Updated on 02/12/2021

What makes a great agency? Or, to put it another way, what makes an agency great for a client?

A lot’s happened since I originally wrote this post back in September 2020. Covid has been and gone, and been again… and gone again. Redtorch has hired new staff, and the agency landscape continues to move at an alarmingly fast rate. I therefore thought it was only right to provide an update on the question:

What do clients really want from an agency?

In a world with so many of us out there (agencies, that is), choosing the one that’s right for you must be really, really difficult. If we assume, for argument’s sake, that most agencies are competent in their field, how is an agency supposed to stand out?

As Mark Ritson has said, “Whisper it quietly around Soho but most of these agencies now all offer the same thing.”

So I asked some members of Redtorch for the one thing they felt every client should get from an agency.

Here’s what they had to say …

Who:  Jonny Murch, CEO

Business is about people, and clients want to know who they will spend time with or go into battle with – people who will empathise with their needs and help them achieve success. Someone with whom they have chemistry and can celebrate their success!

Who:   Ollie Davis, Head of Research & Performance
What: Answers

Provide answers to questions before the questions have even been asked by giving clients insights that relate to performance, trends and competitors. This demonstrates that the agency is forward-thinking and the client is always front of mind.

Who:   Chris Argyle-Robinson, Strategy Director 
What: Effectiveness

Clients want an agency to be effective in solving their challenges.

Who:   Jess Reus, Project Manager 
What: Clear Communication

Communication between client and agency is, for the most part, virtual. It’s imperative, therefore, that the client receives clear and efficient communications at regular intervals to ensure both parties are on the same page: this will help instil accountability and provide client satisfaction.

Who:   Kirby O’Donnell, Campaign Manager
What: Transparency 

Honesty is the best policy. The greatest partnerships offer complete transparency on both sides. Although it can be challenging, open and honest communication from the beginning will prevent misunderstandings further down the line. Keep all channels of communication open and create a relationship built on trust.

Who:   Matt Weiner, Creative Director 
What: Hard work

Clients want to know that their agency is working at least as hard as them to help achieve their goals.

Who:   Justine Hembury, Director of Operations
What: Value

All businesses are concerned with the bottom line – cashflow, budgets and finances. Value is essential – all the above are important but if contracts aren’t renewed due to a lack of value, there will be no money in and no bills paid! No business will survive that.

Who:   Zi Koulailat, Senior Motion & Graphic Designer
What: Understanding 

A client may make a mistake and need to post an update on their channels ASAP. As their agency, we shouldn’t turn around and say “sorry we didn’t agree to this in our contract”, we should be understanding and put ourselves in their shoes. We should work as one.

Who:   George Murray, Campaign Executive
What: Clarity

A definitive way of working and open lines of communication to achieve shared goals/success. When an agency and a client are clear on what they are both striving for (and aware of their roles within that framework), they can produce their best work.

Who:   Miles Lockhart, Campaign Executive
What: Communication 

Keeping regular and clear communication with a client is integral to maintaining transparency and achieving the results that both sides desire.

Who:   Tom Lloyd-Evans, Digital Insight Analyst
What: Specialist Knowledge & Tools 

Some clients don’t have the means or skills to do things in-house, so an agency can provide specialist knowledge in certain areas to assist the client.

So there you have it, a client needs to decide which benefit(s) is most important to them. There are a lot of great agencies out there, they just might not be great for you.

As for myself, I’m a massive believer of evidence-based marketing that focuses on effectiveness. No fluff, just proper marketing that isn’t always sexy, but is always founded on theory.

Cut the fluff, get in touch to see if we’re the perfect agency for you!