This website works best using cookies. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume that you are happy to receive cookies. Terms of Use.

How to keep the spark in your client-agency relationship

Most clients want to find ‘the one’ – a special agency to share a happy and fulfilling future with.

Kelly Wright

Author: Kelly Wright

Associate Account Director

Date posted: 04/12/2020

Most clients want to find ‘the one’ – a special agency to share a happy and fulfilling future with.

But relationships can be hard, particularly when money is tight. With technology meaning temptation to stray is just a click away, it’s no wonder clients and agencies are frequently hooking up for shorter relationships before returning to the dating circuit. In fact, statistics show that today’s average client–agency relationship breaks down after 3.2 years.

We love all our clients at Purple, but not all agencies and clients have happy relationships. Here are our four tips for keeping the spark in your client–agency relationship:

Share expectations for the future

As a client, you will have clear KPIs that you need to achieve. Establish an understanding from the outset and share these with your agency. Have a heart-to-heart about what you want to get out of the relationship. That way, your agency knows what success looks like and where they need to focus their time to achieve your shared goals. Half-hearted commitment and wishy-washy promises lead to confusion for both clients and agency. After all, your success is our success.

Communicate and listen

Communication is key to a successful partnership. Without it, problems fester and both parties end up feeling a bit unloved. For the relationship to be truly rewarding, everyone should be free to speak their mind and be listened to. Agencies should listen to their client’s requirements, while communicating clearly to clients what they need, to be able to achieve them. Encourage open and honest conversation. Challenge your agency, and accept honesty in return.

Invest time

Relationships take hard work, and you get out what you put in. Invest time in your agency relationship and treat them as an equal partner. Give them as much access to your business as you can to help them understand what is expected of them, and of you. Technology is a great enabler of long-distance relationships, and this has been put to the test this year as everything has moved to become digital. Where possible, use video and spend time getting to know the people behind the name. This open environment breeds transparency, trust and mutual respect, and will encourage your agency to think creatively, stretching the potential of the initial brief.

Expect some bumps in the road

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Achieving great things takes commitment, and the road can be bumpy, but it’s how you deal with this that matters. As long as you learn from your mistakes, that’s okay. Often the greatest ideas and results come from challenges, and you can find yourself looking at things from a fresh angle.

Client–agency partnerships can be rewarding, but like all relationships they take work. Great unions require mutual understanding, communication and compromise. Give each other the attention you deserve, and you’ll enjoy a long and fruitful relationship.