May 10, 2024

In the client/agency relationships within the marketing landscape, various challenges often lurk beneath the surface, threatening to undermine trust and effectiveness. Yet, amidst the complexities and potential pitfalls, certain guiding principles emerge as beacons of excellence. Through embracing and implementing best practices, collaboration and success can be achieved. Here, we've outlined some key principles that form the foundation of a thriving client/agency relationship, ultimately fostering exceptional work:

Strategy for Media

This involves defining the overarching purpose and approach to media usage. It's not just about deciding where to place ads but understanding why you're doing it, who your target audience is, what message you want to convey, and how media fits into your overall marketing strategy. Without a clear strategy, it's difficult to set objectives or measure success.


Building strong relationships between leaders at all levels is crucial for effective collaboration and communication. Key talent retention ensures continuity and expertise within the client/agency relationship. Additionally, creating a positive work environment for agency talent enhances productivity and commitment.


Clearly defining goals and deliverables provides a roadmap for both the agency and the client. Alignment on objectives fosters a productive relationship and ensures that efforts are focused on achieving shared goals.


Contracts serve as the foundation for the client/agency relationship. Regularly updating contracts ensures that both parties are aligned with current expectations and industry standards.


The way agencies are paid should reflect the strategy and objectives of media usage. Different payment models such as fees, commissions, gain/value share, and performance-related fees offer flexibility but should align with desired outcomes.

Measurement and Appraisal

Evaluating the client/agency relationship against predefined objectives allows for ongoing improvement and adjustment. Regular appraisals help identify strengths and weaknesses, facilitating the development of action plans for improvement.


In modern marketing, media often intersects with various other functions such as creative, digital, and PR. Clarifying roles, responsibilities, and processes ensures smooth coordination and maximizes efficiency.

Culture and Team

Building a strong team culture within both the client and agency organizations fosters collaboration, creativity, and productivity. Investing in team-building activities, workshops, and fostering a supportive work environment enhances morale and performance.

At Marketing Keys, we recognize the importance of nurturing a client/agency relationship built upon trust, transparency, and mutual respect. Our commitment to excellence extends beyond the acknowledgment of best practices; we actively integrate these principles into every facet of our operations. From crafting strategies aligned with our clients' objectives to fostering a culture of open communication and accountability, we leverage our expertise and innovative tools to cultivate enduring partnerships.

Cate Bender, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys

Posted on:

May 10, 2024