What makes a client great?

by Martin MacConnol, Chief Executive

A recent survey by Up to the Light shines a beam on the four types of creative agencies that drive clients up the wall. They are:

Rather than be negative, the research got us thinking about the key characteristics of a dream client or client team. After some debate around the studio, we think the following attributes, values and ideas are key:

They value our expertise
A great client values and trusts the agency to deliver. Yes, they keep tight control of a project and have a point of view, but, as the old phrase goes: “You don’t buy a dog and then bark yourself.”

They are collaborative
The best clients trust the agency as an extension of their own team and work with them as colleagues. The less division between agency and client team, the stronger the process and the better the outcome.

They are clear in what they want
When wooliness exists in a brief, it leads to a painful creative process and a finished product that can be suboptimal. Taking the time to get things clear at the start – about what is wanted, whose sign-off is needed, how far the budget can go and what the measures of success are – revolutionises every step that follows. Equally important, it prevents scope creep that is hard for both client and agency to deal with.

They are enthusiastic and supportive
On a big project, there are going to be days when the agency is wading through the treacle of feedback, revisions and sign-offs. At those moments, it’s wonderful when a client remains upbeat and supportive.

They have a GSOH
Agency and client are going to spend a lot of time talking to each other – and something will not go according to plan. When it’s late in the evening and you’re stuck together at an airport because of snow on the runway, the ability to laugh it all off is a great one.

They’re rich!
OK, this is a bit mischievous, but every agency does like a client that knows the value of the work being commissioned and has ready access to a budget to pay for it.

For details on the survey, go to: www.uptothelight.co.uk

Published Feb 05, 2015

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