5 Pillars for a Strong Client-Agency Partnership

Nicole Rymarz, Former Project Manager

Article Categories: #Strategy, #Project Management

Posted on

There’s a big difference between a partner and a vendor - not only in the dynamic, but also in the end deliverables. While developing a partnership may take a bit more effort, it’s often more than worth it in the end.

I've worked in an agency environment for about six years now. I love the fast-paced environment, working across various industries, and being a creative problem solver.

When people ask what types of projects I find most fulfilling, I usually answer that for me, it’s not the project that makes the experience - it’s the client.

Earlier in my career, I dreamed of working with the cool, cutting-edge companies in the fitness and outdoor industries. The Nikes, the Patagonias. While I certainly wouldn’t turn down the chance to work with those brands now (hey-o!), I can’t help but think fondly of the brands I’ve worked with in industries I may not have felt as passionate about initially - financial institutions, law firms, etc.

While I’m proud of the work our team produces, it’s the partnership with client teams that makes the work come to life. Here are a few key practices I use to establish a strong, collaborative relationship with clients that leads to better results.

Be responsive

The most basic but essential factor in building a strong client-agency partnership is communication. Being thoughtful and timely when sharing feedback or responding to emails helps keep our teams on track and builds a level of trust, respect, and collaboration between our two organizations.

Be curious

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One thing I love about working at Viget is that all members of our team are ready and willing to hop on a client call to have a discussion or answer questions. We love providing technical support via screenshares and sharing iterative design updates to keep conversations fluid and consistent. Asking questions helps avoid assumptions and aligns our teams for success.

Push us

No matter how deep our team goes, you will always be the expert of your brand. While we certainly do our due diligence, we appreciate the insights a client team brings to meetings and feedback reviews. We achieve our highest quality of work when we are able to pair our digital expertise with your industry knowledge. Share examples of work that inspires you, talk to us about your competitors, keep us apprised of category trends. The more leaned-in we can be, the better.

But listen to us

That said…clients hire agencies for a reason! Viget fosters an extremely collaborative partnership with our client teams and we want you to feel like you’re a part of the process. Our work is thoughtful, intentional, and data-driven. While pushback is healthy, a solid partnership is one that places value and trust in each other’s areas of expertise. Share industry insights as they relate to the project goals, but trust our experience when it comes to digital strategy, web design, and technical recommendations.

Keep us in the loop

Agencies are often a small piece of the puzzle in terms of the big-picture initiatives that client teams are working on, and it’s easy to keep your agency siloed. We appreciate hearing about other initiatives and updates going on within your organization. These details not only help us connect with your team more meaningfully, but can also provide insight for better decision-making on our deliverables.

Work is better when done together. By forging a client-agency partnership that is based on trust, communication, mutual respect, and a healthy level of curiosity, we can guarantee the deliverables will be stronger. Plus, we’ll both have a lot more fun.

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