A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion at the 2017 iProspect Client Summit about one of my favorite topics – Client Service. A client-agency relationship founded on trust, mutual respect, open communication and shared goals can be a successful, profitable relationship. Achieving and maintaining this relationship takes commitment – just as any relationship requires. And, the details matter.
The guests on this Client Summit panel had some important things to say about what brands and businesses expect from their agency partners today. My panel guest included:
- Chris Kobus, VP Marketing & eCommerce, Sunglass Hut
- Riyhana Bey, Director of Brand Execution and Digital Marketing, Cadillac
- Peter Francis, VP of Digital Sales, T-Mobile
- Corey Carrillo, Senior Global SEM and Performance Media Manager, Intel Corporation
In about thirty minutes, these sharp panelists shared some candid feedback. I encourage you to watch the session.
I was reminded of the following important truths - a healthy refresher for anyone striving to maximize their partnership with a client.
- Be an extension of the client’s team. As an agency partner, we must understand a client’s business. We need to know their day to day, and their short-term and long-term business goals. We need to understand the politics of their organization, and what it takes for them to get something sold through and approved.
Riyhana Bey said one of the most memorable quotes from Summit, “If you know my business as well you know your business, then we are in business.”
- An agency must be a resource.
- Are we retaining the best talent in our field, talent and specialisms that our clients don’t have the capacity to bring on internally?
- Do we offer unique IT – a platform, a framework, a technology – that our clients would not otherwise be able to leverage?
- Are we pioneers in our space?
- As an agency, we have a distinct advantage over in house marketers. We get to see what’s happening with clients across multiple verticals in real time. We can identify trends, and borrow insights from other fields to deliver creative solutions to our clients.
- We must frequently sharpen our work against what we see in the industry from other agencies and brands, and challenge ourselves to innovate, stay fresh and deliver a cutting edge product.
- We must be good students of our craft, constantly on top of where pop culture and the industry is moving - and able to adjust our recommendations to keep our clients ahead of the changes.
- As an agency, it is our job to help our client’s business grow.
- We must help the client do something new, something better, something smarter.
- When we offer strategies, are they framed in the context of understanding a business challenge, offering a solution, and then presenting a realistic business plan to help the client achieve more?
For more of these insights, take a few minutes to watch the session.