The client/agency relationship. It has drama, romance, suspense, action and sometimes even mystery. It can be a stormy affair or a contented partnership, because this relationship is very much like marriage.
It all starts with the invitation. They heard about you, liked what they heard and invite you over to chat. They like what they see, so you get the invitation to pitch. And the courtship begins. You woo them with gifts of strategy, creative solutions and dynamic ideas. You get to the shortlist, the heady excitement builds as you realise your dreams are on the verge of coming true. Then it happens…they accept your proposal, and you both say your ‘I dos’ and the papers are signed by the happy new couple.
But the moment the joyful union takes place, is the moment it is in danger of being lost. After all, 50% of marriages end in divorce, right? The fact is, the moment you win an account is the moment you start losing it. The honeymoon is fleeting and the second-guessing, blame shifting, miscommunication, stony silences and questioning loyalty begin. The client wonders if it was right to enter into this relationship in the first place and maybe this agency wasn’t everything it appeared to be. The agency suddenly finds it lacks the right kind of support, but says nothing for fear of disturbing the young relationship – better to suffer in silence than to have the hard, honest talks. Conflict avoidance takes roots, but avoiding conflict also means taking a detour around progress. Continue reading »