How to Be a Great Client to Your Ad Agency and Get More Than You Paid For

By Gary Leopold President & CEO, ISM | May 19, 2010

To consistently get great work from your ad agency you need to understand how to be a great client. It's not about giving in to your agency--rather it's about giving them the direction, feedback and opportunities to become one of your hotels most valued partners.

In my agency I'm fortunate to work with two people--Janet Eason my EVP and Chief Strategy Officer and Bob Minihan, my Executive Creative Director--both of whom have had long and distinguished careers in the advertising industry. We often sit down and discuss the client-agency dynamic and we've assembled a brief list of our collective wisdom to help you maximize your agency relationship and get more out of it than you ever imagined.

Start at the beginning. The most important ingredient for having a great relationship with your agency is to be certain that you've chosen the right agency to begin with. Their experience, style, knowledge, values, approach, skills, staff, commitment to your business and more should all be well suited to meeting your exact needs and fulfilling your expectations. All agencies are not created equal. Even if you follow the advice we prescribe and proclaim yourself to be a great client, there's no guarantee that you'll get inspiring work if you're tethered to a less than talented agency.

Your agency is trying their best to help you--they are not the enemy. All agencies want to do a great job and, if you've chosen yours wisely, should have the ability to help positively impact your business. Every agency values their reputation and they know that the better they make their client look the better they look. You hired them for their expertise and talents, give them the opportunity to share their skills with you and prove themselves worthy of your trust.

You want your agency to learn your business. Take a moment to learn theirs. It's reasonable for every client to expect their agency to pour themselves into your business and to learn as much as they can about your industry and your property. You expect them to be knowledgeable and insightful so they can become a more valued partner. So too, it would be valuable, if you took some time as a client to understand the agency and its business. How do they make money? How is their business doing and what can you do to help it grow? What is the creative process and how long do certain projects take? A little bit of knowledge can help fuel a whole lot of understanding.

"Great work" is like "great sex"--it means a million different things to a million different people. Work with your agency up front to discuss and manage expectations. Most agencies will adapt aspects of their processes and approach so it wraps around your requirements and style. By establishing your needs, wants and desires in the beginning you help create a picture of what success looks like, and how it will feel when you get there.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Rani Bhattacharyya
Bernard Ellis
Jason Ferrara
Judy Singer
Mehdi Eftekari
Pamela Barnhill
Peter Goldmann
Frank Speranza
Roberta Nedry
Olivier Bottois
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.