Advancing Your Client/Creative Relationships

Relationships between creative team members and clients can be good, bad or downright ugly. Whatever it is, your goal should always be ongoing improvement of your client relationships.

The interaction between clients and creatives during projects often invites opportunities for conflict. When clients make requests of creative teams, they sometimes provide incomplete information, set unrealistic deadlines or communicate in an untimely manner. On the flip side, creative teams are busy and sometimes unavailable which can leave clients feeling neglected or even ignored.

How can in-house agencies and their clients reduce the friction that can result from the creative-production process so they can work together more effectively? Let’s explore three common scenarios.

Misalignment between client expectations and creative output. Sometimes it’s our method of communication that derails a project before it even starts. Replacing random emails, phone calls and water-cooler requests with more formal, formatted inputs can help clients impart information in a clearer, more organized way enabling creatives to produce better work.

Lack of awareness regarding timing, urgency or deadlines. While both parties may know the expected go-live or publishing date, the sequence or dependency of tasks to get there may not be commonly understood. This results in added stress or even panic as deadlines approach. Up-front communication along the lines of, “here’s what I need from you and when” and “here’s what you can expect from me and when” can go a long way to resolving this issue.

Weak, vague or conflicting creative feedback. Cryptic feedback such as, “tighten it up a bit” or “make it pop more,” leaves creative teams scratching their heads. Additionally, getting conflicting feedback from multiple clients forces the creative team to choose, putting them at odds with at least one client. Clearly defining roles when it comes to creative feedback as well as leveraging online tools with markup capabilities can ease the friction here.

Resolving such issues not only improves client/creative relationships, it supports the business objectives that our organizations and the work that we do is intended to address. Let’s make it our goal is to evolve the good, bad and ugly into great, mutually rewarding relationships. And let’s keep the conversation going— join us on Thursday, June 26th, 1-2 p.m. EDT for Turning Clients into Creative Partners, a webinar on how to enable clear communication and increased partnership with your clients.

No Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Finding Common Ground with Procurement

November 22, 2021

For more than a decade, marketing has been driven by its ability to engage consumers via digital and social platforms, encourage consideration, elicit responses and measure success. This heightened focus on metrics combined with the explosion of channels and content needs has dramatically changed …

Read Moreright arrow

2021 IHAF Conference & Awards Resilience to Reinvention

It's Conference Time, Everybody!

November 08, 2021

  • by Jens Peterson, IHAF

No matter how you’ll be attending this week’s IHAF Conference & Awards, you’ll be immersed in a celebration of resilience, reinvention, creativity and grit as we recount the challenges and celebrate the wins in-house agencies experienced over the past year. We kick things off tomorrow—you’ll find …

Read Moreright arrow