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The all-seeing eye: why businesses need client strategy now more than ever

By Gloria Kebudi | Client Strategy Account Director

Tug Agency

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July 17, 2023 | 7 min read

Are client strategy teams a luxury that cash-pinched clients and agencies can do without? Absolutely not, says Gloria Kebudi of digital agency Tug.

A life-support ring

Client strategy: luxury or essential? / Matthew Waring via Unsplash

You might’ve come across the term client strategy (CS) before, but what does it actually mean? What do client strategists do? And why are they so integral to an agency’s work with clients?

Agencies that don’t include CS as part of their offering truly are missing a trick. These teams can be vital for client growth, satisfaction, and retention. They help support businesses and can bring immense value to both clients and their agencies.

What do client strategists do?

There are a lot of misconceptions about the CS role. Many tend to think they act purely as middlemen; intermediaries between the client and the agency’s talent. This is completely untrue. Client and agency teams should communicate directly with each other, and it’s not a client strategist’s job to get in the way of that. This job entails so much more than simply managing the relationship between the two teams.

Client strategists are everything and anything the client needs them to be, but at their core, they’re passionate problem solvers. They’re programmed for success, friendly, and level-headed. They’re something every client needs to stay at the forefront of their industry.

After winning a client, CS is at the helm of their account with the agency. They steer the project in the right direction and ensure it runs a smooth course. They’re like the all-seeing eye, managing the entire account and making sure all agreed targets and deliverables are met.

CS always works to discover new opportunities for clients within their industry, developing their strategy and driving success. The job involves looking for challenges that the project could face along the way (even those the client might not be aware of). CS looks at trend reports and competitors to see what they’re doing that the client isn’t. It asks, ‘why aren’t we doing that?’ and, most importantly, ‘how can we do that?’

By being in touch with their clients’ industries and up to date with news, CS can make sure the most strategic approaches are in place across client channels. Basically, CS helps clients get ahead of the game, giving them more bang for their buck.

The perfect CS team

CS teams need to have a background on all channels, and a comprehensive understanding of how they work, to fold the client’s goals into realistic KPIs and measurements. You can’t lead a multi-channel client if you don’t understand what these channels do.

I know, for example, that my background as a global biddable manager has helped me to deliver the best services to my clients today. It’s helped me gain real-life experience in a range of different channels and markets around the world. Now, I’m able to fully understand the ins and outs of all the projects I’m across, and support my clients in developing the best strategy for them.

CS is heavily involved in maintaining a positive relationship between client and agency. It’s there to help the client build on the strategic approach, carving a path that incorporates KPIs, and supporting them through this journey. This involves checking in to see how the client thinks the project is going, collecting feedback, identifying pain points, and adapting processes accordingly to improve the ways of working between agency and client. This helps to make a project work more efficiently, boosting productivity.

One misconception about CS is that it’s a luxury: an additional expense that one may deem unnecessary for a project. But using an agency that offers client strategy can be a smart investment. When you have a CS on the case, the project is managed with a deeper, more holistic understanding of the client’s goals. All this helps an agency to better understand who the client is trying to reach and how to reach them – making projects run more efficiently and reducing spend on inefficient tactics.

CS exists not only to strengthen the client-agency relationship but also the client’s position in their industry. It’s CS’s mission to understand the client in depth, taking every opportunity to get to know the company and the industry it’s in, through the client’s eyes.

There’s so much more to a campaign than simply getting it done. If businesses (both clients and their agencies) want to succeed and stand out, they need to go above and beyond, and look to the future as well as execute the immediate. That’s exactly what CS is for.

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Agencies Agency Leadership Client Relationships

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Tug Agency

Tug is a performance driven, global digital marketing agency, optimised to grow ambitious brands, through the smart combination of data, media, content and technology.

Our offices in London, Berlin, Toronto and Sydney mix local capabilities with international scale to drive real business advantage for our clients, removing barriers to siloed thinking for optimal outcomes.

Tug supports brands - across a wide variety of verticals - looking to capitalise on the growing number of consumers online, with integrated, data-driven digital campaigns.

The team focuses on driving results and holds themselves accountable for each client's performance.

Proudly working with clients such as Muller, WWF, Zipcar, Compare the Market and Norton.

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