Being able to develop and maintain long-term strategic partnerships is the Holy Grail when working in a client-agency environment. This is something known only too well by Nenad Senic and Alenka Bester, presenters at Content Marketing World 2018. They spoke on the topic of client-agency collaboration and how to evolve together to deliver content marketing results.
Nenad and Alenka shared with us some great anecdotal stories and useful tips during their presentation. They also explained why agencies should view a long-term partnership as more than just a regular stream of revenue and growth, because it can take years to affect the internal structure of organisations for them to act as strategic partners.
Nenad explained: “Believe in the long-term relationship with the brand that you work for… In order for there to be a true agency partnership, agencies need to understand the strategic needs of their clients’ business, because content marketing is a strategic business function, not a content production program.”
Nenad’s statement rings true because not only do agencies need to be curious about our clients and their products and services, but we also need to make a determined effort to really understand what it is they are trying to achieve – and not simply create content for the sake of it.
Agencies need to understand what is happening with their client’s business holistically, not just react on what our clients want us to do. Agencies should find out what the client’s customers are saying, what they’re doing, and what they want. It is important to dig deeper and become passionate about your client’s business. Clients will identify and relate to your interest and will be more inclined to share information with you that they wouldn’t have previously shared.
7 key factors of successful client-agency relationships
Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:
- Remember “we’re in this together” – determine common agency and client goals, profit, exposure, awards, etc.
- It’s important not to oversell – be mindful of what the client really needs at every point. Will your recommendation get them closer to their goals?
- Client interest and audience – find the sweet spot between them. Agencies are the protector of the audience’s interest. If there are common goals, there will be a sustainable relationship
- Behave like “BFFs”
- Have realistic expectations
- Have access to people who make final decisions
- Not everyone is compatible – you’re not better than the other side. Partnership means being honest; tell it how it is.
With all professional relationships, there are some conditions. Remember that the client is the final decision-maker, but the agency is there to help steer the client in the right direction.
Both agencies and clients need to get involved as partners and view themselves as more than just a transactional relationship. Clients come to agencies because of their ability to turn things around quickly and will be interested in building long-term relationships with agencies that are able to add value beyond their expectations.
If you want to work with a content marketing agency in Perth that understands client-agency relationships, get in touch. Our team are happy to chat about your needs.