- On what basis does Wanamaker work with most clients?
- How can I tell if we are getting the best value for our media dollar?
- What is Marketplace, Inc.?
- What is Wanamaker’s area of specialization?
- Does my media agency understand how best to reach my highest yielding market segments?
- How does Wanamaker charge for its services?
- What is the typical first assignment with a new Wanamaker Associates client?
- Does Wanamaker Associates consult with ad agencies?
- Is my agency maximizing the effectiveness of my creative product?
- What about conflicts of interest among Wanamaker clients?
- What are the first steps in structuring a relationship/performance evaluation of my agency?
- Is Wanamaker’s consulting limited to just advertising agency relationships?
- What are Wanamaker’s international capabilities?
- What is the experience level of Wanamaker’s consultants?
- Does my agency have the best internal systems and procedures to accurately measure the performance of my media investments?
On what basis does Wanamaker work with most clients?
Our client relationships always begin on a project basis. Often, after we have successfully completed several projects, a client will ask us to move to an annual fee basis, but that fee is always tied to a specific annual scope of work.
How can I tell if we are getting the best value for our media dollar?
There’s a saying we use at Wanamaker Associates: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. And with our strategic partner MMI, we have audited and measured over $5 BILLION in media spend annually for the past several years. As a resource for leading advertisers for over 25 years, our experience suggests that only a small percentage of agency media operations apply the right technologies, resources and processes in the right combination to help clients assess the real return of what is typically a client’s largest marketing investment — the media spend.
Wanamaker Associates offers advertisers an independent and thorough evaluation of their strategic and tactical media decisions. Using this evaluation, we provide clients and their agencies with recommendations for improving media program management.
We have developed a value assessment model that studies agency performance in five critical performance areas.
- Marketing and Media Research
- Strategic Media Alignment
- Media Price Evaluation
- Marketing Communications Synergy
- Media Plan and Buy Management
What is Marketplace, Inc.?
We were founded in 1972 as a marketing consulting firm called Marketplace, Inc., a Georgia Corporation. Over the years we owned two advertising agencies, a PR firm, a project shop and a market research company. Those firms were sold in 1986, reverting us to our consulting roots. We are doing business as Wanamaker Associates, but our original corporate name and structure remain.
What is Wanamaker’s area of specialization?
While the trade press and even advertising agencies most often refer to us as “Search Consultants”, that area of our practice represents only 20-25% of our engagements each year. We work with our marketer clients to assist them in identifying and selecting appropriate marketing communications resources, certainly, but the vast majority of our work is helping them with the long-term management of those resources in the most efficient, effective and accountable manner possible.
Does my media agency understand how best to reach my highest yielding market segments?
Today’s quality of marketing and media research sources offer many potential access points for sharper media analysis and data interpretation. Tapping into the right information to make better media targeting decisions is often the most critical step in the media planning process.
Wanamaker Associates’ team of experienced media researchers and strategists will audit your current media plan’s research sources and tools, provide a detailed assessment and offer suggestions for gaining additional insights from existing information and alternative sources.
How does Wanamaker charge for its services?
We work with our client to clearly define the engagement and specify the deliverables that will result. With that information in hand, we can determine the staff expertise required, degree of Associate involvement, schedule timing and deadlines and anticipated travel time, as well as out-of-pocket expense estimates. The resulting fees are proposed in either a fixed or range format, together with a billing timeline.
What is the typical first assignment with a new Wanamaker Associates client?
While there is no “typical” first client relationship, many new clients come to Wanamaker with a question regarding agency compensation or a strong feeling that a different agency may be needed to better serve their needs.
Does Wanamaker Associates consult with ad agencies?
Not usually. On occasion we have been asked to counsel an agency on its new business program and processes or to review their capabilities presentation for relevance in today’s marketplace. Assuming that we are not currently involved on an engagement with one of their clients, we have agreed to help out.
Is my agency maximizing the effectiveness of my creative product?
Too often agency media strategists and creatives operate in isolated silos. Because of this, the opportunity for early and ongoing collaboration between creative and media teams is frequently missed.
Media fractionalization, coupled with the growth of new channels and opportunities, makes ad team collaboration essential to an advertising campaign’s success. And many times, media experts can, and should, lead the collaboration process.
Wanamaker Associates are experts in helping clients maximize collaboration between advertising teams. And our media consultants bring proven techniques and processes for enhanced team building and service cooperation.
What about conflicts of interest among Wanamaker clients?
In over 20 years Wanamaker Associates has never had a conflict of interest issue. We execute and honor any and all Confidentiality Agreements, as well as ensuring the security of all information and data. Our consultants are never put into a position of working on two engagements where a conflict could exist.
What are the first steps in structuring a relationship/performance evaluation of my agency?
Wanamaker often recommends the use of our online, two-way, Quantitative Agency Performance Evaluation (QAPE) to quickly and inexpensively gauge the current client/agency relationship status. If problems are identified, further diagnosis and remedies are determined through our full-blown process involving one-on-one interviews.
Is Wanamaker’s consulting limited to just advertising agency relationships?
No. In fact, our services cover the whole range of marketing communications resources. In addition to Advertising Agencies, we counsel our clients with their resources in areas such as Public Relations, Media Planning and Buying, Design Studios, Web Design and e-Marketing, Direct Response and Relationship Marketing, Cultural Marketing, Meeting Planning, Medical Education, Managed Care, etc.
What are Wanamaker’s international capabilities?
In addition to our U.S. offices, we have Associates in London, covering all of Europe, and in Puerto Rico, with responsibilities for Latin America. Currently we do not have Associate coverage in the Pacific Rim.
What is the experience level of Wanamaker’s consultants?
All of Wanamaker’s consultants have at least 25 years experience in the communications industry. Most have been on both the client and agency sides and, as a result, have deep insight into the relationship issues that affect both the most and least successful client/agency relationships. Some have specialties such as creative, media, accounting/auditing, law, etc.
Does my agency have the best internal systems and procedures to accurately measure the performance of my media investments?
In all likelihood, the only feedback being provided to you concerning media performance is coming from your advertising agency. Chances are, your reliance on agency self-reporting or the lag time for documenting media performance are unacceptable in today’s regulatory environment.
The truth is that too many things can go wrong with a media investment once a media plan is approved. Think about just a few of the potential problems:
- A media buy is a pledge by a media property to attempt to honor a time and space placement request. It is not a guarantee.
- Ads can be bumped, moved or run incorrectly. Audience delivery can fall short of goal. Nielsen ratings can be overridden by the agency. ABC audit circulation can be overstated by the publication. Billing to an advertiser can be incorrect. Credits, rebates and discounts may not be applied back to an advertiser’s account. Remittance to the media property may or may not match the advertiser’s bill, and may or may not be reconciled to the appropriate fiscal period.
- The media’s role is to deliver ad impressions to people within an advertiser’s target audience. But how many are actually exposed to the advertiser’s message? The estimated delivery is not always exact.
In recent years, we’ve found that upwards of 10% of our clients’ planned media budgets are leaching from base efforts because of sloppy media oversight. It’s really no surprise. Today’s media operations are operationally stretched and often ill equipped to handle the requirements of today’s geometrically accelerating transaction count.
Wanamaker Associates’ media audit company, Media Management Inc., is the leader in the field of third-party process oversight, and can provide a level of expertise and transparency to this highly complex and critically important area.