Great post by Avi Dan…
To get the most out of their agency, smart clients become their agency’s best client. Steve Jobs understood this. So did Phil Knight from Nike. They understood what matters to agencies and to agency people:
- Death by nitpicking. Nothing wears out agencies faster than re-do’s, having to rework the same idea over and over again. I had a simple rule with my agency: we allowed ourselves only 3 strikes. If, by the third revision, the idea was still not approved, we retired it and moved on to the next idea.
- People who can say, “Yes”. Too often the agency has to present ideas to middle managers who are not decision makers, and whose role is often limited to rejecting ideas. Smart clients involve the person who can say “Yes” from the get-go, be it the CMO or even the CEO.
- Collaboration. Agencies crave respect – clients that empower them to have a more consultative relationship, rather than a vendor-like arrangement. A key value an agency can bring to the relationship is third-party objectivity, as the client view and the customer view need to be supplemented by an independent agency view in a healthy relationship.
- Creative hothouse. Creative showcase accounts, and the chance to win creative awards, attract a disproportionate share of the agency’s, and the industry, best talent. A great client has uncompromising standards of creativity and an almost religious belief in a great brief.
- Evaluations. Great clients are objective and encourage two-way communication. They implement a 360-degrees evaluation process, where client and agency have equal input. For great clients, the evaluation process is a dialogue, not a report card. It is designed to inspire mastery, beyond just capturing functioning capability.
- Compensation. Smart clients encourage agencies to become their business partners and be measured by business results, aligning compensation with outcomes, and giving them an opportunity for maximizing their upside.
It is up to the CMO and his or her marketing team to create an atmosphere of excellence on their business, and an inspired culture of achievement. An great client, one with the passion to become an agency’s best client, will attracts a disproportionate amount of agency talent that will give it a strategic competitive edge.
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The news comes only a few days after Arment said that he will retire the free version of Instapaper on the iPhone and iPad, …
Instapaper developer Marco Arment doesn’t seem too worried though, saying on Twitter,
“For many reasons, I believe Instapaper would still have a market even if Apple implemented Reading List synced to iOS devices.” He also said that it appears the feature is more closely imitating ReadItLater at the moment, which isn’t as feature-rich as Instapaper.
Related Blog Post
Thanks Angela Maiers for your comment on my recent post around crowdsourcing tools. You recommended vineme.com as a very useful tool. For almost one year Josh Fleming, Tony Muse and Chris Taulborg have been hard at work building Des Moines’ newest startup, VineMe. VineMe is billed as a “social platform that allows the world to crowdsource content by time, tags, places and people.” (public launch March 31, 2011). Here is what Josh Fleming says about this new crowdsourcing venture:
“We want to curate life through visual content. I always enjoy discovering content in new ways. It’s why people flocked to the internet. It’s why Google quickly became a verb. It’s why apps are so popular. The combination of discovery and ease of use is what is driving technology today. We think VineMe offers both.”
http://storify.com, a company building tools to help journalists, bloggers and experts curate the real-time Web.
In this Intel Visual Life short documentary, Michael Wolff, co-founder of Wolff Olins Agency and considered one of the preeminent visionaries and perhaps the father of 20th century brand expression and identity, talks about his approach to looking at the world, including the muscles of curiosity, appreciation, and imagination. I admire the innovative branding work of Wolff Olins. This short documentary is another reminder of what it’s all about.
“I have three muscles, without which I couldn’t do my work. The first is curiosity. (You can call it inquisitiveness, you can call it questioning.) The second muscle [is] the muscle of appreciation. It’s not questioning so much as it is noticing… how joyful things can be, how colorful things can be, what already exists as an inspiration. The muscle of curiosity and the muscle of appreciation enable the muscle of imagination. Everybody knows that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. What few people realize it is only through the parts that the whole gets delivered. I see seeing as a muscular exercise, like I see curiosity. It’s a kind of being open, really: If you walk around with a head full of preoccupation, you’re not going to notice anything in your visual life.” ~ Michael Wolff”