The methodology for the MOST Awards 2011 was retained for the sake of consistency and to facilitate trending, explains Brad Aigner, MD of Freshly Ground Insights. Here, he explains how the results were reached.
The principle of allowing the research methodology to be openly transparent and “open to improvement” where appropriate, was also applied, resulting in three key adjustments:
1) The ranking criteria were rigorously reviewed by focus group panels (comprising industry leaders), the outcome of which was a revised and smaller deck of six ranking criteria for each survey.
2) The MOST Media Agency survey was split into two categories: Full Service Agencies and Specialist Agencies, with the distinction between the two groups clearly defined in the questionnaire.
3) An ‘overall best’ question was introduced into each survey, where respondents could name their ‘best’ media agency/owner by category and in overall terms. This metric was applied to the ranking criteria scores at a twenty percent weighting in order to yield the overall performance scores for media agencies and media owners.
These adjustments yielded more concise questionnaires and decks of ranking criteria most relevant to judging service and performance excellence in our industry. The ’best overall’ metric allowed respondents to assess media owner performance between categories, thereby neutralising any potential skews in the data.
Respondents rated the relative importance of the ranking criteria, with these used to weight the scores for each media owner and media agent. In MOST 2011, the ranking criteria scored as follows:
What Media Agencies want from Media Owners (MO): Score out of 5
1) Service delivery 4.73
2) Knowledge of own brands and the media landscape 4.63
3) Knowledge of client brands and market landscape 4.16
4) Involvement 4.14
5) Innovation 4.10
6) Empowerment 3.78
What media owners (MO) want from media agencies (MA): Score out of 5
1) Knowledge of client brands and market landscape 4.53
2) Knowledge of the media landscape 4.34
3) Communication 4.32
4) Professionalism 4.24
5) Involvement 4.18
6) Empowerment 3.91
For media owners, the importance of ’knowledge’ is still the most important performance criteria expected of media agents. The criteria ’communication’ has climbed to third in overall importance, above professionalism, which was the second most important criteria in 2010.
It appears that the ‘professionalism’ of media agencies has become more of a given, while the traditional criticism of miscommunication and/or non-communication of media agents influenced the score for this criteria. It’s clear from the focus group research that media agents are as time-starved as ever, which may contribute to poor communication. Nevertheless, clear and open communication remains a key competency expected from media agents.