The Secret Behind Strong (Client-Agency) Teams

For certain fans like me, March means one thing — baseball. Forget the “madness” of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament: Major League Baseball spring training is underway (with Opening Day just a few short weeks away), and every good southerner knows that NCAA baseball is already in full swing. For MLB teams, spring training is a chance to take stock of their players and ensure they’re fielding the strongest team possible come Opening Day.

Whether in B2C or B2B marketing, it’s equally important for marketing agencies and their clients to build strong relationships by working as a team. Below are 3 essential qualities for strong client-agency teams.

Trust – Every good team is built on a foundation of trust. In baseball, a manager calling in a closing pitcher to seal the win for the team implies an incredible amount of trust; the manager trusts the closer to come in, get the final outs and give the team another W.

That same concept of trust is found in all healthy client-agency relationships. The client trusts the agency to meet their objectives and expectations within the timeframe they’ve set. The agency trusts the client to provide clear, on-target direction and support, along with helpful feedback and guidance. If trust isn’t established on both sides, the client-agency team is likely to be shaky.

Commitment – There’s no doubt that a professional baseball player’s life revolves around the sport — there’s little downtime between the 162 + game season that can stretch from 6 to 7 months, spring training and conditioning during the off-season; but this dedication to hard work helps players reap the rewards over the length of their career.

The same can be said for client-agency relationships. Agencies need to be absolutely committed to achieving the goals of their clients, at any cost. Deadlines must be met (even if that means a few late nights in the office), value created and expectations delivered upon. In the same fashion, clients need to be committed to working together with their agency to achieve their goals. A lack of commitment on either side jeopardizes a client-agency team’s chances for long-term success.

Accountability – Perhaps more so than in any other team sport, there is a tremendous amount of personal accountability in baseball. Pitch poorly and you’ll be credited with the loss. Mess up on a play you were expected to make, and you’ll be given an error.

Accountability is equally important In client-agency teams. Clients committed to the team should be accountable for timely direction and feedback. By the same token, agencies must be accountable for the work they deliver; if what’s delivered is below client’s expectations, an accountable agency goes above and beyond to improve and meet the client’s standards.

The secret behind any successful client-agency relationship is a steadfast commitment to these 3 important qualities, ensuring that when the time comes, each side of the team will always be willing to step up to the plate.

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