Case Studies

The following Case Studies cover a range of product categories and issues we have solved over the years. We would be happy to have a confidential discussion with you about your problems and how we might help.

Case Study #1: Client/Agency Relationship Retention

Issue: Thirty-year relationship between an entertainment client and their agency was in jeopardy due to lack of good communication regarding personnel, tactics and finance.

Action: SFC applies diagnostic interviews of both sides, assesses work processes and compensation program over three-month period.

Result: Client stays with agency and expands their assignment after SFC recommendations regarding staffing; work practices and a new compensation program are put in place. Client saves 15% on compensation Agency makes 5% more in profit.

Case Study #2: Client/Agency Best Practices

Issue: Asia-Pacific based client wanted to learn in-depth more about the relationship and work practices between five specific “Best Practice” companies and their advertising agencies in order to improve their own practices.

Action: SFC conducted over three dozed diagnostic interviews with current and past key employees of the five clients and their agencies, as well as members of the trade press and financial community who were familiar with the companies. Results of the study were reported and integrated into the client’s marketing processes.

Result: Within a year the client reported their best sales year ever, topping their industry’s closest competitor by 20%

Case Study #3: Media Agency Search

Issue: West coast service group wanted to change media agencies, with emphasis on direct advertising as well as general.

Action: SFC conducted search and after extensive screening and vetting a new agency was designated within two months from initiation of the assignment.

Result: Client and agency are still together five years later. Sales from direct advertising have increased by 30%.

Case Study #4: Creative Agency Search

Issue: Two clients, one a west coast service company the other an east coast hospitality client sought a change of creative agency after determining that their current relationship were beyond repair. They each wanted to conduct relatively quick and inexpensive searches.

Action: SFC conducted screening for both clients and then set each up with templates to conduct the finals themselves, while keeping at arm’s length in a purely consulting capacity as a reality check.

Result: Both searches ended successfully with the clients empowered to conduct the end of the searches themselves, thus saving a considerable amount of time and money.

Case Study #5: Global Compensation Assessment

Issue: European based company sought to implement a global compensation program with their global advertising agency.

Action: SFC worked with both client and agency to benchmark current agency economics on a labor-based compensation plan, as the forerunner for the global program.

Result: Global plan was adopted four years ago and updated twice (every other year) since. Client saved over ten million dollars and agency increased their profit margin.

Case Study #6: Deliverables Rate-card Compensation

Issue: Midwest package goods company wanted to update their deliverables rate-card that governed compensation for their two major sales promotion agencies.

Action: SFC examined the work practices and agency economics for thirty-three of the one hundred and two deliverables for each agency. Conclusions from this study were then super-imposed on a matrix to integrate with the remaining deliverables.

Result: The new rate card was immediately adopted and another agency was added to create a more competitive situation price-wise in the future.

Case Study #7: Value Compensation Assessment

Issue: Mid west retail client wanted to convert from a labor-based compensation plan to one that would be more value based.

Action: In consultation with both client and agency SFC identified key drivers to success in the marketplace upon which the agency could have an affect. These became the criteria for an incentive and value compensation program.

Result: Program was implemented and presented as a case history with the ANA.

Case Study #8: Media Audit & Assessment

Issue: US based telecommunications company wanted to assess their broadcast buys to determine if their media agency was delivering proper value.

Action: SFC managed an audit of the agency’s buys and conducted a survey to assess marketplace value for cost efficiencies.

Result: Buy was determined to be sound in television, but due to timing related issues, the radio buys were consistently inefficient. Subsequently, timing issues were resolved and buys improved.

Case Study #9: Product Positioning and Strategy

Issue: Northeast consortium of investors, a major scientific institution and a well-known business school wanted to introduce a new mobile medium in a way that would both secure more funding and expand easily in the marketplace.

Action: SFC worked with leaders of the new medium’s team to, find a new Marketing Director, build a business plan with the appropriate media measurements that would satisfy investors and develop a plan for introducing the medium in major markets.

Result: Year one and two funding was secured and the medium is now visible in twenty- four of the top twenty-five major markets including each of the top ten.

Case Study #10: Brand Equity ROI Assessment

Issue: A US based telcom company wanted to expand their media and marketing model beyond the crfiteria of immediate sales. The new model would include the long- term effects of present media exposure on building brand equity, which would translate into future sales.

Action: After examining the modeler’s work related to immediate sales, SFC suggested a formula that would incorporate the longer-term effects of advertising on sales.

Result: Based on the model suggested, the client shifted money into equity building media forms and sales increased nearly to double digits due in part to the shift.

Case Study #11: Digital Agency Business Development Strategy

Issue: New York based agency hired SFC to examine their new business presentation effort in a drive to improve their success rate in the future.

Action: SFC worked with the agency on their presentation from the advertisers point of view and then worked with them on their next two pitches.

Result: Presentation became more client centric and agency won the second piece of `business.

Case Study #12: Media Agency Re-engineering

Issue: Giant Media Agency after losing 40% of revenue engaged SFC to study their people and processes and recommend corrective action.

Action: SFC conducted Diagnostic Interviews with senior management, employees at all level, past employees, past clients, prospects not engaged, search consultants and the press. Work practices and processes in several offices were also studies, as well as the business development effort.

Result: New President was installed and a new Business Development Marketing Director hired. Digital and Traditional Media units were integrated and a new strategic planning process adopted. Agency has now stabilized despite a poor economy and is in the finals of two pitches for clients each billing over one hundred million dollars.

Case Study #13: Transitioning Safely to a New Media Agency

Issue: Large automotive advertiser has just completed a review and hired a new Media Agency. More than $400 million worth of media will be moved. Client needs to insure that the move will go smoothly, no media action will fall through the cracks, both agencies will be diligent during the transition and promises made by the new agency will be kept. Any mistakes by either Agency could cost the Client significant fractions of the $400 Million. Without oversight, costly mistakes can be made during agency transition periods.

Action: Through a series of separate and joint meetings and phone calls, SFC manages the transition overseeing every detail, focusing the attention of both agencies on every bit of media planning, research, buying, auditing, contracts and compensation.

Result: New Agency assumes control smoothly with no loss of media weight or investment. They sign an Accountability Compact and save the Client 12% on the television portion of the media spend.

Case Study #14: Oversight of Media and Marketing Research

Issue: Ivy League University receives a grant to perform a major study of childhood obesity and certain food groups, linking obesity to more than nutritional elements. University must insure that their media and marketing findings are bulletproof and beyond reproach when the studies are published.

Action: After a thorough briefing, SFC begins by giving the entire research staff a workshop on today’s media and marketing landscape for context. Key members of the University team are then given individual attention to sharpen their understanding of the research they will apply. As the study progresses SFC advises on the expression of findings in a major presentation.

Result: University presents findings, to several government organizations and is published in two major newsweeklies. Findings are accepted and some suggestions are adopted. University has now embarked on similar studies of two other product categories.

Case Study #15: Switching Digital Agency Compensation from Commission to Fee

Issue: Client currently paying their digital agency a 15% commission. They wish to switch to a labor-based fee and save some money.

Action: SFC analyzes agency scope of work, staffing, blended hourly rates, overhear ratio and profit margin. The difference between what it costs the agency to run the business and make a reasonable profit and the amount paid in commission is identified. SFC offers the client several fee negotiation strategies.

Result: Client negotiates with agency and moves to labor-based fee, saving 40%. Scope of work and staffing remains the same. Agency blended hourly rates, overhead rations and profit margins were all well over benchmarks.

Case Study #16: Media Agency Search

Issue: Client launching new company seeks media agency to help grow their business.

Action: SFC screens contenders, assesses RFI responses, manages credentials and briefing meetings, develops media challenge, oversees final presentations, judging, selection and compensation arrangement.

Result: Relationship just started. No results yet.


Case Study #17: Audit of Media, Production and Agency Fees

Issue: Client Board requests audit of traditional and digital media, production and agency compensation for the launch of a new campaign.

Action: Over a six-week period we audited and benchmarked all activities and suggested marketplace consequences.

Result: Excellent report with some opportunities for improvement.  Campaign recognition in the marketplace outpaces competitors 10:1.