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Draw the line

There is nothing wrong with clients who like to be involved in the process of creative executions. Most agencies welcome input from their clients and indeed find that the more involved and earlier involved the client is, the more smoothly and efficiently the whole process works. However, an inefficient and, frankly, dispiriting tendency is where the client makes all the creative decisions and leaves the agency to compile the communication piece simply as an artwork shop. We hear from ABBA members that this tendency is on the increase amongst their B2B clients. This is surely the equivalent of buying a dog and barking yourself.

Clearly, clients have an important role to play in whatever gets produced, and should establish a partnership with their agency throughout the marketing communications process. From strategic planning, right through to tactical execution, the client/agency relationship works best where there is a proper interchange of ideas.

As agencies, we cannot make the claim that we know the markets and the products of our clients better than they do. But similarly, clients ought to respect the skills, training, experience and customer insights that the agency can bring to the table.