How team effectiveness is impacted by the marketing category you work in

New research shows the challenges of working in different marketing categories and how to improve team effectiveness.

The chart below shows the overall scores (out of 100) by category. Comparing the scores marketers gave their agencies, and agencies gave their clients.

How the marketing category you work in can impact your business relationships.

From healthcare and finance, to confectionery and petcare, the demands of different business categories can have a profound impact on marketer and agency teams and the individuals within them. The latest research from Aprais delves into the distinct attributes, hurdles and dynamics of each marketing category, helping teams retain and win new clients in their target categories.

Based on analysis of more than 26,000 evaluations of relationships between marketers and their agencies that Aprais have conducted over their 20+ year history, the reports identify the differences and reveal how teams working in each category can improve against their most highly evaluated peers.

Key insights
  • Among 11 categories studied, petcare, confectionery and non-alcoholic drinks have the most positive ratings of each other.
  • Categories such as personal care, healthcare and finance score their teams lower. Perhaps the gravity of their often sensitive, technical and highly regulated nature is transmitted to the teams that drive them.
  • Highly competitive categories such as retail and telecoms show remarkably similar scores for the client and agency teams. This indicates strong alignment between the teams.
  • Among the categories, automotive has the greatest opportunity for marketers and agencies to improve relative to their best-in-class peers.
  • Across all categories, trust is the highest-scoring behaviour, underlining its universal importance in relationships.
  • Deep understanding of the specific category is critical to building trust and maintaining a good relationship between the marketer and the agency teams.
Key category differences

Our analysis suggests that less regulated categories like non-alcoholic drinks and confectionery tend to have a more positive view of their relationship (i.e. higher scores) overall.

More technical and regulated categories, such as healthcare and finance, have lower scores, suggesting that their gravity is transmitted to the teams that drive them and that these relationships take more effort to maintain.

Highly competitive marketing categories like telecoms and retail show remarkably similar scores for both the client and agency teams. One could venture that in a high-frequency, high-pressure environment, trust is imperative and fosters stronger alignment between teams.

Research-backed tips to build team effectiveness

Understanding the unique characteristics, challenges and dynamics of each category can help in the recruitment and training of team members.

In our intense, time-scarce and competitive business environment, often beset with high staff turnover, subject-matter expertise is becoming of greater importance on both sides of the relationship.

Here’s how subject-matter expertise can help build stronger business relationships:

  1. Effective communication – Allows marketers to effectively communicate goals, requirements and expectations to the agency team and vice versa.
  2. Trust and credibility – When marketers demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of their field, they gain the confidence of their agency teams.
  3. Efficient problem-solving – With a deep understanding of their industry and marketing practices, marketers and agencies can anticipate obstacles and provide valuable insights to each other.
  4. Strategic guidance – By leveraging subject-matter expertise, teams can develop more effective marketing campaigns and strategies that align with their business objectives.
Reports showing how marketers and agencies can improve their performance in different marketing categories.
Click to download the individual reports.

In-depth insights by marketing category released by Aprais. Sign up to our newsletter or visit for access to free research to boost your business relationships.