Discover what clients say of their agency relationship

 |  By: Steve Johnson

It's always interesting to see how clients view agencies. In this Agency Trends survey, marketers gave their views on what they want from their agencies, plus they name the barriers they see to the client/agency relationship.

Extracts from the report are below.

1. What agency attributes are you most seeking?

Agency attributes desires -- chart

It’s no surprise that clients want creativity, execution and innovativeness from their agencies. Those are often the top reasons they appoint an agency in the first place.

But compare that with this next question:

2. What are the most challenging barriers to the success of a client/agency relationship?

Most challenging barriers to agency-client relationship -- chart

This means that delivering that innovation, along with attribution and metrics, are also seen by clients as a potential minefield.

But what’s particularly intriguing from Synergist’s perspective is that 33% of clients see fundamental project management to be another potential risk factor from their agency. One would assume that a client would only even mention it and give it such a high rating because of some disappointing previous experience in that area. Food for thought...

3. What types of content do clients most ask for from an agency?

Types of content required most often from agencies

Emails and newsletters? They're hardly at the cutting edge of innovation, are they?

But note that the question was about the content that clients ask agencies for the most. It's a quantity thing. Nevertheless it's interesting to see that such fundamental things, however unsexy, still work and clients are happy to pay for them.

4. Sources used to find an agency

Sources used to find an agency -- chart

It's fascinating to note that two-thirds of agency business comes from word of mouth and referrals.

Is that marvellous, or too scary for words? It's certainly sobering to discover that no matter how much time you invest into your website and marketing, what mostly counts is what your clients say to other people about you.

5. What capability are you looking for from an agency?

Capabilities required from an agency -- chart

OK, so why do email campaigns come so low on the list when they are the most-demanded service in actuality? The answer is that clients think of them as activities of everyday work rather than of premium value-added investment. What they really long for, and are glad to pay for, is strategic insight and content that will raise engagement and deliver leads. Keep offering that and you're home.