What’s the State of Client Agency Relationships?

What’s the State of Client Agency Relationships?

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at The Marketing Meetup in Cambridge. The room was packed full of marketers, from both the client and agency sides, and I was speaking alongside Martyn Sibley of Disability Horizons.

I was there to release the initial findings of some research I’ve been conducting with Joe Glover from The Marketing Meetup. Joe and I had decided to explore the nature of client agency relationships. We wanted to test the hypothesis that there’s been a real deterioration in trust between the two groups, which has, and is, affecting how we work together.

The research has garnered 92 responses so far, and it will be open for another two weeks (until the end of October 2019). Click here if you want to add your thoughts. We’d love to get 100 responses and could do with a few more client-side perspectives.

The initial findings have been revealing.

NOTE: If you’re planning on taking the survey, please don’t read on just yet as it might skew your responses.

Some of the highlights include:

  • On average, clients and agencies rated their level of trust in the other party at about 7/10. That’s clients trusting agencies to deliver and agencies trusting clients to provide what they need to deliver against a brief.
  • On average, we rated our understanding of each others’ needs at 7/10 too. You’d like to think we’d be better at understanding what our partners on the other side of the fence are trying to achieve really.
marketing meetup cambridge
We rate our understanding or each others’ businesses on average 7/10
  • Over everything else, agencies want a good brief. Take note client-side marketers, the brief is massively important, followed closely by a proper scope of work.
  • Clients aren’t interested in the scope of work, which is frankly bizarre from my point of view. But then I am an agency guy.
  • Clients care more about an agencies ability to execute, more so than to provide strategic consultancy. How are you evidencing this in your pitch materials but also in day to day project/client management?
  • The trend for in-housing is real and set to continue. But 61% of client-side marketers set to continue working with agencies, or brief out more work.
marketing meetup cambridge
39% of clients have already or are about to move a significant proportion of work in house.
  • Agencies are looking to clients that have a clear vision and an ethical stance. These factors rank as more important that brand. Now there’s something to consider.

That’s enough to get you thinking I’m sure.

We’ll be wrapping up the research at the end of October and sharing the full results in a lovely download for you to enjoy. Joe and I will be putting on an event and recording a podcast on this too. There’s plenty coming.

To secure your copy of the download, drop us a line. We’ll make sure you get an email with the details.

In the meantime, why not check out some of our other blogs and podcasts on marketing and the business of running agencies.

The images used in this post are courtesy of Lenka Koppova. Thanks, Lenka.