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Guide to Agency Compensation 

DollarValue-based pricing. Cost plus. The never-ending negotiations between agency and client feature an endless array of terminology and pricing theories. Is your agency getting paid what it is worth? The 4A's remains a leader in working for its members to ensure maximum value for quality product, and the following comprehensive resources will prove invaluable to agency managers in that regard.

2012 4A's Compensation Summit
On February 1, 2012, the 4A's hosted its Compensation Summit at the Ney Center in New York City. The summit focused on the ever-important topic of "How to Get Paid What You Are Worth--Now," and featured an array of presentations, panel discussions, and pre-recorded special video addresses from industry icons.

Standardized Marketer New Business Questionnaire
The Standardized Marketer New Business Questionnaire is designed as a recommended guideline for agencies to follow when evaluating participation in an agency search.

Client Contract Renewal and Compensation Negotiation
The 4A's Finance Committee thought that it might be helpful to share a few reminders, as well as a few tools, tips and tactics.

Pricing Continuum
The "Pricing Continuum" ranges from classic/true cost-plus arrangements at one end of the spectrum to pure value added/results based methodologies at the other end of the spectrum.

Adobe  Survey on Value and Compensation, March 2005
Findings include: Clients value Big Ideas and a collaborative environment, 1/3 of agencies are endeavoring to retain IP rights in selected areas, and Labor based/Fixed fees are the predominant form of compensation

Adobe  Client Procurement Survey, December 2006
In the fourth quarter of 2006 the 4A's surveyed agency finance executives in order to gather information about client procurement’s involvement in (I) New Business search, RFP and project bid activities as well as (II) Client contract phase activities.

Adobe  Intellectual Property Survey, January 2006
In January and February of 2006 the 4A's conducted a survey in order to develop a “baseline” of information related to member practices in the areas of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements (NDA) as well as ownership, assignment and/or license of agency ideas and Intellectual Property (IP).

Ownership of Agency Ideas Plans and Work Developed During New-Business Process
The purpose of this position paper is to provide agencies with guidance on best practices relating to the ownership of agency developed ideas, plans and work created in the course of a marketer search for agency resources or a marketer request for proposal.

Adobe  Client Compensation Practices Survey, June 2006
In the second quarter of 2006 the 4A's conducted a survey on member client compensation practices. The survey probed member pricing competence and due diligence across a range of client compensation considerations including: compensation planning, data availability, internal processes, agency standards and value discussion

Adobe  Benefits-Based Negotiation Tools and Survey
During a March 21, 2007 workshop in Chicago, Tim Brenton encouraged participants to make note of helpful themes and tactical ideas that you wanted to remember. The purpose of the "Hot List" was to serve as a reminder of approaches that you could refer to when your agency team began planning for future discussions with clients.  

Survey of Agency New Business Expenditures
The 4A's polled members serving on its new business committees on the extent and value of expenditures undertaken in the pursuit of new business.

Adobe  ANA/4A's Compensation Guide: Understanding Direct Labor, Overhead and the Components of Cost-Plus and Labor-Based Arrangements
In 2005, the ANA and 4A's established a joint task force whose focus not only included overhead but related issues as well including Direct Labor, out-of-pocket costs, and Profit elements of Cost-Plus and Labor-Based Fee arrangements. The task force’s goal was to establish guiding principles, definitions, and best practices to help provide education related to cost-based arrangements.

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