Clearcast Agency Survey Results

14th October 2019

In July we undertook our 8th Agency Survey. Many thanks to the 366 of you that took the trouble to respond; as promised we’re feeding back the headlines of what you told us.

It’s worth saying that there was nothing particularly special about the fieldwork period that would skew results overall, although year on year the pace of industry change has continued to speed up. We know that considerations like agencies having to do more with less resource and the pressure to deliver to tighter timelines affect expectations of Clearcast.

In measurable terms, we’re doing fantastically well now with record turnaround times. In the first nine months of the year we turned around 94.6% of scripts in 3 days (compared with our Service Level target of 85%) and 98.3% of TVCs in 2 days (target: 95%).

So now over to the survey results. The benchmark to compare against was our 2018 survey results which were our best ever. These followed the speeding up of our script turnaround target from 85% in 4 days to the same percentage in 3 days. Overall, the 2019 results were at very similar levels to 2018 with some small declines in key measures.

In terms of headline figures:

  • 46% of you said we are doing better than last year (13% a lot better, 33% a bit better) with 48% saying about the same so only 6% said we were doing worse. Reassuringly, only 1% said a lot worse.
  • 77% of respondents said their experience of working with us was good or excellent which is on a par with last year. The proportion rating their experience of us as excellent rose to 28% from 26%. Way back in 2009 the equivalent good/excellent figure was just 48% so the 2019 results represent a 60% improvement on where we started!
  • 77% of you also said that Clearcast serves agencies very well or quite well. This is a slight decline on last time (80%) but again, the proportion saying we serve agencies very well rose (to 37% from 35%). Given the experience of working with us score has held firm, the year on year difference here is likely to reflect changing expectations on Clearcast given market changes. It’ll be interesting to see how our Fast Track service (launched June 2019) affects this score next time round.
  • Our turnaround times were rated excellent or good by 69% of you. That is a small (but not statistically significant) decrease on the 70% score we achieved last year. In practice we’re delivering near record turnaround times now, but we understand that agency expectations continue to increase. Fast Track is already helping many agencies (we’ve recently passed the 100 mark!)!) deliver the turnaround times that their clients need. It’s worth saying that it’s impossible to deliver consistent turnaround times for every submission because of varying complexity and the need for those with technical claims to go to specialist consultants; if you’re including technical claims you must allow additional time for this.
  • Our execs have dedicated agency accounts which means that when they are away the work needs to be covered. 59% of you said you were very or quite happy with cover when your contact is away. This is down slightly on the 62% last time, but nearly double the score we got for the same question in 2009. This shows that improvements we have made to the system since then have made a real difference. Cover is something we’re continually trying to improve and we know how frustrating it can be if your exec is away and you don’t know what’s happening with your submission. Cover is a complex system to manage as who is covering on a given day will depend on who is not in the office. To make things easier for you, you can email cover@clearcast.co.uk and find out who will be covering your work on any given day. We’re sometimes asked why we can’t proactively email CopyCentral users when contacts are away with the cover contact but with over 10,000 users and cover contacts that may change daily that wouldn’t be practical.
  • Clearcast has 5 values. Our strongest are perceived to be Respect, being Expert and being Just and Fair all with over 75% agreement that we do them well or very well. Our weakest is perceived as being Solutions Orientated (63% well or very well) and Consistent (68%). Consistency was the value that had the greatest proportion saying we didn’t deliver very well (21% said not very well or not at all well). Feedback tells us that consistency covers consistency between people in the team, consistency across a single submission clearance and consistency with previous decisions. On the last point, as no two ads are the same and nuances can make a difference (for example to timing restrictions), what may seem to be an inconsistency may not be. Please give us any precedents that you think are relevant when you make a submission or feel we’re being inconsistent and we will always consider these.

As you can see from the long term-trends in the data, we do take your feedback seriously and work to improve where we can. We always take themes from the survey to work on and over the next year we’ll be looking at cover and consistency.

Thanks again for taking the time to feed back.

Chris Mundy