The key to a great client-agency relationship

Building beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients is something, as an agency, we’ve always been good at. But many agencies aren’t, and it to be fair, it’s not always easy. Some clients are suspicious of hourly rates (How do we know you’re actually spending all that time working for us? What are we actually getting for our money?) and many demand free strategy or creative as part of the pitching process.


We decided some time ago not to pitch with free creative; if clients don’t value the creative process then they won’t value what we bring to the table. And this essentially devalues what we do. Asking the team to invest time and money into creative which won’t be paid for doesn’t, in our experience, help the creative juices flow so the client won’t get our best work. So that’s no good for client or agency.

In contrast, working with clients who value working in partnership with their agency, creating a two-way dialogue where all parties are kept up-to-speed with changing business goals, means we are able to offer best advice, adapt communications to meet longer-term requirements and prevent unnecessary wastage.

We heard recently of a big brand merger where the key dates and new brand guidelines weren’t shared with the incumbent agency as they were being replaced as part of the merger. The end result was a significant quantity of printed literature rendered unusable, websites and social media channels not updated on Day 1 and advertising appearing subsequently using the ‘old’ logo. All of this could have been avoided with some timely sharing of information.

And one of the best ways to achieve this is with a long-term agreement and a monthly retainer. In this way the agency is able to invest more at the outset and work alongside the client to maintain momentum on an ongoing basis, which is far more effective than dipping in and out as each individual project is briefed.

For the client, the benefits are clear; an engaged extension of their own team with a vested interest in providing value-for-money plus a fixed expenditure across the year.

If you’d like to discuss working with us on a retainer basis, let’s have a chat on 01420 568127 or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

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