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Marketing consultancy TrinityP3 launches new online benchmarking service

Darren WoolleyStrategic marketing consultancy TrinityP3 has launched an online benchmarking service which it says is designed to give agencies, clients and their procurement departments better clarity about the acceptable hours rates for marketing services. 

The service Ad Cost Checker, which formally launched this week, is an online advertising cost benchmarking calculator that allows business to benchmark their hour rates and fees for creative, media, digital, social, design and advertising production.

Managing director of TrinityP3 Darren Woolley told Mumbrella that at present there was no consistency in how agencies were being benchmarked and that the situation was “all over the place”.

“Everyone talks about benchmarks but the actual rates are all over the place. One agency could have one person on a salary of $100,000 being charged out to different clients at very different rates, of say $109 and $162. Now that’s not wrong but how does ‘the benchmark” fit into that when its a $130?”

Woolley said their new service, which costs $195 for one report or discounted for multiple reports, would help address the problem of agencies and clients not knowing if they were charging or paying a competitive rate for work.

“TrinityP3 gets agencies all the time asking us can you look at our rates and tell us if we’re high or low to market. Now we haven’t done that in the past but this allows them to actually see where they sit for a particular type of client and vice versa,” said Woolley.

“The MFA and AFA used to do their salary benchmarks and all this focus on how much people were getting paid and of course procurement loves benchmarking and there is always talk about agencies being ‘much higher than the benchmark’ or ‘much lower than the benchmark’. The trouble is that when we started looking through the data that we have the salary benchmarks are wrong.

“What we have done is that our benchmarking system takes that into consideration and created a benchmark for each of those different combination of client agency relationships.”

The TrinityP3 has a large database, according to Woolley, of hundreds of data points for each position and will be regularly updated. “We have got hundreds of data points for every role and covers everything from strategy and creative to media and digital and will be updated as we work with more and more clients the system will be updated and will analyse how the benchmarks are changing,” he said.

Woolley denied that the reports would be used by clients to try and drive agencies down on price and said he believed that Ad Cost Checker could help agencies achieve a better rate.

Asked if Ad Cost Checker would be used by clients to drive down agency rates he said: “I think it will have the opposite effect. What is happening now is that often people are benchmarking at the lower rate, say $109 an hour, because they get information from friends, colleagues, whoever.

“That method doesn’t take into consideration how big the client is, their spend etc. and this is the problem at the moment benchmarking is driving prices down because it doesn’t take that into consideration and so it becomes a very blunt instrument.  Our service is more sophisticated.”

TrinityP3 is the only Australian service to offer benchmarking online but the product is likely to compete with the benchmarking services offered by other consultancies such as Faulkners Media Management, Enth Degree, Portland Group and Ebiquity.

Nic Christensen 

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