There are a few questions I get asked all the time. “How did you grow PACO from two guys and a bunch of chilaquiles to a bustling agency?” “Which brands seem to truly understand cross-cultural marketing?” “What makes for a great agency/client relationship?” “Where do you find such kick-ass scarves?”
These are all fantastic questions, but today I’m going to focus on the third one. Like so much in our business, creating a successful and rewarding relationship with clients is rooted in a few basic ideas that may seem simple but can be tough to consistently execute. Here they are:
Mutual respect for the craft – Please don’t tell us to “make it go viral” and then get confused when we balk. Advertising is both science and art. It takes time, and it isn’t a simple, linear process like baking from a recipe. How best to reach this understanding? Collaborate with clients on briefing documents.
Don’t treat us like a vendor – Vendors are commodities. They’re interchangeable. We’re not. We’re a partner. We live and breathe your brand and your business, because that’s the only way the magic happens and you won’t get the same magic with someone else. So make us a part of your team…after all, your success is our success.
Transparency on both sides – With us, what you see is what you get, starting with the first time we meet: the team that pitches your business is the team that will manage your business. Let us know what the expectations are and what we’re trying to accomplish.
Tell us when we are falling short – And explain how and why. After all, we can’t do anything about what we don’t know. Of course, we should be able to tell you when you’re falling short as well.
Have fun along the way – We work hard together. Let’s play hard together too, enjoy the ride, and not forget to celebrate our wins every once in a while.
The good news is that all of these are habit-forming. And they all boil down to one thing: trust. When we trust each other, anything is possible.