Five New Year resolutions for agencies working with clients

During my career I’ve been lucky enough to work both agency- and client-side, and one of the most important things I have learned is the value of a great client-agency relationship.

Can the deliverables be the same on a small budget versus a big one, Penny Mairoudhiou will ask
Can the deliverables be the same on a small budget versus a big one, Penny Mairoudhiou will ask

It can be the difference between an award-winning campaign, or one that catastrophically fails.

As the year begins, 2021 is the perfect time for agencies to re-set, reflect, refocus and consider how they can take the relationship they have with their client to the next level with my five resolutions.

Know the brand. I mean really know the brand

I had a lightbulb moment when I moved from agency to in-house, once I’d seen my 10th creds deck. Hundreds of hours are spent creating amazing creds, but when it comes down to it, what I want to know is how much effort you make at getting to know a brand. It’s so important to demonstrate your investment and commitment to your new client by getting to know their business. Take the time to understand the metrics and measures, business strategy and objectives – because every piece of work you present should be underpinned by this.

I want style and substance

Amazing idea that involves putting a man on Mars? Cool! Can you actually do it? No? It’s frustrating when due diligence isn’t carried out ahead of presenting an idea to a client. It sounds blindly obvious, but this happens all too often. The creative may be a stroke of genius, but you need to be able to deliver. Don’t sell an idea that can’t be activated or ends up so watered down that it morphs into something else.

Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Stating the obvious, right? Clients want facts and not fluff. If the campaign you’re looking to land isn’t working, then go back to the client with clear solutions and counsel. Don’t try to gloss over the failure. They’ll respect you more for telling the truth, which is that the approach hasn’t worked, but you’re committed to putting it right.

It costs how much?

The big cash-money days have left the building. It has never been more important for an agency to demonstrate that great ideas shouldn’t cost the earth to deliver. Yes, sometimes budgets can be stretched, but my first question will always be whether the deliverables will be the same on a small budget versus a big one. More often than not, the answer is yes.

Everyone in the world has seen my campaign

I’m not sure that I believe a campaign can reach every single person on earth. With AVE almost out of focus, it’s clear that many agencies are investing in better measurement, but it takes time and care to demonstrate how successful PR campaigns have been, and this still needs work. Develop a clear measurement metric – and make sure it’s stress-tested.

Penny Mairoudhiou is group PR manager, UK and Ireland, at Costa Coffee

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