Great Relationships Make Great Campaigns

We recently had a client review GKV on Clutch. It’s a glowing review and we invite you to read it in its entirety here, but wanted to share a quick excerpt in reply to the question “Do you have any advice for a potential customer?” Our client’s response was:

Treat them as a partner and an extension of your team; that way, you’ll get the best out of them.

— Executive, Healthcare Company

This got us thinking about the connection between client relationships and creative work. Is it simply coincidence that solid client/agency connections consistently produce great work, positive results and even stronger relationships moving forward?

It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle… a virtuous cycle.

So how do you get this type of relationship rolling?

1. Dedicated people at every level, year after year

The onus is on the agency for this one. Your account should be assigned a senior partner in charge who is actively engaged with the business and ensures that every resource of the agency is in place for your success. Agencies must work to keep people happy and challenged, so turnover is low. Staffing consistency is key to long and close relationships.

It surprised me how engaged their team was. The group that originally pitched to us is still the one working with us today.

— Senior Marketing Manager, Coffee Company

2. Your agency as an extension of your team

All clients should get an agency’s best effort, but clients that truly trust their agency get the best results. This is trust built on accountability, honesty and mutual respect. When a relationship shifts from transactional to personal, you simply cannot give anything short of your all. But therein lies the conundrum. How do you trust someone you just met with your project, brand, and to no small degree, your career?

GKV’s creative, account management, and thoughtfulness about what the business was and what the business needed ended up making our creative smarter and more actionable than our competitors.

— Vice President, Insurance Company

3. A clear process builds trust

Trust comes easier when you listen closely, reiterate and then write it all down. Kick off each project with defined goals, milestones, schedules and KPIs. Budgets should be tightly managed, and a formal billing process ensures accurate, timely and transparent invoicing. Expect transparency in charges, with no mark-ups on outside production. Always tell it like it is…even when it’s hard. Again, it comes down to mutual respect… of time, effort and always, each other.

GKV has been an excellent partner due to their thoughtful strategic approach, outstanding creative capabilities, and precise execution and measurement. I always feel that we get the best creative work from the team.

— VP of Marketing, Organic Food Producer

Talent, skill, and experience go a long way in the creation of good advertising. But trust, honesty and a commitment to each other’s success get us all to great advertising and an even rarer achievement in the marketing world… successful long-term relationships.

Dave Broscious

SVP, Creative Director

Shannon Gardiner

SVP, Director of Account Management