Trust. It’s Good for Agency-Client Partnerships.

Agency-client relationships that result in great things can attribute their success to a range of variables like strategy, creativity, and just plain good luck. But there’s one quality that can be found at the heart of all successful agency-client collaborations, no matter the circumstances: Trust.

In this article, we take a look at some of the ways to build and sustain trust between marketing/advertising agencies and clients:

Share your information.

Next to dishonesty and failure to deliver, nothing breaks down trust quite like the failure to disclose information. That doesn’t mean you have to share email passwords and family secrets in order to foster a climate of openness. But generally speaking, the more an agency knows about a client’s business, the better the agency will be able to serve the client – and the more an agency shares its respectful but honest opinion about the client’s marketing strategy, the more benefit the client will get from the relationship.

Trust that your client/your agency is not out to make your life difficult.

There are two ways that marketing and advertising types, whether they work on the client or agency side, are like professionals in other industries: We want to be successful at our jobs, and we want to head home at a reasonable hour as much as possible.

Neither of those objectives line up with creating unnecessary work or complications. So when it seems like someone in your agency-client relationship is setting up roadblocks, trust that the problem is probably rooted in a flaw of work process or communication, rather than desire to be difficult. And then set up a time to sit down for a respectful but honest conversation to see what needs to be fixed.

Have faith.

Even when agencies and clients really hit it off during the hiring or discovery process, it still takes time for an agency-client relationship to find its legs. Remember that you made a decision to work together because you believed in the potential of the business relationship. That means that clients should stand back and give an agency time to hit its stride as the work unfolds, and agencies need to be patient and give the client time to get comfortable with sharing insider information with a partner who is outside their four office walls.

Advocate for each other.

Just like other types relationships, both parties thrive when they feel like they have each other’s backs. That means getting on board with a direction once it’s been decided, defending good work, celebrating victories and acknowledging smart advice.

Keep an eye the game, not just the ball.

In cases where agency-client work is extensive and lengthy, there are inevitably going to be those weeks where someone isn’t playing their usual A game, or when a project outcome only results in a base hit, not a homerun.

When that happens it’s important to remember to weigh the situation against the balance of all the good work that’s happened in the past – in other words, to trust that your history and the overall soundness of your working relationship will continue to yield overall strong results, despite the fact that you may be having a “meh” kind of moment in time.

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