Client retention is always one of the core challenges for an agency, even in normal times, and in a period like this one it takes on even greater importance. As we’ve moved through the different stages of the pandemic we’ve been able to adapt to our clients’ changing needs and reinforce not only our commitment, but our relevance to their business.
Here we would like to share from our experiences how to retain clients as an agency, specifically during unpredictable times.
Ultimately, retention comes down to being proactive and flexible as an agency, but you must remember it is also a two-way street that is most advantageous when it benefits both parties.
As Donna Sharp (MD of Medialink) said, “The mission is to ensure both client and agency get the most out of their relationship.”
These are the three key points we keep firmly in our mind when working with all of our clients:
Harmonise – Out of clutter, find simplicity.
What we find particularly successful at Future Fusion, Future PLC’s content marketing arm, is simplifying the client-agency relationship to act as an extension of our clients’ team. We share their problems, passions and strategy as we function as both client and customer, with their products.
Challenge – A client should not limit their challenges, they should let an agency challenge their limits.
We aren’t afraid to challenge our clients on the areas in which we hold expertise. By asking provocative questions or disputing client responses such as ‘Because it has always been like this’, we can achieve the best creative results and forge a stronger relationship between the client and agency.
Innovate – necessity is the mother of invention.
We are all facing uncertainty in some way, shape or form but this is where the right agency can help its clients thrive due to the necessity for innovation. Our approach at Future Fusion is that change is a good thing, so we strive to adapt quickly to support and guide our clients on new strategies, content types and deliverables to hit their marketing objectives. This is more important than ever before. In today’s fast-changing landscape, helping our clients stay ahead of competitors and remain relevant whilst consumers are turning to new ways of consuming is one of the most important services we can provide.
In summary, we find that our strongest client relationships stem from being allowed to act as extensions of our clients, challenge their assumptions and provide innovative approaches so that we can foment a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties grow symbiotically. This is underpinned by trust, which builds only when an agency is clear on what it’s offering and the client believes in what is being offered. This is the spark that ignites the synergy for a lasting relationship.
What do you think is the most important aspect of a client-agency relationship? Tell the CMA what you think.
By Charlie Scott
I work for Future Fusion, the content marketing agency owned by Future PLC. We are experts at building communities around people’s passions and in doing so positioning brands at the heart of incredible content that drives transformative results.
We publish a monthly newsletter with the latest trends in content marketing. You can sign up here if you’d like to be kept informed – Future Fusion Monthly Email.