SCOPEN’s Agency Scope has released its latest trends after completing studies in Brazil, Spain, UK, Columbia, India and China in 2018. Johanna McDowell, SCOPEN Africa and UK Partner, gives The Media Online an exclusive look into some of the trends, highlighting where South Africa stands when pitted against the to the global average.
The overwhelming majority of agency selection processes are done via a pitch in every country. While Brazil, the UK and a few others make direct appointments where the client meets with the agency and appoints them directly, there is still a pitch process with other appointments.
A small number of agencies are appointed by International management, where a client is globally aligned, but in China and India, agencies are almost 100% selected by pitches, and South Africa ranks highly here at 77%.
When reviewing marketers’ relationships with creative agencies from the perspective of new business and the number of contacts and presentations in the preceding year, South Africa is not doing too badly with making contact. We are slightly above the global average contact-wise, but way behind in the number of presentations.
The quality contact with marketers by South African agencies is not leading to presentations and we have to ask why this is. Are they relying on a “Hello, here are my credentials” approach, which means nothing to a client? Ideally, you want your ratio of contacts to presentations to be far better; like that of India, which has a 14.9 contacts – 7.8 presentations ratio. It would also be more promising for new business if for every contact you made you were able to do a presentation.
Your presentation hit rate has to far higher to get the chance of winning the business. South African agencies clearly must improve the way in which they are making contact with potential clients and what they’re offering them to entice them into wanting to see presentations.
From these figures, it seems to me that a new game plan should be formulated by agency management, where the target must focus on converting a specific percentage of contacts into presentations. Even the UK’s ration of 46.8 contacts to 13.4 isn’t exceptional when viewed as percentage of contacts.
My suggestion to agencies here would be to approach every new contact with the view to conversion, every time.
2017/18 AGENCY SCOPE Trends booklet is available for purchase from email@example.com. The 2019 fieldwork of the AGENCY SCOPE is set begin in May 2019. This will be third wave of the study since SCOPEN entered the South African market in late 2015.
Johanna McDowell is CEO of the IAS. SCOPEN Africa was launched in South Africa in 2016 in partnership with the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company. IAS now owns 26% of SCOPEN Africa (Grupo Consultores Africa). IAS specialises in client/agency relationship management and helping clients find agencies.