By: Mike Crawford
We all know that the key to successful relationships is effective, interactive communications. This is very true for marketing communications agencies and their clients.
Photo by Orphan Jones, CC-BY-2.0
It’s like a marriage, or partnership, where the agency becomes an extension of the client’s marketing department and is viewed as part of their team as opposed to a vendor or supplier. In order for a relationship like this to develop, both parties need to share similar values and ethics while trusting and enjoying the interactions among the individuals from each organization. It is this type of chemistry that allows long-standing relationships to grow and flourish.
We can come up with creative ideas to generate results for your marketing communications programs but there are better ways to maximize the ROI in your agency. Getting high-level involvement from the CEO level down involved and actively participating in the long-term brand strategy provides your agency team the support and insight that informs successful programs. Creative ideas will come from your company and your agency and they need to be nurtured. This type of collaboration allows the agency to truly understand your company’s unique value so it is reflected in the agency’s creative ideas and program recommendations for a successful marketing communications program.
There should be a mutual understanding and respect between the client and agency. Meetings should be arranged on a regular basis. Any confusion or questions should be addressed immediately with a telephone call or a face-to-face meeting. Overall, the relationship should be fun and enjoyable for all.
Each party should make a concerted effort to nurture the relationship along with a give-and-take approach. A formal Letter of Agreement clearly stating the terms and conditions of the relationship ensures both parties understand the expectations, responsibilities and the requirements for a good partnership to occur.
So trust and believe in your client/agency partnership. Communicate and share information because without it you will miss opportunities, overlook insights and not reach your brand’s full potential. Recognize the strengths each party brings to the relationship. Mutually lay the groundwork for success. Take risks and be willing to scare yourself a little with ideas. Again, have fun and enjoy each other because marketing communications should be fun. Finally, always apply the GOLDEN RULE…treat each other like you want to be treated.
We have been very fortunate to have a multitude of very successful long-standing relationships with many terrific clients over the last four decades. I have truly valued each and every relationship during that time and have a respect and admiration for the all the individuals at our client organizations as well as within our agency. It has been an outstanding journey.
I believe that great work requires great clients; and great clients enable us to partner and work with them, not just for them.