Fostering client-agency relationships: A business buying behavior perspective

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Account acquisition and retention is an ongoing problem facing advertising agencies. Literature in this area has focused on the criteria used in agency selection, the factors fostering continuity, and the forces prompting the break-up of client-agency relationships. However, this classic industrial service relationship has not been examined from a business-to-business buying behavior perspective. A study was conducted with top agency account acquisition personnel. This study found strong support for the notion that business buying behavior models can be applied to client-agency relationships. Furthermore, they may be applied to business-to-business service transactions as well. Many forces considered unique to business buying behavior were prevalent for the selection of agency services according to sales personnel involved in cultivating new business. The findings suggest that agencies need to emphasize nonspecific campaign forces effecting agency selection. Moreover, the study also points to the importance of identifying the effect of internal organizational forces and the roles buying center members play, side by side with campaign-specific factors. Directions for future research are noted and managerial implications for business-to-business new account acquisition and selling are also provided. J BUSN RES 2000. 49.213-228. © 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Business Research

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