It happens every day in Ad Agencies all around the world. Whenever things do not work out as the Agency wanted, it’s the Client’s fault.
He either does not get it, is too scared to take a risk or just enjoys making the Agency miserable. Nothing will ever improve as long as he remains the Client.
I am sorry to say this but it must be said. Clients are not the cause of Agency underperformance.
Clients would like nothing better than to approve the work. Within their own organization they are the managers of the Advertising process. At the end of the year they are held accountable for timings, budgets, results and quality. If project is late or over budget, or just simply does not drive sales, they will pay the price. Every time they meet with the Agency they are hoping that they will be able to approve the work. Delays hurt them more than anyone.
It is true that Clients do not like to take risks. But think about this-if your career, reputation and money were at stake, how keen would you be to take risks? How often would you be willing to shoulder all the risk while the other party had no real skin in the game. Or let’s look at this differently. Would you be as keen to ask the Client to take a risk if your position and your compensation were tied to success. Clients, like everyone else, are willing to take intelligent risks where the odds favor them. They don’t like gambling.
Finally, while your Client may feel particularly difficult, chances are that he is no better or worse than the Clients of the Agencies that compete with you. No Agency has a monopoly on “good” Clients and no Agency has all the “bad” ones. In the long run it all evens out. Good Agencies do great work with the same sort of Client that you are struggling with.
So, the next time you feel that you could do great things if only your Client would let you, take a long look in the mirror.
The problem may not be the Client. It it may be you.