There’s a time and a place for taking a bit of a creative risk. Here’s more on how we work to avoid playing it too safe.
When it comes to the client/agency relationship, it is the job of the agency to push the client out of their comfort zone, show them a new path. That being said, everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to creative risk. We start by determining how open our clients are to going out on a limb and how appropriate it is for the target audience. Then we show them that the so-called limb is supported by research, expertise and experience.
Here’s how we get our clients onboard:
(from the start).
Let’s face it, not many of us really like surprises. When you are expecting a client to make a bold move, they are much more likely to move when they are along for the ride, so to speak. Translation—we keep them updated on the creative process as much as possible.
It may sound like a throwback to the sandbox days, but we try to collaborate as much as possible, working to solve problems as a unit. The result is we are more likely to have the client’s buy-in to the ideas we're pitching.
No one should presume that they know the product or service better than the client. We are firm believers in the idea that an outsider’s viewpoint can be really valuable, but we also take the time to dig deep into what our clients and target audiences are all about so we are well informed from the start.
Agencies and clients work toward the same goals, so remember to communicate. Agencies want clients to keep them informed when problems arise and vice versa. Keeping secrets won’t accomplish anything good.
Know when it’s over.
There may come a time, with certain clients, when it becomes clear that you two simply aren’t well suited. Think of it like dating, not everybody is destined for the wedding chapel. When a client/agency relationship isn't gelling, people should be prepared to make the tough call and walk away.