The Art of Compromise: a balancing act

We’ve noticed something about the marketing agency business: when we have a great relationship with a client, we do great work, make a fair profit and enjoy the hell out of it.  And when the relationship starts to sour, all sorts of things tends to go wrong.

Since this is a service business, it’s our job to make the relationships great. If we fail, it’s generally (though not always) our fault.

With that in mind, we share this deck with all new hires at Velocity (and the old-timers take it out every now and then too).

Why share it now? Because it feels really important and we’d love to hear other people’s views, ideally from both sides of the agency-client divide. Take a look and do weigh in with your thoughts:


Good one.
Don’t be afraid of ignorance. This is very helpful. Too often, people are afraid of their own ignorance, and so they act defensive or offensive. If you let your client understand that you know better some stuff (and at the same time you are weak in tons of other things), things become easier.

ps: love the design of the presentation.


Excellent point Alessio. Maybe being open about our own areas of ignorance makes it easier for others on the team to do the same thing. So ‘unknown unknowns’ become ‘known unknowns’.

I think you hit another key word there: afraid.
Fear sucks. It poisons teams and kills great projects.

The customer is always right shouldn’t always hold true for brand promotion. To build or change a campaign then you need to listen to the ultimate goal of the customer and talk them through many processes that you think will be most successful. Don’t be afraid to guide them down the right path.

I admit I often have impure thoughts about clients. This opinion piece helps put things in perspective for me.

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