Client Agency Relationship, chaired by Patricia Khalifa, Nordic eMarketing

The speaker is Mark Killingley from the NFL. He says online is the best place to be in the recession – although people go out less in such times, meaning they watch more TV. And TV is getting cheaper to advertise on. So he says the internet is great but still only part of the overall media mix.

The philosophy these days should become “we don’t have any money, so we’re going to have to think”.

Client agency relationships are just a lot like marriage counselling in the end. Trust, respect, communication, proactivity, understanding, involvement, partnership, creativity (and ownership – which is less like marriage). In other words, it’s a two way relationship.

Things go wrong when the partners fail to listen to each other. Inflexibility has no place in a creative environment. Lack of hunger and stale thinking are the agency’s nemeses – but on the other side, clients need to avoid loss of focus and inflexibility.

Setting clear expectations is important to make things go right. Who does what, when and why? New relationships need these questions answered. Clear communication is paramount. If either partner is unhappy, it must be known. No politeness for politeness’s sake. British stuttering modesty out of the window.

Of some of the aspects of relationships: partnership, integration, imbalance, confusion and the adversarial approach, only confusion is entirely negative.

Research shows 70% client satisfaction with traditional agencies and only 50% for digital ones. That is a problem for digital agencies. Making clients understand what they do is of great importance. Lose the jargon and don’t make it sound more scientific than it actually is. And clients, on the other hand, should ask more questions.

He then gave a case study of the NFL’s dealings with Nordic eMarketing. The brief was basically non-existent. Just get me some web traffic! And it helped to drive users to a new NFL introduction website.

Sometimes short briefs are the best for creativity and excellent results.

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