In marketing, there are many definitions and models for what it means to have an agency of record, more commonly referred to as an AOR, and just as many ways to structure the AOR relationship. Traditionally, an agency of record is a firm that enables a brand to centralize its marketing and advertising efforts. It is expected to coordinate and fulfill the overall advertising or marketing needs of its client—this often includes a breadth of media, creative, and measurement activities.
There are a growing number of integrated and highly specialized components to advertising and marketing that need to work together across all disciplines for a brand to be as impactful and efficient as possible. And, as marketing’s role has evolved, the definition and scope of the AOR has also changed to accommodate fragmented needs and highly specific skillsets. It is now very common to hear of AOR relationships specific to public relations, digital, and creative, or even more granular areas like media or user experience. Given that customers are more empowered than ever before and are leaving behind an incredible wealth of data, there’s another area where taking a centralized approach will prove important to a brand’s marketing success: analytics.
Why is an Analytics AOR so important?
Multiple sources of data coming through various partners can create a complex environment. Being able to centralize your analytics can provide you with a more unified view of your customers, give you a clearer picture of who they are, and uncover how they're engaging with your brand.
Forrester shares that four out of five business decision-makers are prioritizing analytics funding, with most of those individuals looking to analytics to help navigate and respond to changes in the industry. In fact, according to eMarketer, more than 80% of marketers think being able to make data-informed decisions and having the analytics capabilities to measure marketing effectiveness are vital to responding to marketing landscape disruptions.
Customers have an expectation that as brands gather more information about them, that data is being used to provide a relevant customer experience that best meets their needs. However in reality, many companies are swimming in data and need help achieving a strategic vision for how to leverage analytics, make sense of their data, and take action on those insights. Brands need an agency leader that can drive a cohesive, customer-centric experience, while understanding how to navigate the explosive amount of data now available. These agencies are also tasked with making that data actionable and frictionless, and using it to create an integrated customer experience.
An analytics AOR (or AAOR) can add further further value by helping a brand create a strategic vision for its analytics program. As the brand buys in from a strategic standpoint, the AAOR is ideally positioned to help at an executive level, creating a cross-functional effort to implement the infrastructure and technology, improve workflow, and provide the analysis necessary to deliver results. Just as is the case in more traditional AOR relationships, the brand may be able to execute on some areas of the vision, where more often than not, the AAOR can coordinate the total set of resources needed for what is in many cases, an ambitious and complex undertaking.
This has become even more important as marketing analytics has grown to extend well beyond a brand’s marketing function, enabling analytics to not only impact how your marketing department operates, but to transform your business as a whole. There are stakeholders across sales, product/pricing, finance, fulfillment, and more. And in many cases, silos exist that prohibit efficient collaboration across these functional areas of an organization. Similar to how multiple media channels benefit from the coordination a traditional AOR offers, the expansion of analytics is beginning to require a similar proxy in the form of the AAOR, which can span multiple departments and create collaboration among all stakeholders.
As the importance and scope of analytics continues to grow, brands must positions themselves to best capitalize on the information they are gathering to understand and connect with their customers. Even platform companies like Adobe, Google, and Oracle are making huge bets that personalization and digital experiences are the key factors that will drive brand loyalty moving forward. The only way to truly deliver highly relevant experiences is to have the process and partners in place to become a master of your data and analytics function.
Check out our recent article on understanding your level of analytics maturity for more on the role of analytics. To learn more about the importance of an analytics AOR, reach out to Rise.