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Agencies and clients need to grow up and start treating each other respect

A new whitepaper exploring the reasons behind the best and worst client-agency relationships has identified ‘mutual understanding’ and ‘respect’ as the key factors at play.

The research from Big Black Door, the marketing consultancy founded by former Weetabix Head of Marketing Gareth Turner, found that 40% of all survey respondents cited ‘mutual understanding’ as a reason for their most positive relationship, while 44% of agencies respondents named ‘lack of respect’ as a contributing factor in their worst relationships.

Turner has long been an advocate of having strong relationships between marketers and their agency partners and is now sharing the results of his research into the subject, along with some thoughts on how we can work together to improve the situation.

“There are six key contributing factors that have emerged,” said Turner, “but the overwhelming priority is for clients and agencies to understand each other better. That could be a mutual understanding of business performance, brand objectives, or even the personal ambition of the person you’re working with.

“But the most shocking finding was how we aren’t respecting each other.  The report found that 44% of agencies that say they’re not treated with respect by their clients, with 21% of clients also claiming that their agencies weren’t showing them respect.”

One agency respondent to the survey shared that their worst client treated them with “rudeness, and a lack of trust and respect.  We were expected to ‘just do it.’  They put our work out to pitch for no reason. There was no recognition of good work.”

Turner plans to hold a webinar to discuss the findings in June and is scheduled to be talking about the subject at MAD//Fest in July. 

The report is available to download here.  


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