How we boosted our credibility with clients

Dominic Randle, Director, Running Total Media, explores how gaining IPA Effectiveness Accreditation has transformed the way the agency works

IPA Effectiveness Accreditation has led to broader, better client conversations.

Submissions for the next IPA Effectiveness Accreditation will open in March 2023


At the time of applying for IPA Effectiveness Accreditation, we were an independent agency that was only five years old, but one that was created by ex-network agency people to put clients first, and deliver on meeting their business objectives and desires.

When we saw that the IPA was launching Effectiveness Accreditation – in which IPA member agencies are encouraged to submit their approach to building an effectiveness culture in their agencies for endorsement by an independent panel of brand owners and Effectiveness specialists – we really believed we encapsulated what it was all about, and vice versa, so that was a good start! Beyond that, we were convinced that as a new agency being accredited would really supercharge our credibility and trust with clients, and also help with new business to drive future growth.

Challenges for a small team

There were of course some challenges. As a small team, we didn’t then have as much supporting information as is available now, so articulating why we thought we deserved the accreditation did take some time. We also believed that having our own view backed up from our clients was going to add some weight to our case, and asking them to take time out of their own busy schedules didn’t necessarily come easily either.

Since gaining accreditation we have changed the way we approach things. If the IPA Effectiveness Accreditation was a badge, then we’ve made sure it’s a big one that we wear with pride.

Dominic Randle, Director, Running Total Media

It really has become a lead part of our credentials and something we emphasise with each and every new business conversation, and that allows us to talk more broadly about the work we do with our clients and how we are really invested in tying work back to real life business metrics. This opens up organisations to share business data with us, and have a more meaningful relationship to help them achieve their goals and not just see Marketing or Media spend as a cost, but more as an investment.

Better conversations with clients

On top of data sharing, we also have better conversations with clients, and with a more diverse set of people within clients businesses. The way we’ve worked has allowed us to get closer to senior decision makers in businesses too, whether they are owners, CEO’s, VC’s or FD’s who are often crucial to deciding on budget and approvals. This gives us more of a seat at the top table, and means we become a crucial part of their business and team.

For us, the experience has been particularly rewarding. Yes, we got the accreditation, but the workshops the IPA have put on since have also been extremely valuable. We believe we had very strong credentials in this space, but there are always new ways to look at things or how we articulate them and so it’s also encouraged us to reflect a bit on how we can improve what we do as an agency. To put that in perspective, we’ve created a Head of Effectiveness role within our agency and have even put measurement first in some of our more recent pitches! Who’d have thought it?

Last updated 01 May 2024