This got me thinking about a few points:
- When does a company not pay what they want from their ad agency? As with many transactions, when one feels that there is something unfair about the value/price relationship one ends the relationship. Most companies request work for a fee and agencies deliver under that premise. Rarely are agencies in a position to dictate price. Which brings me to my next point...
- This positioning also assumes that ad agencies charge what they want.An agency can only pay its bills when a client is happy. Clients that feel ripped off won't swallow whatever their agency feels it deserves. Likewise, a client rarely pays a premium for work that delivers on a remarkable success. Maybe there's a balance...but that's a different post.
- Client happiness should not to be confused with client success. These two could not be further apart and have no linear correlation. Happier clients do not equal more successful clients. Great agencies can succeed by shifting focus away from happy clients towards helping clients succeed - but this runs deeper than churning out work or jumping on the latest new media bandwagon. It involves serious relationships that don't crumble under conflict and scrutiny of each party. Remarkable success comes from challenging the status quo. This causes friction as it is the status quo (either in work, in a clients culture, or in a agency/client relationship) which creates comfort and mutual happiness - but rarely sustained success. If you are a company, look for an agency that makes you feel uncomfortable, that will tell you where they think you fall and where you can do the same. It will help everyone.
If you've experienced the agency or been involved with the work I'd love to hear from you.