I walked away from the AANA (Australian Association of National Advertisers) ‘Hothouse’ on client-agency relationships full of enthusiasm. It was a great gig with 100 or so known faces in the industry.

The topic of the day was VALUE:

Q1 – Is the agency model obsolete?

Q2 – How should clients assess agency value?

Q3 – What are the factors for a successful/ productive client-agency relationship?

The names on the panel were senior agency and, more numerous, senior marketers. The gig was introduced by the formidable (and universally respected) Joe Talcott. The minor sponsor was Aprais – they paid for our lunch. Thank you Richard and Malcolm. And Darren Woolley was the major sponsor, which allowed him to chair the panel. (Darren, sometimes from TrinityP3, is now, apparently, from Evalu8ing. Evalu8ing makes Darren the rival tool to Aprais. Only Aprais is more than a tool, but we’ll come to that. (Oops, I just called Darren a tool. Sorry, Daz!)

Therein lies the problem. The gig was sponsored by agency relationship tools (the well-known and well-loved Aprais and the unknown, cheaper and apparently more accessible, Evalu8ing). These tools are all about VALUE. But…

VALUE is only a subset of SUCCESS.

Phew, got that off my chest.