Client-agency relationships have long been the hot topic of the industry. Krish Ramnani shares his views through 11 points that brands should know about agencies.
“I don’t know what they want, it’s complicated.” Funny how a Facebook relationship status could be used to describe a client–agency situation as well!
At a time when digitisation is at its peak and the industry is more saturated than ever before, maintaining a mutually beneficial association is a two-way street. Clients and agencies must realise that they share a united goal, the road to which won’t be smooth unless they stop perceiving each other as the devil’s advocate, even if that’s a spur-of-the-moment imagination.
While both clients and agencies must empathise with each other at all times, here’s a list of things that would ensure a client’s position in the agency’s good books!
We need the Bigger Picture
In order to narrate the story of a brand, it’s important for the agency to know the complete story first. More often than not, questions about internal practices and values or other external endeavours may arise, but clients must understand that this is not for some hidden agenda or competition, it is to graph a holistic approach for their communication.
For instance, understanding the offline campaign is crucial for its online amplification. We understand and respect the information that falls under the bracket of confidentiality, however.
Reminder: We’re on the same team
A brand knows its story best and an agency knows how to narrate it best. While moving towards the same goal, we must respect the other’s area of specialisation and work in tandem with each other, rather than trying to outshine or compete with one another.
Rome was not built in a day!
A great idea stems from a number of stress-free brainstorming sessions, well, unless it’s one of those ‘lucky days’! Research, ideation and plan of execution form the foundation of any strategy. The results will always speak for the strength of it.
Mona Lisa v/s Mona Darling
They might share the same first name but the grandeur that they come with is poles apart. Metaphorically speaking, you can’t pay for the painting of Mona Darling and expect Mona Lisa gracing you with her presence.
Urgency is a term often used very lightly while sharing briefs. However, clients must respect the work done and follow this sense of urgency for payments as well.
Agree to Disagree
Healthy debates, discussions, and constructive criticism always create a conducive atmosphere. Both clients and agencies hold the right to question or challenge decisions and the responsibility to back them with appropriate reasons. These sessions eliminate one-sided execution and ensure oneness in decision-making.
Changes precede Approvals, not the other way round!
Asking for a change after an approval is exactly like giving a child a candy but taking it back the next second! We understand that some changes are noticed much later and should be adhered to, however, multiple revisions after an approval would only lead to loss of time and longer mail trails.
See the long term goal!
Moment marketing lives up to its term, unless the occasion and message resonate with the values of the brand. The key to standing out in the digital cacophony is relevant content, jumping onto the bandwagon of trends may just give you a place in the clutter. Trust your agencies to remain in sync with your long term vision and not leave an optimum opportunity out.
Point of Contact
Imagine getting directions from multiple people from the team. Sounds like the perfect mix for confusion, doesn’t it? To avoid such situations, clients must have a point of contact and present a consolidated brief/ feedback for agencies to follow.
We are only Human
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, doesn’t it? We love what we do but we need a break! Expectations of working overnight and on weekends won’t fuel our creativity, but our need for sleep!
One Man Army v/s A Battalion
We are often questioned about the difference between agencies and in-house departments, because more often than not, clients fail to understand that we come with expertise and exposure. Further, there will always be a considerable difference between the number of minds working on a brand.
To sum it up, the client-agency relationship is a cakewalk when both are on the same page; with honesty and empathy as pillars of communication, there’s no room for misunderstanding.
(The author is the co-founder and director of Technology and Innovation, Togglehead.)