I'm continuing my Friday series on agency/client relationships with an interview with Sean Cheyney from AccuQuote. One tip that he mentions is that clients should share their data with their agency. This can really help your agency adapt their thinking, present new ideas and ultimately get better results for the client.
Sean Cheyney is the vice president of marketing and business development for AccuQuote. He is responsible for spearheading the overall growth and direction of the company's marketing initiatives, brand strategy, strategic partnerships, and customer acquisition through both online and offline advertising.
Q5 Do you work on the agency side or client side?
Q6 What makes a good agency/client relationship?
A good client / agency relationship starts from an alignment of philosophies. It’s important from the beginning that everyone involved is speaking the same language and focused on the same objectives.
Q7 What’s your best tip for building a good agency/client relationship?
- Set expectations from the beginning
- Be open and honest in all communications
- Share data with your agency. If they don’t take the data and help you optimize, then you have a problem.
Q8 Have you ever been in a difficult agency/client relationship? If so, were you able to improve the situation? How?
We had an SEO/SEM agency several years ago that couldn’t figure out a way to speak our language. We are always focused on closely managed ROI goals, but the agency wanted to focus on the brand building aspects of SEM. They couldn’t understand why we were upset when large budget allocations were being spent on keywords that performed poorly. They felt that the reach into the target audience made the keyword spend a great strategic move, which was completely out of line from our business objectives. Ultimately, we found another SEO/SEM agency that spoke our language and consistently manages toward our goals.
Q9 What do you wish agencies understood about clients?
Agencies need to understand that clients have objectives that don’t always translate into making the most amount of money for their agencies.
Q10 How can agencies add value for clients?
The biggest value agencies can offer is to listen to their clients and to be proactive with opportunities for helping their clients reach their goals.
Q11 How can clients get the best out of their agencies?
As a client, you need to clearly communicate your goals, campaign objectives, business philosophies, and your team culture. In addition, frequent communication is necessary to transform your agency into a true extension of your team.
Q12 Have you noticed any recent trends in agency/client relationships?
I’ve been noticing a trend of agencies trying to be everything for everyone. The end result is that the agencies end up losing focus on their core, which ultimately suffers.
Q13 Which past agency was the best to work with? (Past relationships only, please.)
Adversarial Agency/Client Relationships
Partnership Agency/Client Relationships
Confused Agency/Client Relationships
Integrated Agency/Client Relationships
Imbalanced Agency/Client Relationships