Decideware Agency Lifecycle Management Thought-Leadership


Case Study: Ford's Journey in Automating their Agency Management Process for Scopes of Work and Performance Evaluations

This case study will focus on the challenges, requirements, and results the project team achieved in coordination with their agencies. The team will also share insight into the key factors that made their initiative successful.

Free Production Governance Template

Guidance To Manage Advertising Production Spend

This template helps advertisers establish a comprehensive production governance program. It lays the foundation for organizations that are just starting production oversight, or for companies with mature programs that are ready to move to the next level (e.g. advertisers already managing individual shoots but don’t have a consolidated view of global production activity.)

Whitepaper: 360-degree Agency Evaluation, can you handle the truth?

In this paper, explore all aspects of the 360-degree feedback process. Understand that if incorporated into a robust evaluation program, the 360 can be one of the most powerful tools we have available to improve client/agency relationship performance, minimize inefficiencies and reduce costs.

Certainly, it is a sensitive area and if handled incorrectly can cause more harm than good. Without a collaborative and positive approach, it can degenerate into finger-pointing and ultimately lose any value it could generate.

However, with a foundation of trust, a healthy dose of training & communication and support by appropriate processes & technology, this is an exciting and innovative way to dramatically affect the power of your marketing effectiveness.


Whitepaper: Scope of Work, the Right Team on the Right Business

Learn how breaking out the constituent parts of the Scope of Service/Scope of Work process and applying a disciplined, centralized approach provides benefits at every level.

It helps marketers to clearly articulate what they are looking for, provides the agency an accurate guide to which they can respond and provides procurement/finance with a clear picture of the cost and value drivers that underpin the fee component.

In providing a central process that helps the three parties make informed decisions, it impacts both the efficiency and effectiveness of the client agency relationship.

In providing a communication bridge that drives the marketing work process, it represents a lever in the marketing supply management chain that delivers tremendous return on investment

Knowledge is Power: How a Good Scope of Work Program Can Benefit an Organization

Data is power. But how can any Marketing Procurement organization get this “power”?

The key is to have a solid and powerful Scope of Work Program where your agencies also benefit.

A robust Scope of Work Program requires a standardized process when scoping work with Agencies and a meaningful Scope Structure for capturing pertinent information on each Scope across the Agency portfolio.
But how does one initiate a Scope of Work Program into an Organization?
Download our Whitepaper and discover the 5 key steps.

Using Agency Optimization to Support Brand Goals

Armed with the right data, agency management practitioners can create greater value for their organizations.

There tends to be a cyclical movement in regard to where an agency optimization function sits within an organization, but it usually resides in either the marketing or procurement group. Regardless of where the program sits within an organization, the idea around optimizing the agency partnership has evolved from a focus on process efficiencies and cost savings to real opportunities for marketing procurement and marketing operations to partner with brand marketers to create additional value for executive stakeholders and the business at large.

Read more in our eBook here.

eBook: How to apply Business Intelligence to Agency Management

In this eBook, we look at the red-hot area of Business Intelligence/Data Analytics and specifically how it can be applied to marketing procurement and agency management decisions. Topics covered include:

  • The importance of efficiently collecting data
  • Why data visualization is so vital
  • The benefits of dashboards
  • 10 steps you should take to get started

We also look at pragmatic case studies of how this theory is being applied in the agency
management domain while examining two critical areas; Scope of Work and Agency Performance Evaluation processes.

Decideware Agency Management. When Advertisers want Enterprise, they upgrade with Decideware.

Decideware is the accredited, industry platform deployed by advertisers to manage their agencies. Designed for enterprise — clients subscribe to a suite of robust, scalable software solutions; gain access to a range of highly expert services; engage all their stakeholders; and build valuable data assets to inform decision making.

When Advertisers want Enterprise — they upgrade with Decideware.

Helping Advertisers Better Manage Agency Partnerships. Professional Services from Decideware.

Our client’s success is directly correlated to the value they gain via their subscription and the decision making that it informs.

The Services Team’s aim is to help clients derive the greatest available value from their Decideware subscription.

Our range of services includes:

• Program review, design, deployment and optimization

• Software & Stakeholder Onboarding and Training

• Data, Analytics & Business Intelligence Expertise

• Outsourced Administrative Support

Find out more in our Services overview.

Whitepaper: Marketing Procurement,
Similar but Different

Learn how the key techniques and tools that marketing procurement should use for agencies and suppliers are similar, and yet different.

This paper looks at five critical stages in the lifecycle between client and agency:

  1. SELECT - We look at the selection and on-boarding process.
  2. SCOPE - Then we review the way in which clients engage with and budget for their agency services.
  3. BRIEF - Next we look at processes marketers use to define the work product for their agencies.
  4. PRODUCE - We also need to understand how the actual advertising deliverables are produced.
  5. EVALUATE - And finally we need to measure agency performance and compensate agencies appropriately.

Each one of those areas has a range of proven strategic supply management techniques that you can utilize to get the most effective and efficient return on your marketing investment.

And finally, it is vital that the technology you utilize has the ability to handle the unique nuances of the marketing category of supply!

Whitepaper: Agency Evaluation, what 
we've learned from the world's best 

Given Decideware’s close involvement with the evaluation programs of advertisers all around the world, we are often asked what lessons we have learned.

What is the best way to implement and manage an agency relationship review program? What is agency relationship evaluation best practice? In other words—what have we learned from the world's best advertisers?

While all of our clients have their own unique methodology and approach to agency relationship reviews, we have been able to identify some common characteristics which we believe represent best practice.

Innovation Paper: Scope of Work, Beyond Cost & Rates

This release in Decideware's "Innovation Series" looks at the important issue of using Scope of Work to manage agency value and understanding if you are getting the most from your agency spend.

Decideware 's paper Beyond Costs and Rates - a practical guide to understanding value, discusses the cutting edge of Marketing Agency Management - measuring Agency Cost, Resource Planning and Agency Performance data to determine Agency Value. 


Insights Brief: Agency Performance Evaluation

"ANA Insight Brief: Building an Agency Performance Management Program" by Richard Benyon and Steven Wales overviews why companies should implement an agency performance management program as well as the key elements involved to create a sound program.

A successful program should be both efficient, without placing too much a burden on the participants and senior management; and effective, aligned with the goals of the marketing organization and producing measurable data. 


Magazine: 2016 ANA Thought Leadership

"Surging Ahead: Getting stronger, faster, and better together. Trends and best practices for agency evaluations that build strong client-agency relationships." In this article, Richard Benyon, CEO of Decideware, guides readers through agency evaluation and emerging trends that may become mainstream in 2020. The article looks at key areas of interest and best practices for developing an agency evaluation that get results and meets company goals including:

  • Asking the right questions
  • Getting the timing right
  • Finding the right model
  • Post evaluation success and action planning

2015 WFA / Decideware Business Intelligence Survey

The World Federation of Advertisers & Decideware conducted a survey of major advertisers. The survey, conducted in May 2015, sought to understand the key stakeholders and processes that companies utilize to manage data.

The survey, sent to a sample of their member companies globally in early 2015, provided a number of insights into the beliefs and behaviours of marketing procurement executives with respect to the importance of using data to make key decisions.

The results of the survey are compelling, with the majority of the respondents understanding the importance of data when making key decisions. Interestingly, 88%of companies, also responded that they could make better decisions if they had access to more robust data. And yet only 19% of companies surveyed indicated that they felt that their Business Intelligence practice had reached a higher level of maturity.

Magazine: 2014 ANA Thought Leadership Magazine

Articles on Marketing Procurement & Production


"Similar But Different, the Unique Challenges of Marketing Procurement" by Richard Benyon explores the key similarities between Marketing Procurement and Procurement – and argues that while there are distinctions in the marketing environment there are tools and techniques that can be successfully applied across both business environments.

"Making the Most of Your Production Spend" also by Richard Benyon furthers the argument that value and not lowest cost should be the goal of successful production spend management,  and that access to reliable, timely production spend data is necessary to allow reliable analyses.


Survey: 2014 WFA/Decideware Scope of Work Survey

The World Federation of Advertisers & Decideware conducted a survey of major advertisers. The survey sought to provide a better understanding of important issues regarding how major advertisers manage their scope of work programs.

The survey, sent to a sample of their member companies across Europe in February 2014, provided a number of insights into the beliefs and behaviours of marketing procurement executives managing scope of work programs.


Magazine: 2013 ANA Thought Leadership Magazine

Articles on Agency Management & Briefing


"Optimizing Agency Teams: A Decade of Change" by Richard Benyon explores the new models for managing multiple agencies to ensure that there is one voice for the client across all consumer touchpoints. The article also touches on the key processes that can assist in the implementation of these new agency models.

"How to Build an Effective Briefing Program" also by Richard Benyon explores the argument that the better the brief, the better the work that will come out of your agency.  The article touches on the three key elements for creating a successful briefing program as well as key traits that comprise a quality program.


Magazine: 2012 ANA Thought Leadership Magazine

Articles on Marketing Agency Management


"3 Important Ways Procurement Can Add Value for their Marketing Stakeholders" by Richard Benyon addresses the rise in importance of marketing agency management (MAM), generally described as a blend of procurement and finance processes that allow an organization to better manage its external marketing investment. This article dives into the three ways MAM can add value to marketing and leverages these strategies.

"3 Strong Foundations" extends this discussion and looks at three important foundations that need to be put in place: people, processes, and systems, in order to extract maximum value from client-agency relationships.


Magazine: 2011 ANA Thought Leadership Magazine

Article on Agency Relationship


"Beyond Cost and Rates: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Value of Agency Relationship" by Steven Wales overviews the value of agency relationship and looking beyond the traditional theory of cutting costs. The article explores the "value equation" which views the overall worth of each individual agency relationship. 

In "Driving Performance: Key Insights on How to Maximize an Agency Evaluation Program", Richard Benyon interviews Ken Lloyd, author of Performance Appraisals and Phrases for Dummies for his perspective on agency evaluation programs and how to maximize the evaluation process. 


Decideware-at-a-Glance Infographic

Decideware's "At-A-Glance" Infographic overviews the Decideware offering as well as our client base and management team. Decideware's Agency Lifecycle Management "Software-as-a-Service" platform consists of five modules and our new Business Intelligence Solution which help advertisers manage their relationships. We also offer a range of expert services to help make you successful.

Decideware works with the top global advertisers and is proud of our relationships with strong industry partners such as the ANA, WFA and an ISBA conference partner. 



Decideware Executive Summary

The Decideware Executive Summary overviews Decideware's Agency Lifecycle Management Platform and how each module integrates with one another to help advertisers manage a highly productive relationship with their agencies.The Executive Summary explains each module in detail and its role in the agency lifecycle.

Decideware's software platform and expert services help advertisers optimize these relationships and spend, overall performance and ROI.


Decideware's Business Intelligence Solution

Decideware's Business Intelligence Solution


"Decideware BI" is our new Business Intelligence solution that provides advanced analytics, data visualization through custom-developed dashboards. Unlock the power of your marketing procurement and agency management data.


Decideware's Agency Lifecycle Management Platform

This video provides an overview of the Decideware Agency Lifecycle Platform. Cloud-based software that helps major advertisers manage the spend, performance, and overall relationship with their marketing and communication agencies.


Decideware's Scope of Work Module

Decideware's "Scope Manager" is the industry leading solution used to assist major advertisers in managing their Scope of Work programs. 


Decideware's Agency Evaluation Module

Decideware's "Evaluation Manager" is the most widely used solution to assist major advertisers in managing their Agency Evaluation programs. 


Decideware's Production Budgeting Module

Decideware's "Production Manager" is a new solution used to assist major advertisers in managing their Production Budgeting programs.

Decideware's Creative & Assignment Briefing Module

Decideware's "Briefing Manager" is a new solution used to assist major advertisers in managing their Creative and Assignment Briefing programs. 


Magazine: 2016 ANA Thought Leadership

"Surging Ahead: Getting stronger, faster, and better together. Trends and best practices for agency evaluations that build strong client-agency relationships." In this article, Richard Benyon, CEO of Decideware, guides readers through agency evaluation and emerging trends that may become mainstream in 2020. The article looks at key areas of interest and best practices for developing an agency evaluation that get results and meets company goals including:

  • Asking the right questions
  • Getting the timing right
  • Finding the right model
  • Post evaluation success and action planning

Scope of Work: The Right People For The Righ Business

As with other professional services categories the Scope of Work process is becoming ever more important in managing marketing spend. A well-controlled Scope of Work program is an integral part of a robust framework for planning and communication between client and agency.

The Scope of Work / Scope of Service process (referred to generically as SOW in this document) generates a wide range of benefits.

Download our Whitepaper and discover how

6 Steps to Establish a Great Production Spend Management Program

The Pandemic is Forcing Better Production Governance

Advertisers were faced with having to quickly pivot their approach to production because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. They were canceling and postponing shoots, adapting production of content, accessing and re-purposing existing assets, and figuring out how to deliver the appropriate messaging to their audiences in an innovative way.

CMOs and finance teams are now focused on the financial impact of the pandemic to both revenue and expenses. The marketing operations and procurement teams are working quickly to update scopes of work, contracts, and change orders with their agencies. Some industry sectors are pumping the breaks on production (i.e. leisure and hospitality) while others are working fast and furious to address markets that are tentatively re-opening. Regardless of the sector and market, all advertisers are closely monitoring and managing their spending.

So far, how well have advertisers been able to manage their production spend when the crunch hit? Were they able to have a single topline view of production activity across all of their brand teams, agencies and geographies? Did they have a good handle on their production commitments and spend? Did they know the financial implications associated with canceling productions? Could they assess the impact of budget changes with their agencies? And when production begins to ramp back up again (and everyone is competing for the same resources at the same time), how well positioned will advertisers be to look across their production jobs to optimize the resources available to deliver against new timelines?

Production job by country pm

Illustration 1: Production jobs by country

Great Production Spend Management is Within Your Control

An ANA report entitled ANA Production Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry stated “Improved advertising production management is within advertisers’ control. Advertiser disciplines, accountabilities, and controls for production need to be evaluated, upgraded, and restructured to substantially elevate decision-making quality and enhance disciplines and overall financial management.”

The report states “Advertisers must develop internal production management disciplines to ensure consistency and reliability in the decision-making process.”

Many advertisers have taken steps to gain greater efficiencies in production spending with, for example 1) decoupled production from creative development, 2) prequalified production suppliers, and 3) sourcing directly with production companies (instead of through their agency). That is, they focused on their third-party sourcing efforts.

However, with perhaps a few exceptions, many struggle to develop an effective, overarching production spend management process to optimize production spend, increase efficiencies, manage vendors, track budgets and maintain oversight.

Now is the Time for Advertisers to Reassess their Production Spend Management Program

Think about the 4 questions below. As an advertiser, you want to be able to say yes to all of these questions.

1. Is there a governance budget process that provides visibility and transparency into production?

2. Are there controls and information available to manage production policies, procurement, and behaviors?

3. Are timely production spend details accessible across brands, markets, regions, shoot locations, timelines, etc.

4. Is production budget data readily available to see trends and outliers?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, then advertisers must ask themselves - why? And for those that said yes, a further question follows:

How robust is the budget governance program? Is there a database and dashboards with consistent data that is readily available for analysis to show trends and outliers or is it in Excel and is the data disbursed and disparate across the globe?

Clients access powerful custom dashboards to inform their production spend management policies pm

Illustration 2: Clients access powerful custom dashboards to inform their production spend management policies

Here are 6 Steps to start your journey to build a production spend management program:

1. Identify the key stakeholders

• Who has an influence or is involved in production (e.g. marketing, legal, agency, operations, finance, procurement, third-party vendors, etc.)?

• Understand who is making financial commitments on behalf of the company.

• Are there operation teams that oversee production across major markets?

2. Document the production process starting from idea/budget creation, to scope of work, to project reconciliation

• Is there one process centrally managed or multiple processes in different markets?

• Consider the stakeholders and their engagement in the process, map the process and touchpoints.

3. Understand cost components, cost drivers, and approval points

• Many large advertisers work with cost consultants on individual projects, but who governs the overall cost elements?

• Document and recognize all aspects of production cost components.

4. Gather and analyze historical data

• Collect budget and actual spend information.

• Use the data to start to understand trends and outliers.

5. Prioritize and agree on the objectives to address

• Ensure consistency and reliability in the decision-making process

• Objectives for consideration may include:

o Visualize and understand where you spend, across all markets

o Optimize production spend.

o Gain efficiencies with shoot schedules and locations.

o Streamline vendors.

o Implement guidelines to help support decision makers.

6. Build the business case for change - where the data can articulate the issues and guide the direction of change

• Engage marketing leadership.

• Now is the ideal time to begin to take control of production spend.

The Journey

Over the past 12 months, we have worked closely with very large advertisers and in partnership with their agencies to develop and build-out production budget governance programs.

These programs benefit the clients and the agencies – because they reduce waste. And waste benefits no-one.

In truth, this is a new discipline for many of us and our collective expertise is still escalating rapidly, for the benefit of all the participants.

Decideware has seen that it is entirely possible to start small and secure significant, early gains prior to embarking on a longer program to embed gains in the production management ecosystem.

Decideware’s Production Manager

From our view of the market, Advertisers that had ready access to data during the recent pandemic were better positioned to pivot their production efforts, assess risks, and make fast decisions related to resources, costs, and schedules.

Decideware technology is enabling large advertisers to better govern their production programs by consolidating and organizing data so marketing leadership and finance have a topline view of all production across all brands and regions. The operations or procurement teams have the ability to analyze historical data for trends and outliers and to identify gaps in the current governance process. By better understanding data, advertisers can improve the efficacy and efficiency of their production programs thus taking time and cost out of the process.

If you are interested in seeing a demo or learning more about how Decideware can help visit or email

Decideware provides custom solutions to help you manage your agencies for greater mutual success.

View Our Solutions