M1F develop benchmarks from a number of sources. Firstly we are provided with a huge and unique amount of data through the work we do with our clients. While we do not specifically use this data, it does add to our pool of knowledge about the current rates and fees within any particular market. Secondly we obtain significant industry information through subscription to proprietary research, industry information sources, academic research and publicly available information. Finally each of our industry consultants have more than ten years’ experience in their particular fields and bring to the process the knowledge on how best to apply these benchmarks to the situation. Together, this provides us with a very substantial and unique base of benchmarking knowledge to assist our clients to make decisions on the rates they are paying.
We develop and maintain our benchmarks for use in providing our services to our clients. These are dynamic and so we constantly monitor the market place to ensure they reflect the market at any time. Because of this, we do not provide benchmarks in isolation, but only as part of a benchmarking assessment for our clients with a warning that the benchmarks are correct at the time of the report, but that future reference and use of these benchmarks should be referred to TrintyP3 for verification.
The obvious benchmarks are salary benchmarks, which become the basis of calculating head hour rates and retainer fees. But we also have many other benchmarks for marketing communications including: Resource levels for various types of projects and scope of work, resource mixes across various disciplines, resource levels within marketing against marketing spend, rate card costs, production costs and many more. These benchmarks allow us to provide advice on not just costs, but resource levels, resource quality and time efficiency both within marketing communications and the service providers to the category.
Obviously no one likes having a third party involved in their business, but the truth is that over time most agencies have come to acknowledge the role M1F fulfills. Our objective is to help our clients, advertisers and marketers, establish and build functional and sustainable relationships with their suppliers, aligned to delivering their marketing needs as cost and time effectively as possible. This is what we see as obtaining maximum marketing value. Once agencies understand we are not trying to simply reduce costs, they are open to our involvement.ext.
M1F does NOT charge a percentage of savings as we believe this becomes a huge incentive for consultants to reduce costs at the expense of quality and leads to largely unsustainable financial relationships and agreements. Instead, we charge an upfront project fee based on developing the scope of the project with the client. This fee is based on the projected number of hours and resources we believe will be required. It is a fixed fee and subject to no change, if the scope of the project the fee is final. Therefore head hour and day rates are largely irrelevant. Occasionally we have been engaged on a head hour basis because the client was unable to exactly define the scope of the project. In these circumstances we will develop a remuneration model specific to the needs of the client.
Where a client is looking to reduce their costs, M1F can provide expert advice on how to reduce costs with minimal impact on service and quality of outcomes through our expertise in reducing waste and increasing efficiency. In these cases M1F will enter into a Payment by Results scheme where the level of cost reduction is agreed and M1F will reduce our project fee up-front on the basis of identifying the pre-agreed level of reduction. On achieving this goal of identifying the agreed level of cost reduction, a pre-agreed bonus is paid.
M1F is totally independent in our advice to our clients. Therefore we do not undertake any work or receive any remuneration from suppliers to our clients, including agencies, consultants, media and production suppliers. M1F does invest a significant amount of time in developing the industry with free advice and feedback to suppliers and by working with industry bodies to provide best practice advice.
M1F covers most areas of marketing communications service providers including: creative agencies, media agencies, digital agencies, direct marketing, public relations, graphic design, production, marketing services, research and the like.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of our business as M1F consultants are exposed to a huge amount of confidential information from our clients and their service providers. We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest level of trust and integrity. On the practical side, M1F has a standard services agreement and contract that covers confidentiality, IP, conflicts of interest, professional indemnity and guarantees.