Excerpts from Chapter 12 of How to get the best advertising from your agency by Nancy Salz.
Agency & Client Commitments
A personal contract for collaborators
The six agency commitments: What you should expect from your agency.
Commitment to the success of your business. The best agency people are 100 percent committed to the same goal you are: success in the marketplace. Their commitment is evidenced by their time, enthusiasm, work, and knowledge that if you succeed, they succeed.
[The best agency account person] made suggestions. Not only would she have things to me when they were due and not only would she think to get things done that I didn't ask
she'd also come up with suggestions. If I asked her to do something, she'd say "fine," but then she'd come up with something better or take something one or two steps further.
Ellen Elias, Group Product Manager,
Anybody that's good would want your undivided attention, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They want you to work on their business all the time and to be thinking about their business all the time
They want your blood.
Bernard Rosner, Vice-President, Creative
Director, Ogilvy & Mather Partners
Knowledge of your business. Agency people, particularly the account group, cannot solve your advertising problems unless they have understood and evaluated the market in which you compete. You can help by providing information, but they must do the digging.
Open-mindedness. Good agency people are committed to the importance of a good idea, no matter what its source. The "not invented here" syndrome has no place in a collaborative relationship.
Leadership from your account people. Account people are your primary contact and your source of communication within the agency. You have a right to expect that once you and your account person have reached agreement on the direction of work, the account person will effectively convey the decision to the rest of the agency.
[The best account person] is a wonderful, open person. She related beautifully to clients and creative people. She could galvanize people behind her
she had the ability to translate what the client wanted to creative people in such a way that not only did they understand her, but because they respected her and liked her, they did it
She made people feel comfortable.
Mary Seggerman, Senior Product Manager
Respect for your position as advertiser. Agency people should know and acknowledge that when all the tugging and arguing and selling are done, they are advertising your product with your money, and the final decisions are your responsibility.
The seven advertiser commitments: What your agency expects from you.
A commitment to your agency's best work. Set the goal of great advertising, then do everything you can to help your agency achieve it.
Clear, consistent direction. Be an expert on your business. Think through the assignment before calling your agency. Know all the facts before you brief them. Know what you want them to do, when, and why.
[What is good client?] I'm tempted to cite a number of clients who had implicit faith in me and who bought virtually everything I sold because I wouldn't sell them anything that wasn't right for them. But that's not really necessarily a good client
. A good client is somebody that has a point of view also, and who sometimes makes sparks. He doesn't always agree but he always makes sense.
Bernard Rosner, Vice President, Creative
Director, Ogilvy & Mather Partners
Importance to your business. Any advertiser can ask an agency to help sell her product by creating great advertising. A good advertiser asks the agency to help sell her product period. She knows that any problem that affects the sale of her product affects the agency, so she seeks out the agency's opinions in all areas...
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