Posted by Vivienne Hsu on Thu, Feb 27 2014

All Posts by Vivienne Hsu

Clients don’t want a faster horse…

In a time when the ‘traditional’ agency model is being challenged, core services such as PR and marketing are getting squeezed more than ever before. Agencies not only need to reassess how we are talking and working with our clients but also whether we understand the changing marketing climate ourselves and are adapting our integrated practice accordingly. Today we were very lucky to have an old client take the time to come in to talk to the London team about what it’s like to be a CMO at a top fintech company, and what he thinks takes an agency from good to great. There were too many great insights to share in a single blog post, but there were a few key points from our lively group discussion which particularly stood out in my mind.

    • Evolving the role of the agency from executional tactician to strategic partner is very hard to do. But the key is to build value which ultimately leads to trust.
    • Clients are looking for real expertise and partners who are willing to educate them on topics that they don’t know enough about.
    • Capacity is always an issue in a marketing team, so think of ways to make your clients’ lives easier and take some pressure off them.
    • Learn to speak the ‘common language’ of your clients. Understand their business objectives and their KPI’s. Understand how your clients are going to be assessed, whether its ROMI or SQL.
    • Be proactive and listen to their problems because client pain points often aren’t what we always assume they are.
    • Tell clients what you think they need, not just cater to what you think they want. Be bold, since you never know where the discussion will lead.

After all, we need to continue to learn from the great innovators. Henry Ford taught us “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” I now believe this same logic applies to clients and how to better our relationships. How we cement great value, trust and ingenuity not only comes from understanding our client’s businesses, but also from not being afraid to tell them what we think they need even if they don’t know they need it.

Communications, Creative, Marketing,
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