Foursquare, OMD and Zefr on making the client-agency relationship better

The client-agency relationship can sometimes be fraught with poor communication, misunderstandings and mismatched goals. So how can the two work better together? Agencies just need to become more “courageous in their convictions”, according to Zefr’s co-founder and co-CEO, Richard Raddon.

Following Zefr’s panel discussion on these issues at Cannes Lions this week, he says: “Even though, many times the clients won’t love the answers that they hear, it’s through that commitment of being transparent that ultimately the client can reach the best decision in the process of marketing and committing their media dollars.”

His sentiments are echoed by Foursquare’s chief of customer insight and innovation, Gayle Fuguitt. For her, agencies must be committed to finding the right answers from the relevant people – if they want to see real business outcomes.

“What we talked about on the panel was being courageous enough to be truthful, insightful, and have the gravitas to find who the decision-maker really is, and then to be inquisitive and curious enough to ask questions and really get to the bottom of things,” she says.

For Douglas Rozen, chief digital and innovation officer at OMD, agencies also need to get better at saying no, while clients in turn need to be “bold” enough to provide feedback.

He explains: “Without that feedback neither of us are going to improve how we work together which ultimately leads to the great work that you see at Cannes.”

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