Agency-Client Relationships: Fit Together and Stay Together

What is the last piece of the puzzle?

In an Advertising Age article, How to Be a Better Agency Client, various marketing professionals discussed what being a good client means to them, the qualities each client should possess, and the areas needing improvement in order to form a stronger connection between the two.  The relationship between an agency and its client is essential to upholding successful business in the world today.  It’s the qualities of each, that will complete the last piece in forming strong relations.

Prominent marketers commented on a wide range of improvements ranging from saying a simple ‘thank you’ after a well completed project to involving an agency in more aspects than clients’ advertising.

“We are going to say ‘thank you’ more often. Our work stands out in a highly competitive and marketing-sensitive category. It drives our business. We appreciate that and need to continue to reaffirm that”, explained the Chief Marketing Officer of Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Tony Pace.

If agencies feel appreciated, they in turn will show it in the effort and work completed for such clients. Our mothers always taught us that a simple ‘thank you’ can take you a long way.  This held true in the cafeteria with the lunch ladies and will get you far in the business world too.

Concerning the involvement of one another, Martine Reardon, the Exec VP-Marketing and Advertising for Macy’s gave her resolution for the upcoming year as, “I resolve to be more thoughtful in how we communicate with and educate everyone at the start of an (marketing) effort so that we achieve the strongest and most strategic result.”

“One of the commitments I’d make to the agency is that we are open to being pushed, and I’m encouraging the team to be more open to ideas and opportunities to expand our marketing approach”, said Clark Wood, the Chief Marketing Officer for

John Costello, Chief Global Marketing-Innovation Officer for Dunkin’ Brands, brought together the majority of the marketers’ ideas when he stated, “The best way to be a better client is to be a better partner, with clear objectives, open communication, quick, thoughtful decisions and mutual respect, where you both listen to each other’s point of view.”

A few of the other good qualities included:

  • Treat my agency as a business partner.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
  • Hire the best and trust them when it comes to risks.
  • Spend time with my agency-in person!
  • Take the blame for bad direction.

All in all, the agency and client who work well with together will stay together.  No matter what field a client may be a part of, the relationship, goals, and end results are all similar.  However, what makes that piece of the puzzle fit correctly is the understanding and commitment of both parties.


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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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