According to the MAA, in 1986, the average client-agency relationship tenure was 7 years. Today it’s thought to be less than 3 years. So is it necessary to change your agency every two or three years to ensure you receive fresh ideas, passion and energy?
The creative industry is constantly evolving and the demand for ‘new’ is, quite rightly, a high priority for every Marketing Director. And in a business where Marketing Directors average only 2 years in their role, the pressure to impact as quickly as possible is strong. Changing your agency is often seen as the answer, translating to a pitch process which can prove lengthy and costly for both sides. Whilst this can be incredibly positive, especially where the old relationship is broken or stale, the idea of change for change’s sake is not always necessary. Mutual understanding, knowledge and experience gained through the long game can often yield better results.
Granted, all creatives crave new challenges and a new client certainly provides exciting stimulus for head scratching and sharpening of pencils. But equally the challenge of constantly delivering great work for a long term client is incredibly rewarding, both creatively and from a business point of view.
A really good agency will make it their business to keep things fresh. They’ll provide consistency and stability through internal restructure or change, reliability through established trust and will keep challenging and surprising the client, no matter how long the duration of the relationship.
After all, surely seeing the long-term impact of your work on a brand is ultimately what we all signed up for?
At Whippet we’ve worked with our longest client, Tesco Mobile for over eight years, Coles Supermarkets for six and Wickes for five. These relationships give us the privilege of seeing our work help grow these brands over the years and in return, our clients receive a loyal, ongoing partner to work with.
As published in The Guardian 25th July 2016