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Keep Up with the Client Relationship
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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If someone told you that maintaining a relationship is easy, they lied to you through their teeth. Truth is, relationships are never easy. Whether the relationship is between individuals, groups, or businesses, the common theme is that it is going to take effort from both sides to make sure it works.

What relationship needs more work than the agency and client dynamic? It's a mess.

Yes, the relationship between an agency and a brand is very volatile. In a world of instant gratification, the usual dynamics that help build trust, camaraderie, and understanding do not apply. No, many client-side marketers expect results (and the right results) right away, and the agency involved has to get a feel of what the client expects right away. That's a tough thing to do.

We can even talk about the relationship before it actually happens: If a client is trying to choose between Agency A and Agency B, and the agencies have the same style in terms of creativity, timing, and delivery, what will they base their final decision on?

Hm. Do they like you? Do they enjoy working with you?

The advertising business is still a people business. Data and metrics can only do so much. You can be the best at what you do, but if they cannot stand to be in the same room with you, then business is going to be tough to get.

After the Great Recession, company expenses are kept under close scrutiny, and many budgets are trimmed down to their critical points. We are here to make sure that you take a second look at your budgets, and make sure that you have room in it to take care of your agency/client relationships. Make sure you invest the time and resources to make working with you an enjoyable experience. Because let's face it, not only does it make the process easier, but behavior science suggests that if they enjoy working with you, they put a higher value on your work. Keeping your partner happy improves the overall relationship.

Let's work on sharpening our advertising skills. But let's work on our relationship skills, too.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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