Relationships Make the World Go Around

Relationships Make the World Go Around

The marketing industry is a bit odd.

It’s a people-centric business that relies on relationships and good communication. Yet it seems many of those who earn their living in marketing are pretty bad at both relationships and communication.

This is no more evident than in client and agency relationships i.e., how in-house marketers and their colleagues in agencies work together. 

Agencies need clients, and clients need agencies. 

It’s a symbiotic relationship. It can be the most remarkable love story full of awards and praise, or conversely, it can be a painful existence for both parties until someone has the guts to call quits.   

Joe Glover of The Marketing Meetup and I decided to explore the dynamics of client and agency relationships with a research study. We wanted to find out what makes a successful partnership in marketing.

So we asked the Agency Squared and Marketing Meetup communities to tell us how they get on with their colleagues over the fence.

What makes for a successful engagement between brands and agencies? What are their client and agency relationships like? What do they like and dislike?

In total, we received 229 responses, roughly fifty fifty from clients and agencies. 

And it seems we’re not all that happy with each other. 

In short, there’s a real lack of trust. 

Brands don’t trust their agencies to deliver. Agencies don’t trust their clients to give them what they need to deliver. 

Sounds pretty broken, right? It isn’t very reassuring. 

From someone that has worked on both the client and agency sides, I can see both perspectives. There’s clearly a need for change. 

In my time in marketing, clients have beaten me up when they want to change the world overnight for zero budget. Or they’ve treated my team like sh*t. Often client-side marketers haven’t a clue how to deliver a good brief. 

Equally, I’ve hired agencies that promise the earth and deliver a damp weekend in Skegness. They’ve sold ideas and then resourced the account with recent grads. Or they have promised ROI in weeks when in reality, it’s taken many months, or not been delivered at all. The usual gripes.  

It’s time for a change. 

It’s time we looked at how we work together to drive up marketing effectiveness. 

But what should that change look like? 

Based on our research, Joe and I have devised a 5-stage plan to help you improve your working relationships with your colleagues on the other side of the fence. 

And we’re giving it away for free. 

You can click this link here, and it’s all yours. You don’t even have to fill in a form. 

We’d rather everyone reads the report, so we don’t need your email, phone number, job title, inside leg measurement or anything else for that matter. 

You can read (and hopefully enjoy) it for free, without a load of marketing emails clogging up your inbox for the next six months. 

We hope you find our report into client and agency relationships valuable and, if you do, please share it far and wide. 

If you want to find out more, you can contact me here or Joe here

We would love to hear from you to discuss any ideas and issues raised in the report or if you want to give us some feedback. 

Also, let us know if you can use any of the ideas in our report. We are trying to drive up the standards of marketing effectiveness, one relationship at a time.


Andy and Joe