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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Nov 2011

ADVERTISING: Agency Management & Search Consultants Help Agency Selection


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A few months ago, just 33 Agency Management and Search Consultants from around the world gathered in New York for the 9th Annual AdForum CEO Summit. The participating consultants represented more than 350 agency searches over the past year or the equivalent of $5 billion in billings from marketers around the globe looking to find agencies with the right chemistry for their needs.

The Consultants spent a full week meeting with top executives from two dozen ad agencies—from global networks to creative boutiques to specialist shops for digital strategy or media solutions. Each Agency CEO presented views of a changing marketplace and how their shop was responding with better client solutions. Designed to highlight the expanded roles agencies now play for marketers, the CEO Summit offered a dizzying array of ideas and new thinking.

“Using a search consultant may not be perfect but it is the most accurate and documented way to select an agency. On top of having a strong experience of the business, I cannot see any other third party that spends its days learning about agencies.
Procurement brings a unique expertise in negotiating the value, but great Advertising is about cultural fit and the right expertise.

The winning card is when Procurement and Search Consultants cooperate.
Herve DeClerck, Founder — AdForum

Communitcating Strategies to Agency Management and Search Consultants

While all agencies take new business very seriously, the week also underscored the importance of communicating new strategies to an elite consultant community.

As a result, The Internationalist saw this as a perfect time to explore the expanded role that Agency Management and Search Consultants now play in influencing how global marketers best allocate their budgets across an expanding mosaic of agency services.

Despite some of the issues that arise from the involvement of procurement departments, an increasing number of clients are finding that their best insurance in making the right agency decisions in today’s complex and specialized world is working with consultants who help them navigate choices, trends and best practices.

We surveyed twenty leading, internationally-conversant agency consultants based in the US, the UK, France, Spain, Australia and China who represent work in nearly 100 countries. With five open-ended questions, our goal was to gauge their views on where our industry is headed and why their services are now critical to marketing’s top management.

The Questions Agency Management and Search Consultants Included:

1. Are Agency Management and Search Consultants Entering Their Prime Now‘

2. How have the responsibilities of CMOs changed so that consultants are becoming a more important answer to their needs‘

3. Where do you see the Marketing and Advertising Industry Going‘

4. How do you see the role of the agency consultant evolving globally over the next 3-5 years‘

5. As a corporation’s procurement department increases its involvement in advertising is there potential for understanding, cooperation and respect for the value a consultant offers‘

The majority of the consultants surveyed are not only involved in Agency Reviews, but also Agency Relationship Management, Global Agency Management, Compensation and Contracts and Mergers and Acquisitions. Although not all of those surveyed attended the CEO Summit, AdForum’s leader, Herve DeClerck, may in the best position to offer a perspective on the business of agency consultants. After all, his company has played in role in connecting consultants with agencies for nearly a decade. AdForum is a tool used by agency management and search consultants to help research agencies in the initial part of the search process.


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