Great Strategy is Based on Client Trust
Bravery is talked about alot in our industry.
'The quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty.'
I'm unsure how much 'danger' most of you face day to day. However in the event of bravery, whose bravery are we talking about? The agency or the clients'?
The answer might be six of one half a dozen of the other. Truth is, if you're the agency, while you want to work with committed marketers, you don't want to rely on them having an epiphany of bravery, you want to proactively help them value great strategic thinking and the cut through creative that comes from it. Yes, there is a 'right' time to broach 'out there' ideas that will take the clients out of their comfort zone. But when?
At October's Jay Chiat Awards, Antonio Luccio, ex CMO Pepsi/Visa/HP, clarified that what he wanted first and foremost from an agency was a business partner. He explained that partners communicating an understanding of his industry was key and stressed the importance of making the commercial case for any recommendations. He highlighted also the importance of agency partners communicating an understanding of the client's stated priorities - All obvious?
What he didn't say explicitly, when the client believes the agency is committed to making the client successful, then the client is much more likely to pursue bolder recommendations.
Yes, trust is the platform from which to move client and agency forward. But building trust takes time and it is a lack of this that is the greatest threat to the agency business model as we know it.
Perhaps real bravery will come from those prepared to adopt a longer term approach to building brands. A shocking concept!
What else might you add?
All the best,