Partnership working

Five rules of successful client-agency relationships

04/09/2018 16:03:13
It’s always our goal to form long-lasting relationships with our clients, and you’ll no doubt want to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your agency, too. 

For us, it's all about building strong partnerships that deliver results, and here are five golden rules for successful client-agency relationships. 

  1. Know yourself – before you engage with an agency it's important that you know your own organisation: who you are, what you stand for, which audiences are important to you and what sets you apart from the competition. It's also important to be clear on exactly why you want to work with an agency, set out what you what to achieve, and be prepared to work together to achieve those results. Smart agencies and clients understand that a strong partnership will produce the best work that leads to better business results, and this relies on having clear objectives in the first instance.
  2. Invest time in each other: A good agency will invest time in getting to know your business, your customers and markets, and really get to grips with your products and services. But you will need to invest time, too, to help them get under the skin of your organisation and access the mountain of industry and product knowledge you and your team hold in your heads. Often, all it takes is a quick phone call to give the agency the information they need. If you're willing to make time to help your agency soak up your knowledge, products, services, people and culture, you will reap the rewards.
  3. Build trust: By choosing to work with an agency, you are putting your organisation's reputation in someone else's hands. A good agency will take that responsibility very seriously. The best client relationships we’ve enjoyed in our 30-year history have been based on mutual trust and respect. In practice, this means clients are comfortable sharing the full picture with us: what's important to their business now, and also their longer term plans. In turn, we can give them the best strategic advice and they trust us to get on with our job, knowing that it will deliver the right results for them. 
  4. Be responsive: Your agency should be responsive to your needs, proactive with ideas and pushing you to get the best out of them. In return, it’s important that you make time to respond to requests for information. That could be a briefing on a new product launch, reviewing copy, or providing a media quote. A good agency will be working to an agreed plan and will build in time for approvals, but sometimes - particularly with media comment opportunities - a quick response is required or those opportunities will be missed.
  5. Communicate: It's good to talk. Regular updates are key to monitor how campaigns are working and keep things on track. Keep talking to each other, share successes, and don’t be afraid to shout up if something isn’t working quite as you’d like it to. Every relationship is different, and the best ones evolve over time as you explore and find the ways of working that suit you both.
Client-agency relationships can be an incredible partnership, but like all relationships they take work. A successful relationship involves setting clear expectations, agreeing responsibilities and being open and accessible. If you're looking for an agency that works in this way, we could well be the team for you. 

Feel free to get in touch, or for more tips on how to create the perfect client-agency partnership take a look at our previous blog: 

  "When clients stop making you tea"