What Makes a Good Client

What makes a good client

We are quite different you and I, dear reader.

I’m energised by other people, challenges, creativity, a job well done, and a few laughs along the way. I chose to work in the health and wellness advertising industry.

If you are in marketing or comms, you will have chosen a different path that involves you happily landing on client side.

We all have different motivations, different life experiences and different skill sets – yet when we get together…

…magic happens.

It’s become a mantra for me because at INSIGHT we know we can’t be a great agency if we aren’t able to partner with great clients. The truth is, no matter how strategic, creative, and digitally savvy we are, if you aren’t collaborating with us and playing your part, well…

…no magic.

So what do I mean by a great client? Here are some traits and tangible actions that I think make up the individual clients that get the best out of us, to deliver successful outcomes.

Great clients are ones that:

1.    Know what they really want: This seems like a no brainer – but sometimes people find it hard to articulate what they want. Being able to provide clear direction – i.e. write a well thought out, succinct brief – means no false starts.

2.    Inspire us: Like any good leader, clients can share their vision, tap into our motivations and give us a lofty target. And we’ll damn well achieve it.

3.    Are able to use their imagination and trust us: There are times when we push boundaries and ourselves, and our client, into scary places. Sometimes imagination is needed to see what can be, and trust that this creative idea will deliver.

4.    Is open to being challenged and even better, sets up a challenging environment: We love the opportunity to stretch our thinking and break barriers. This can be challenging norms, challenging the brief, or even challenging (heaven forbid) the medical approvers.

5.   Is honest – no BS: This relates to trust – trust delivers loyalty and commitment.

6.    Understand what we do and how we do it: Making the effort to come into the agency, meet the team and see how the creative process works, gives clients the know-how to ensure we work together as efficiently as possible.

7.    Champions the agency and the work within their organization: We love a client that owns the idea/concept/campaign as much as we do – and then champions it through all the layers of their organization.

8.   Remembers why we’re doing this: This is maybe where our different client/agency motivations might almost touch. At INSIGHT we all care about the results of the work we are doing because we care about our community and families. The icing on the cake is that we get a kick out of the creative challenges healthcare advertising brings.

9.    Are appreciative: Say thanks. Say I love you if you’d like (yes it does happen). They’re small things, but boy they make us feel good.

10.  Know that great client + great agency = magic, too

It can hard to apply this thinking in what can be a transactional and pressurised environment. But if you talk to your agency, see what’s on their Top 10 list, you may be surprised at what you can do – and what can be achieved together.

Let’s make magic.

Article by:

David Anderson,
Managing Partner INSIGHT NZ, member of The BlocPartners Network

In his 25 years with the company David has helped lead the INSIGHT team to become New Zealand’s most effective healthcare-focused agency. Loving the challenge healthcare presents has lead to successful marketing campaigns for his clients, as well winning a number of local and international awards including Effies, Webby, RX Club, Clio and a Grand Global.