Monday, January 30, 2012

Clients: Are They Allies or Adversaries?

Want to go deeper into the client-agency relationship?  Take a few tips from Brandemix's own Kathryn Wandling, Director of Client Services. Here’s what she's gleaned after a decade of successful experience "in the trenches".
Secrets of Great Client Service
I’ve found every client to be very understanding and appreciative of the load we take off their backs. Though we may sometimes disagree, my clients and I share the same goal: To produce great work that solves business objectives. 
My philosophy boils down to these points:
Build Brand Equity at Every Touchpoint
While the client is the keeper of the brand, they may not always be keen on the best way to promote it. My job is to keep the brand top-of-mind.

Know the Client’s Business
This is critical when making marketing recommendations. Only through truly walking in their shoes, can I research and present best practice, and act as an advisor and consultant. I do my best to make sure I understand their industry, along with their industry-speak as quickly as possible. We carefully review everything that I think they should do, but I also listen to what they want to do and attempt to understand all the factors that led to their decisions. It is through this collaboration, that consensus emerges.
Teach Clients the Agency Business
Any learning that I can impart to my clients makes them look good and makes my job easier. While it's not important to know what a vector file is, or the difference between an .ai and .psd, it's important to understand our process and strategy, and how their goals have impacted the creative decisions we've made.

Learn the Rules
Every channel of communication has their own rules, and it's my business to know them. If we're building a new website, important items should never be more than three clicks away. If I'm executing a social media campaign, I need to discuss metrics for success -- whether it's likes, retweets, mentions, hires or sales. Our goal is always measurable success.
Hold their Hand and Watch their Back
My client's feel like I have one client, and it's them. I attempt to be the “level head” when dealing with the creative people on my side, and the crazy pressure from the CEO on their side. I can be a therapist, a policeman, a bean-counter, a devil or saint, depending on what's called for in each unique situation. It's not always an easy job,  but I always have my client's back. That's why they come back.

Got a question? My virtual door is always open.

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