When I first moved from the agency side to brand management, I held an onboarding meeting with my new advertising agency.  The “manifesto” I shared with them is still a philosophy I follow in agency and client relationships today:  Astonish each other with performance, and reward each other with growth.

Agency and Client Relationships — Goals for Both

What the client should expect from the agency:

  1. Leadership:  Understand the end user, the client and all points in between as though you were pitching the business every day.  Because you are.
  2. Listen:  We were given one mouth and two ears for a reason.  No matter how many awards you’ve won, honesty and humility will get you a lot further than hubris.
  3. Take the lead technologically: Adapt the creative process to capitalize on new media and marketing tools.
  4. Commitment:  Wash windows willingly.
  5. Quality:  Good enough isn’t.  Materials should be as polished and error-free as if they were a formal presentation to pitch the business.  They are.
  6. Timeliness:  Fifteen minutes early is on time.  On time is late.  Late is unacceptable.
  7. Fiscal responsibility:  Treat the client’s money as if it were the agency’s…it is.

What the agency should expect from the client:

  1. To appreciate, protect, and run great advertising and communications, even―especially―if it makes you a little nervous.
  2. A sense of respect and trust supported by an understanding of the agency business and how its people are motivated.
  3. Clear, consistent, and constructive direction.
  4. Be open minded, decisive, and willing to take risks.
  5. Question data. Just because it’s labeled research doesn’t mean it’s true.
  6. Explore “what if?” and “why not?” before saying “no.”
  7. Say thank you, publicly, for a job well down.

(re-posted from MENG Blog http://mengonline.com/blog/2016/06/07/seven-tips-for-great-agency-and-client-relationships/)