that can be fast-tracked into market. Lastly, they make the project a pleasant experience with a high-energy approach combined with the ability to have a few laughs!”
— Steve Brodeck, Group Marketing Director, Coty
“Ark Advisors has been an invaluable asset to me during two searches for a new Agency partner. They guide you through the entire process, starting with their insight on the rapidly changing agency field — to helping you define what you’re really looking for, to managing logistics and finally to refereeing the multiple opinions and personalities as you make a final decision. They truly help set up the new relationship for success!”
— Jennifer Telek, VP, Global Communications and Marketing, NYSE Euronext
“Ark Advisors provides comprehensive agency search expertise. They possess immense agency reach and insights, making the process move quickly and efficiently. Moreover, they know what is required to make the search a success. In short: If you have an agency search or evaluation need, use Ark Advisors.”
— Steve Kubinski, VP of Marketing, American Eagle Outfitters
With a combined 50+ years of marketing industry experience — as client-side marketers, in senior agency executive positions, and as management consultants— Ark Advisors brings a unique perspective to the client-agency relationship. We’re regularly called upon to help companies assess, select, compensate and better align their agency partners. As any of our Fortune 100 and other clients will attest, Ark Advisors brings best practices and productive methods to gain maximum value from these critical agency partnerships.
- Agency Search, Selection and Onboarding (AOR or Project Based): With our extensive knowledge of the agency landscape, we’ll help you identify the best partners for your specific needs — whether you are looking for a new AOR or for project-based assignments. We manage and for scopes that require integrated, global capabilities or single-resource needs such as digital, creative, media, social, shopper marketing and more. Our proven process offers a unique blend of analytical rigor and creativity, and is designed to deliver sustainable results. Once selected, we also facilitate a seamless transition to get the agency up-and-running on your business quickly.
- Agency Compensation & Contract Management: Are you paying your agency too much? Too little? Do you need help developing next year’s scope of work and agency compensation agreement? Ark Advisors has negotiated hundreds of compensation arrangements — local, national, and global and of every size, type and level of complexity. We offer expert counsel anytime you’re negotiating or re-negotiating contracts with agency partners. We benchmark your agency fees against our own proprietary database and against industry norms to assure fair value to your company and fair pay to your agencies.
- Relationship Management & Assessment Programs: One of the keys to maintaining a successful, productive relationship between marketers and their agencies is to implement an active Agency Relationship Management program. This is best accomplished by instituting a formal review system that strikes the right balance between the different types of assessment measures – outcomes, drivers of outcomes, and qualitative relationship measures. We believe that any kind of relationship evaluation is most effective when it is a 360o process where both client and agency participate. Ark Advisors can implement single agency relationship management programs where we interview all parties and report on our findings. Or, we can utilize online tools to facilitate processes where multiple agencies are involved. We provide objective interpretation of results and facilitate the creation of practical action plans for improvement. We believe that these evaluations are best conducted semi-annually or annually. If the relationship is in trouble, this process can also help determine whether the partnership can or should be saved.
- Agency Roster Modeling: Do you have the best agencies for each area of your marketing efforts? Have your agencies kept pace with evolving business needs? Has your business changed in any significant way that may require a reassessment of the capabilities of your agency partners (international expansion, new distribution channels, increased competitive activity, etc.)? Perhaps you are seeing a duplication of services and want to consolidate agencies to gain better operational and financial efficiencies. Ark Advisors can evaluate your roster to determine the appropriate mix of agency partners to provide the right services for the right scope at the right cost.
- Internal/External Resource Alignment: We work with your marketing team to align your marketing and agency structures to minimize redundancies and support better collaboration and cooperation. We also have extensive experience helping foster collaboration between in-house agency teams and external agencies, leading to better integration of resources, more collaboration among partners and greater productivity.
- Brand Marketer Coaching: Ark Advisors works with marketing departments to train teams to better communicate clear goals, create strong briefs, improve process and cost efficiencies, and work more effectively with agency partners. We also work with individual executives to create custom plans to reach both professional and personal goals.
- Organizational Change Management: With digital now at the core of most progressive companies, we’ll help you restructure your internal organization to align with modern communications priorities, train your teams to best utilize the myriad of new agency services and data resources available today, or help you transition from your in-house resources to external agency specialists.