There are seven main ways to be a great client, and here they are:
1) Know why you are taking an agency on. If you are not quite sure why you have an agency, you will probably be unhappy – and so will they.
2) Recognise that people do their best work as a result of being treated courteously and praised frequently.
3) Have the power to make decisions on your own and be brave enough to take risks – then the best people will fight to work on your account. If you need to refer everything to your superiors – or lawyers – you will have frustrated advisors.
4) Accept that it’s not all about money. The best clients often have very modest budgets; the worst clients are often multi-zillion dollar global behemoths. If you are sincere, likeable and dynamic, you will quite possibly get three or four times your money’s-worth of value from your agency.
5) Make time for your agency – good ones make big demands on your time.
6) Make it fun! Marketing people are technicians, but above all else they are creative: they respond best to humour, humanity and inspiration. A client with a sense of adventure and a classic “work hard, play hard” attitude to life is top of every agency professional’s wish-list.
7) Bring your agency into your plans from the beginning. If you exclude them from critical decision-making processes and present them with a fait accompli, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work.