What Clients Really Think

RSW/US, a Cincinnati-based consultancy that helps agencies hone their new business development efforts, asked marketing execs at 200 companies including Nestle, Pfizer, Kraft Foods, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton and Harrah’s 23 questions about their agencies.
Here’s one of the questions and several random answers pulled directly from the report.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give to agencies about their marketing efforts to get your attention what would it be?

  • Cut the crap. Be real. Make it personal. Do your homework. Know who you’re dealing with. Be willing to work for food to see if you deserve to live.
  • Don’t send me non-relevant boiler plates of your work.
  • Emails are better than phone calls because I can look at the information in my own time. Even if we are not in a review process I keep emails from agencies to look back on when it is time for a new RFP. Phone calls in the middle of a busy day are distracting. Cool direct mail pieces will also get my attention.
  • Be quiet and listen! Don’t start with recommendations for “something totally new” until you understand our needs, competition, customers, and constraints.
  • Have examples of work that drove volume. The awards are nice but volume is better.
  • Be interested in my business and bring me ideas/insights I might not have on my own.
  • It’s about the relationship. It’s a day to day partnership and the professional and personal synergy must exist.
  • Be creative — I am called 10+ times a day by people trying to get in the door. I can’t get back to people because it would be a full time job so getting frustrated or not standing out will not help your situation.
  • Do not overpromise.

Damn, that’s a lot of medicine in one over-sized spoon.
[via Adweek]



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.