Saturday, March 19, 2005

Good Client, Bad Client 

Clients aren't always right. Sometimes they work against their own best interests. Sometimes, they're dead wrong.

I have been reflecting on this lately because it seems the same failures show repeatedly in account service, and they never get fixed.

It is depressing for an agency to be hired by a client, then ignored and eventually fired. The client either didn't know how or didn't want to manage the agency correctly. Data wasn't provided. The agency was never taken into confidence. Programs started and stopped and stuttered and half-started again.

I 've been on the agency side of the business for my career and at a loss to understand why clients cannot manage agencies better. It would seem if one is spending the money, one would want to get the most out of the investment.

There are always reasons why programs have momentary lulls and those are understandable. There are timing issues and a client might have trouble distilling a message or getting logistics in place. Agencies can work with that. But, it is a persistent inability to get work done that frustrates agency personnel. I have seen them nearly roar in frustration because they are desparate to DO something for a client and the client can never seem to get started.

It is easy to pick on agencies for incompetence or lack of productivity. Sometimes it is true that we don't get a topic and we don't work as hard as we should. But, to be honest, I have seen less of that in my career than a client who is uncertain what to do and ends by doing nothing.

The agency-client relationship IS a relationship. Both sides have to contribute. When one or the other falls down on the job, there is little chance that a program can succeed.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?