|Agency Management Services
The 4A's Management Services team worked with members to develop strategies and benchmarks to facilitate the effective and profitable management of agency operations.
In order to facilitate inter-agency discussion and sharing of compensation best practices, in 2012, 4A's hosted for the first time ever, a 4A's Compensation Summit. The summit featured industry thought leader discussions related to compensation challenges – opportunities and sharing of best practices in the areas of negotiating, performance incentive compensation, benchmarking and agency-client agreements.
In 2012, the association also conducted several significant benchmarking surveys to help members with client compensation information:
• The 4A's 2012 Labor Billing Rate Survey Report provides the industry marketplace based hourly billing rate data for the currently predominant form of agency compensation, i.e., labor-based compensation.
• The 4A's Digital Operations & Client Compensation Survey benchmarked agency digital operations revenue sources, relationship structures, monetization of I.P. and opportunities for structuring client‐agency digital services commercial arrangements.
The 4A's new business community has evolved review trend information, review best practice guidance and the tracking of marketer adherence with industry guidelines:
• The 4A's Accounts-In-Review Analysis and the New Business Activities and Resources Survey information are recognized industry standards for benchmarking both the level and nature of review activity.
• The ANA/4A's Guidelines for Agency Search outline steps to help marketers and agencies conduct effective reviews. 4A's members are adopting the practices of sending the guidelines to marketers at the outset of all reviews as a means to influence the review process, and using the guide to assess the merits of review participation.
The 4A's is providing members with the management tools needed to accommodate the evolution of agency operations:
• Many clients are opting to work on a project-by-project basis rather than via annual retainer relationships. 4A's committees are developing best practice guidance for project-based client arrangements and expanding project management training events and discussion communities.
• Agencies now routinely develop digital software, web applications and tools. These activities entail alternative ownership, usage, I.P., indemnification, warrantee and contractual structures. 4A's is expanding best practice guidance on structuring digital agency-client arrangements.
• The marketing industry has seen software and process patents asserted by non-practicing patent assertion entities (patent trolls) against marketers for seemingly basic online functionality. 4A's has promulgated patent guidance, introduced a patent information website (4A's Patent Web site), participated in government discussion on the need for patent troll reform and urged marketer collaboration on reasoned marketing related patent responsibilities, equitable indemnification terms and proportional limitations on liability.
The 4A's provides extensive information to help members attract, develop and motivate agency talent. 4A's survey, report and publication information includes:
• The annual 4A's Employee Compensation Survey is an iconic industry information benchmark that captures data for 35,000 employees at over 300 agency offices. This information is only available to association members.
• About Employee Benefits Series surveys provide industry trends on agency employee benefit plan structures, training, retirement plans as well as periodic monitoring of healthcare, leave and other employee benefit plan elements.
• Management Services also provides members with talent management information in areas such as planned raises, recruitment best practices, training, structuring executive compensation, payroll administration, bonus compensation and organizational culture