The dodgy sex aside, I sometimes think that long term client relationships are a bit like marriages. Both parties enter into them with eyes wide open and with the best of intentions; and learn to adjust their expectations as time passes.
At first it’s all passion and togetherness discovered. There are a couple of warm discussions as you feel your way around and operational guidelines are laid down.
Then something wonderful happens
Like all seasoned couples, you become perfectly aligned. The agency is so immersed in the client’s market that it responds to new challenges instinctively. Our creative/management team thinks proactively – without being briefed – to present new directions, ground-breaking ideas and early solutions to future issues. In short, we all work together in shorthand.
Blind date? Actually we met on the internet
A good number of our clients have been with us for over 5 years, some for even longer. Most of our new clients come to us via recommendations from established clients, or people who have worked with us previously. Which is gratifying.
But we do go on blind dates – or pitches, as they’re known in the industry. We also attract new business via the net and targeted marketing efforts. Lucky really, because if we can’t market ourselves…
Taking it personally
And sometimes the personal partner merges with the professional. Our Director of Copy married his Art Director and our Creative Director met his intended over the garden wall when they were children, but he designed all my wedding stationery and table layouts. And our longest standing client was at the ceremony some – oooh – 13 years ago now.
There’s a lot to be said for long term relationships.