The early stages of any new relationship are vital to its success. As trusted business advisors and consultants, it’s vital that agency teams remember that not every business, or individual at a business has worked with a creative marketing agency before.
Even if primary teams are experienced, agencies are often interacting with much wider corporate teams who sit outside of traditional marketing roles. For many client-side this is something completely new and unfamiliar. Not only a new type of supplier, as in an ‘agency’ but new types of individuals, as in ‘creatives’ and ‘client service’ teams.
It’s well recognised that company cultures can differ significantly, but so can individual team cultures. A corporate sales team will most likely be very different to their technical development team. For savvy agencies looking for successful outcomes, managing the onboarding of a new client, knowing who they will be working with and how to adjust to them needs to be a significant part of their process.
All important considerations, that are easily overlooked in the excitement of a new client win or a new project. A recent We Are Acuity After Action Review (AAR) reminded us all how important the initial stages of that new client relationship were to the successful project we delivered. ( p.s. we smashed it! )
In my experience when things go wrong, it’s nearly always down to bad communication, rather than bad people, or bad work. We strive to establish the essential groundwork right from the start, enabling optimal communication for everyone involved throughout the relationship.
We have a number of things to help with this. There’s a new client onboarding process for new business relationships and a different one for new individuals joining existing client teams.
To ensure clear roles and responsibilities we then utilise our version of 'RASCI,' which as an agile business we just call 'RSI'. It defines who is 'Responsible', 'Supporting' & 'Informed' across every relationship and every project, both on the agency & client sides.
After defining key stakeholders, we then use our expertise to informally profile teams on both client & agency side with tools from Thomas International. While DISC profiling may be something people love or hate, we find it invaluable for understanding and communicating effectively with both our teams and clients, recognising the importance of how different profiles react, respond and collaborate.
We then move on to our well-honed systems and processes 'The Acuity Way' knowing we are talking to the right people and communicating in exactly the right way. This is a fine art. And one we have successfully developed over the last 25 years in business. It’s why most of our client and team relationships are long standing ones.
How are your agency relationships? If you're a client looking for a breath of ‘fresh air’ get in touch for 2024. We are actively on the lookout! You can get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit just click right HERE.
Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog