Take5 logoThis is the first post in our newest series called:

“Take 5 – A Marketer’s Take On Agency-Client Relationships”.

Every month we’ll ask a marketer from a different industry to give us their point of view on what it takes to create a strong, long-lasting agency-client relationship.  The same 5 questions will be asked each month.

The featured marketer this month is Bethany Tuzzolino.

Bethany is a Manager of Recruitment Marketing at Aspen Dental.  Aspen Dental recently brought in a new agency to support its business (KHJ) after a successful marketing agency search run by RSW/AgencySearch.

  1. What is the single most important thing an agency can do to insure that a relationship with a marketing client remains long-lasting?

The agency, as well as the marketing client, has to see the relationship as a true partnership. An agency should ensure they are looking out for the long-term success of the business and take the time to truly understand the culture, needs and objectives of the client. The agency should be an extension of the client’s team, consistently and proactively looking to add value.

  1. What is the one thing that agencies (in general) do that is most frustrating to you?

I love big ideas. But a big idea isn’t worth much if it can’t be executed tactically. I look for an agency partner that can not only bring strategic ideas in line with our business goals, but also one that can execute across all channels with excellence.

  1. What is the one thing you’ve seen marketers do that can really put a drag on a successful agency-client relationship?

The one thing a client can do that puts a drag on a successful agency-client relationship is to not trust the agency. Clients need to trust that the agency has their best interest at heart and that they have the expertise to get the job done. Clients can demonstrate trust by being open with their communications and critiques and setting transparent expectations and success measures. No information is too much – a lack of communication can often lead to misunderstandings, which diminishes trust.

  1. What do you think the “Agency of the Future” looks like and how will that impact an agency-client relationship?

Agencies are already realizing that digital is more than a channel – it is truly changing the advertising landscape – pushing the traditional channels of advertising from a carefully crafted message to a dialogue, in which consumers can openly challenge that message. Digital continues to impact how targeted that message can be – allowing us to customize the message for a particular person and a specific time.

As digital continues to alter the space, I believe agencies of the future can no longer be generalists. Agencies will have to specialize as the mediums get more complicated and complex. Rather than the client managing more agencies, it could be that a “hub” agency exists, responsible for managing a number of smaller agencies.

  1. What do you think the “Marketer of the Future” looks like and how will that impact an agency-client relationship?

As the agency of the future gets more specialized, I believe the marketer of the future will become more of a generalist, or a hybrid. As more and more marketing methods and tactics emerge, companies will hire fewer generalists verses numerous specialists. In the ever changing marketing climate, the breadth of perspective will win out over the depth of knowledge. If the agency of the future is segmented into areas of highly segmented functionality, it will require the marketer to manage a unified voice.