By Kelly Bradley, VP, Group Account Director
Creating client value is essential to an agency’s success in today’s highly competitive world. Clients today work with an array of agencies and vendors who all provide different services and expertise. Because of this, the need to become a true partner to your clients and stand out is more paramount than ever before. To do this, you must understand your client’s business, get to know what is important to them and provide value beyond what they are asking for directly.
Here’s some tips and best practices that I have learned and implemented throughout my career.
It is your job to get to know your client’s business as if it were your own. Get your hands on any research your client can provide, like brand pulse surveys, customer journey maps and personas. Also do some digging of your own. Look up their annual reports, join earnings calls (if the company is public), talk to people at the organization outside of your typical contacts. The more you understand the client’s goals and challenges and ingrain yourself within the organization, the better solutions you are able to bring to the table.
It is also essential to build trust and genuine relationships with clients. To do so, you need to prove to the client that you “get it” and know what they are up against in the organization. This means making them look good to their bosses by providing them with quality work in a timely manner. You want them to know they can count on you to get the job done and get it done well. And that when you say you will do something, you will deliver.
As a part of our job as a client’s marketing agency, we must provide them value they might not have asked for or even know they want. This could look like competitive analyses, industry trend reports, spec creative work or big breakthrough ideas. Every client is different and what they find valuable will vary. That is why it is important to understand their business and build solid relationships to understand what those key value areas are.
It is important to adjust and pivot what you are delivering based on client feedback. Don’t wait for clients to provide feedback on how the agency is doing but be proactive about asking for it. You could send out a survey to clients on an ongoing basis to track results or have one-on-one conversations with clients who would be more open to providing feedback face-to-face.
Providing true client value is an ongoing process that will need to be refined as client goals and challenges change and employee turnover at the client happens. But if done right, it can create goodwill toward the agency and long-standing client loyalty.