Daily Archives: May 2, 2013

How Do You Support Marketing? Get a Grip on Agency Lifecycle Management, Part II

In our last post we explained that even though Marketing thinks its spend is sacred cow spend, it’s really not and that proper Agency Lifecycle Management techniques can be used to get a grip on marketing agency spend and manage it through the services lifecycle. We also explained that basic Agency Lifecycle Management consisted of four necessary steps: selection, scoping, briefing, and evaluation. In this post we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into the requirements of each step as Supply Management will not be able to support Marketing in Agency Lifecycle Management, and get its hands on that sacred cow spend, unless it has the appropriate processes and technologies.


In order to support the selection process, Supply Management will need to use a full featured RFI solution that can capture, at a minimum, the following agency information for each agency under consideration:

  • firmographic data, including location, size, financial health, ownership, and affiliations
  • (core) capabilities and resource availability
  • (primary) and secondary specialties, and the relative percentage of business
  • experience in the vertical(s) of interest
  • (major) clients and (potential) conflicts

In other words, before a selection can be made, a rather complete profile is needed to narrow in on the agencies that are not only capable of doing the work, but appropriate with respect to the target mediums, populations, and desired branding. For complex requirements, you almost need a SIM application to capture, store, and analyze all of the data.


Where Agency selection is concerned, it’s not as simple as just identifying the agencies that could do the work, it’s finding an agency that can do the work, do the work the way the Marketing department wants it done, commit the resources the Marketing department is acceptable with, and do so in the requisite timeframes. Where as any Tom, Dana, or Harry, at least in the eyes of a Marketing Department, can sweep a floor or use a copier, not just any Tom, Dana, or Harry is going to come up with that killer campaign. For that, you need a Sven, Celine, or Giorgio.

This requires, once potential candidate agencies are selected, the provision of a detailed scope of work and the collection of detailed responses to the scope of work that outline who the Agency has that can do the work, what the resources can do, when the resources can be devoted to the project, where the work will be performed, how the Agency intends to reach your target audience, and why the Agency is the best for the job at hand. This will require some back and forth negotiation until the response is acceptable to Marketing and the scope is acceptable to the Agency. Then an agreement can be cut. Then it’s on to the


In the briefing phase, the scope of work is further refined to provide the Agency with details on demographics, target audience, budget, and desired creative elements for the current phase of the marketing campaign. Typically, the scope of work will be for the entire campaign and then a detailed briefing will be provided at the start of each phase. The Agency will then respond with any additional requests for clarification or refinement, some back and forth may occur, and then they will produce and, after the requisite review(s), deliver the work for the phase.


Marketing should be reviewing the results after each phase, particularly where the budget is concerned. If the scope of work was for a one year campaign, with a new set of tv, radio, and online advertisements each quarter, and halfway though the year the Agency has blown three quarters of the budget, something is very wrong. Marketing has to keep a continuous eye on budget, timelines, and (any measurable) results on a regular basis, and make sure everything goes to plan. This is where Supply Management, and it’s best practice Supplier Relationship Management and data analysis skills, can really help Marketing.

If Supply Management can effectively support each of these phases, then chances are it can effectively support Marketing and get some control over that sacred cow spend.

And if it doesn’t have the processes and tools it needs, there are Agency Lifecycle Management solutions on the market.