Clients and agencies alike are feeling the strain from ‘full-on and exhausting’ working practices adopted during COVID-19, and both parties want to return to a more balanced way of working.
Why it matters
Research from global client-agency evaluation consultancy Aprais (based on its global database of 24,000 client-agency evaluations) shows contact between client and agency teams ramped up during the COVID lockdowns. But this increased contact has not led to improved relationship scores; many teams are finding their mental health is suffering as a result and staff are going on leave citing burnout.
- In the first half of 2020, just 21% of clients touched base with their agencies daily. In the second half of 2020 this leaped to 35%, with a further 47% checking in one to three times a week.
- By turn, 31% of agencies contacted their clients daily in the first half of 2020, but in the second half of the year this increased to a whopping 50%.
- Data from 2021 shows contact is showing signs of returning to pre-COVID levels, but daily contact is still more frequent than in the first half of 2020.
- Increased client needs for their agencies outside the planned and agreed scope of work has led to an increased intensity day-to-day and a perceived lack of focus.
- There is a perception from agencies that working times have been less respected, with more last-minute changes requested from clients.
- Packed agendas and back-to-back Teams and Zoom meetings have resulted in a lack of time for focused discussion.
This article first appeared in www.warc.com
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