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centraldesktop-top-benefits-collaboration-tools-june2012.png71% of client-side marketers view a single collaboration system as a differentiator for an agency over its competition, per findings [download page] from a Central Desktop survey released in June 2012. That may be because a majority of marketers who have used these tools report improved project management processes (60%) and faster project completion (53%), with 44% also citing a benefit of decreased time spent reporting. And agencies seem to agree: half say that the tools helped improve their project management processes, and 42% indicated that they led to faster project completion. 4 in 10 believe that use of the tools improved their client service and satisfaction.

Clients Demanding Collaboration Systems

Data from Central Desktop’s “The State of Agency-Client Collaboration” indicates that roughly one-quarter of marketers have required an agency to have a collaboration system for either keeping (11%) or winning (14%) an account. A further 23% have asked an agency to get such a system for the account.

Marketers may also need to look inwards for improvement in their relationships, though, according to January 2012 survey results from the CMO Council. Just one-quarter of multi-national client marketers responding to that survey said they have developed a best-practice model or formal guidelines for client/agency relationship management.

Even so, results from the Central Desktop survey reveal that marketers appear to be serious about their collaboration system requests: 38% of the respondents said they have not awarded business to an agency because the agency did not have adequate tools for managing work and communications on the account. Coupled with a separate finding from the CMO Council survey – that only 36% of marketers are committed to their agency relationships this year – this suggests that even agencies in existing relationships pay attention to these wishes.

2 in 3 Agencies Asked or Required to Have a Collaboration System

In fact, the message seems to be getting through to agencies. According to the Central Desktop report, more than 4 in 10 say that a client or prospect has required them to have a collaboration system in order to keep (24%) or win (17%) a major account, while a further 24% have been asked to have such a system in place to service a major account.

Other Findings:

  • 55% of client-side marketers consider it very (36%) or extremely (19%) important that an agency have an online collaboration system to work on projects and campaigns with them.
  • 54% of agencies consider it very or extremely beneficial if the various collaboration tools they are using are housed in a single platform with one login.

About the Data: The Central Desktop data is based on a survey conducted from May 10 to June 4, 2012 among 570 qualified respondents working at marketing agencies (294) or working with agencies from the client side (276).

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